She was a beautiful, young Irish maid, working in a wealthy English household. Her employer’s oldest son fell in love with her. When he announced intentions to marry her, his parents said they would disown him. He married her anyway. Then, bride and groom ran away to live happily ever after. “Her name was Mary Cordial,” my maternal grandmother Marilyn Matilda Dietz told me, that distinct glimmer of pleasure in her eyes—the one she always had when she retold this story. “And you are her legacy.”

This blog is a resource for those who want to--have to--find out more about who they came from.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Doctoring Genealogy

I was sitting here, wondering how I could make genealogy sexier, when I stumbled across this gem (in six parts) on YouTube. Click on the links below, and enjoy.

Who Do You Think You Are? -- David Tennant, Actor

Don't say I never gave you anything. ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Writing A Family History

For those of us who've struggled with how exactly to go about organizing that teetering pile of notes and documents into some understandable form that might be shared with future generations, there's a video from BYU-TV with lots of good advice. Warning: It's a little dry, but I recommend patience, as well as having a pad and pen handy for taking notes. 

BYU TV - Writing a Family History (24 minutes):

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quote of the Day

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reinventing (Finding) Mary Cordial

Bill Dietz and his sister Marion Dietz Putland, 1940s.
They are two of Mary Cordial's many grandchildren.

Those of you that have been regularly visiting might have noticed a significant change in this blog as of today. In case the obvious needs to be stated, my genealogy has been removed.

Why? Recent investigations into modern publishing options have led me to realize that information is being routinely swiped from Internet web pages, blogs and message boards for eBook publishing by dishonest individuals on a quest to make a quick buck. Examples? Several free Kindle cookbooks I've downloaded from Amazon over the past month have proved to be nothing more than blatant cutting/pasting from free recipe newsgroups—the "author" didn't even bother to remove the original poster's ID at each recipe's top. Add to this a recently downloaded "internet meme" eBook in which the author flatly admits he has stolen all the material from a popular web site. Add to that a recent article detailing how other scam artists are stealing erotic short stories off free fiction websites and publishing them as Kindle eBooks.

You can see where I'm going with this, I'm sure. Genealogy is an expensive hobby, and it would really, really tick me off to see my work plagiarized, so instead of courting the inevitable (as it seems to be) I've decided to take down my genealogical notes and publish them in my own eBook because, let's face it, if anyone deserves to be making money off my work, it's me.

Therefore, Finding Mary Cordial will now cease to be a disseminator of specific genealogical information with relevance to a few select people (family members and supportive friends) and will now evolve into a forum for the many who, like me, love the genealogical hunt and long to either get advice or share advice on how to proceed in their research. Going forward, I plan to compile genealogical resources, post relevant videos, and maybe even publish an article or two from a guest blogger.

That having been said, your suggestions and contributions are very welcome. Please contact me at to ask questions, suggest links or volunteer your knowledge in an effort to help others in this wonderful hobby of ours. I look forward to hearing from you.