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Kim Brengle

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Kim Brengle on Twitter
Kim Brengle on Twitter




Generations of Nomads



Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey

I’ve been at this since I was in my teens. When I was very young I thought it was about collecting ancestors to add to my tree. I learned that the important part is the stories, the faces and the places. I love putting the pieces of my family in context, learning about their lives, finding their pictures/portraits, visiting the places.

For at least four or five generations only a few of my direct ancestors on either side ended their lives within 500 miles of where they started. They traveled from Britain to Lebanon as missionaries. They migrated west from North Carolina to Missouri, from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas. Hopped from Baltimore to Alaska to Germany. Generations of nomads.

Favorite food or beverage

The world is full of too many delicious things to choose just one!

Surnames of interest

Stephenson, Oliver/Oliphant, Miller, Mills, Sheely, Owen, Wright, Hill, Harrington (the brick wall ancestor!), Conkling, Hahn, Bodenhamer, Henderson, Deane, Milnes, Cocke, Snowden, Pope, Sutherland

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

My great grandfather, Daniel Oliver (1870-1953), without a doubt. He was my mother’s adored, larger-than-life grandfather. Born to a family of farm laborers in the northernmost corner of Scotland, he ended up in the mountains of Lebanon as a young man, became a Quaker missionary and established a school and orphanage there. He stayed in Lebanon for the rest of his life, occasionally wearing his “Highland suit” (kilt and all the trimmings!) through the streets of Beirut! 

Favorite place where you’ve traveled

Hard to choose–Barcelona? And I desperately need to make a trip to Scotland.

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

I would have asked my grandparents lots more questions. Talk to the older members of your family while you still have them and get those stories recorded! Also Label. All. Photos!!!

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

I’m always nibbling away at a little of everything–I’m a fool for a good rabbit hole. I want to focus on my brick wall 2nd great grandmother, Juliaetta (Harrington) Stephenson. I have a huge number of DNA cousins through a large Mormon family who I believe must connect to her somehow, but how?

I also want to research the links between the enslavers in my family tree and those they enslaved. I have DNA cousins who are descended through their ancestors who were enslaved by mine and I’d like to know more about that and share information.

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