M Thomas Apple Author Page

Science fiction, actual science, history, and personal ranting about life, the universe, and everything

Finding the Tree in the Family Forest

August 31, 2018

IMG_2197While visiting Montreal and Upstate New York for summer vacation, my family were greeted by an unhappy surprise.

My mother has Stage 4 cancer.

I’ve been spending the past two to three years researching my ancestry (at, you guessed it, ancestry.com) and I had already hoped to talk with my mother about her memories of our Irish and French Canadian heritage.

I’d already managed to find quite bit online via various databases, both public and private. But there’s no substitute for family stories. And now I have a time limit.

I’ve found quite a few interesting stories in our family tree, which really is much more like a forest, including the Irish, Welsh, English, Scottish, French, Quebecois, German, and possibly Jewish, Native American, and Polish.

So over the next few months I’ll slowly be posting some of the more interesting individual stories from my family’s (families’) histories. Some are more mundane than others. Some are so good that movies should be made from them.

Hope you look forward to reading them!

(And, no, I haven’t stopped the science fiction novel. Work proceeds apace!)


  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. Still, being able to share stories is a way to make sense of it all as much as we humans ever can. There are some things you can’t say on facebook (who would even want to try? nah..) and other things you can’t say even on wordpress comments and still other things you can’t really say with words at all and I am stuck now but “hi” and I look forward to some words from you.


    • Thanks for the kind words, Ellen. In the end, words are all I can use online, so I’ll do my best to find the best words I can. And the best stories. Always the stories.


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