Preparing for our daughter’s wedding, I became obsessed about family history. Our family has lots of family stories, so it was a subject I have always been close to, but had not dove into with intensity. I wanted to see how far back I could take the various family lines and how many stories I could prove – and how many I could add.
Names, dates, long charts can become boring and don’t say much about the individuals and the times in which they lived. So, we want this blog to be more about family stories, life histories, and information about the lives they lived and the era they lived in, and a repository of reflections and bits of information.
So, here we go. This site takes as its starting point our immediate family – my wife Maraji, my daughter, Fawn, and myself, Richard.
It explores my side of the family, my father and mother, Worth Bagley Allen, Jr. and Mildred Louise Bondurant, and the ancestors that led to us being a family in this place and time. Therefore, it is primarily devoted to the Allen, Bondurant, Mooneyham, Murdock, and Blake families who intermarried in the Piedmont area of North Carolina in the 19th and 20th centuries, and who originated in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and France. Along the way we will also meet Gwynnes, Cooks, Richardsons, McHaffies, McKees, MacDonells, Reddicks, Ruddochs, Milligans, Witherspoons, Kearneys, and others.
It explores Maraji’s side of the family, her father and mother, Russell Levin and Rosalie Mann, and the ancestors that also led to us being a family in this place and time. We will meet Levins and Manns of course, but also Singers, Levs, and many others as they journey from Eastern Europe, Germany, England, and even Ireland to where their lines intermingle in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The journey will take us from shtetls through coal country and into urban American life.
We make no claims for this being a professional genealogical website. The Kitchen Table is being assembled just as if the family were gathered sharing information and stories. We started it as a way of collecting family material in one place, honoring the people who made our lives possible by preserving their history, and to provide a point of contact for such sharing among far flung family members. We hope for the site to portray the lives and wanderings of our family while placing them in the context of their times.
We invite and encourage everyone from our diverse family lines to add to the site – make it yours. Send us pictures, documents, stories, or anything you want that sheds light on our family members and the times and places in which they lived, and we’ll put it on the site. Initiate some chats by responding to posts. Agree or disagree. We hope for the site to be living and growing. Perhaps we will all learn something.