Meet Mosaic’s staff and authors

From North Carolina to Hollywood: Mapping my family roots

By Noah Johnson My family is as old as dirt when it comes to our history in the United States. With our roots firmly planted in the American soil, my family has traversed throughout the country, from the Carolinas to the Deep South to the bright lights of Hollywood....

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All history belongs in family stories

By Elizabeth Rembert My interest in my family history didn’t start until a black man with the same last name messaged me on LinkedIn. “I’m sorry to bother you but my family is from Rembert, S.C., and I’m very curious how we come together in the family,” Hosey Rembert,...

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Choosing friendship over prejudice

By Trev McDiffett  Ida Mae Willey was a true patriot. Everything from the flag she flew above her Sutton, Nebraska home, to her son, Wayne, who fought in World War II had American pride written all over it. During the war, troops returning home on the train would...

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Southern hospitality and growing up in small-town Alabama

By JP Davis I was born into a very privileged life. Many people are unlike me and do not have it as easy as I do. This is very important to recognize. Before me, and before most of my white family, there was a particular white man named Henry Taunton, or Ellaway, son...

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Family roots planted deep in Michigan

By Sarah Wontorcik The Wontorczyk family first came to America in 1917, traveling from Eastern Europe in an attempt to avoid the turmoil of World War I. Like many immigrant families, when John and Anna Wontorczyk arrived at the Port of Entry at Ellis Island, the...

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Hard work passed down through generations

By Baylee Vrtiska My entire life I’ve been taught that hard work can get you further than anything else. No matter the circumstance. And it all started with Peter Foale, my third great-grandfather. Peter and his brother, William, left Liverpool, England, in May 1848...

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A very German thing to do

  By Ben Jones When I look at both sides of my family’s history, I see symmetry. I can’t see the big picture without understanding what role the military and education played. On both my mom and dad’s side, the story starts in Germany. William Boettger was born...

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Families search for familiarity

By Noelle Ervin I come from farmers and makers of deli meat. I should have known my history was chock-full of food. That much hasn’t really changed. In fact, the more I investigate my family history the more I realize how much we still have in common with my...

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Family history kept alive through vintage mug

By Megan Crain The small mug in my hand confused me. It was a graduation present from my Aunt Bernie. The mug had an almost iridescent finish, was spotted with blue and red flowers and the word “Mama” was written on the front in white letters. Why on earth was I, an...

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Polish family keeps parish tradition alive

By Rebecca Schrack For one weekend every August, St. Stanislaus Church in Omaha transforms into a bustling, laughter-filled community during their annual Polish Festival. Countless people gather under shady tents to keep the Polish heritage alive with music, food and...

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