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Fred Dews

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Fred Dews on Twitter
Fred Dews on Twitter




Public Historian


Northern Virginia, USA

Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey

I’ve been interested in genealogy/family history for about 30 years, and started with a family tree and story document circulated at a family reunion when I was 3 years old. After college, I rediscovered a copy of that document and started visiting the U.S. National Archives in D.C. (near where I live) to find all the Census records I could (the days of microfilm). And I’ve been exploring and writing stories about my ancestors ever since!

Favorite food or beverage

chicken fried stake with white gravy

Surnames of interest

Dews, Hoagland, Kuester, Juby, Marckhoff, Segrest, Hawthorne, Ellis, Pharris, McBride, Minyard, Fuller, Malone, Kelly, Kristiansen, Button, George, Buckbee, Hughes

If you could meet one person from your family tree that died before you were born, who would it be and why?

Robert Dews (~1966-1945), my great-grandfather. He immigrated solo to America from Yorkshire, England, in the 1880s, then married and settled in Chicago. Of all my family branches, his is the most stunted. He never told anyone much about who his English family was or why he came to America (or at least I have scant evidence that he did). So, I’d ask him all about his life and family in England … and also how he met my great-grandmother, who was the daughter of Swedish immigrants.

Genealogy pet peeve

Elevation of Ellis Island as THE main immigration depot in Americans’ imagination. There were many others, and anyway my European immigrants all came through Castle Garden.

Favorite place where you’ve traveled

Connemara, in the west of Ireland. And a few trips to find ancient family cemeteries have been fun.

From a genealogy/family history research perspective, what would you have done differently?

 Documented every research question asked, sources consulted, and conclusions reached.

What are you currently working on and what’s next?

 Documented every research question asked, sources consulted, and conclusions reached.

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