Intrepid authors dig up the roots of their own family trees.

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Going to Vietnam to Face My Father’s Ghost

He was a hometown hero who died at war days before I was born. He haunted my life, until I finally made the trip to see where he fell.

Searching for the Woman Who Saved My Immigrant Family from Homelessness

In this time of Islamophobia and hatred, I needed to understand what made a white stranger open her home to us.

The Census Always Boxed Us Out

For most of our history, the U.S. government treated biracial Americans as if we didn’t even exist, but my family has stories to tell.

My Grandma’s Hidden Holocaust Heroics

We grew up idolizing grandpa for surviving death marches and beating up Germans, but grandma was always just, well...a sweet old lady. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

My Dad Died Decades Ago. An Online Stranger Taught Me About the Man He Was.

I was just ten when my father passed, long before the Internet. But giving him a digital footprint paid off more than I could have ever anticipated.

My Mother Was Murdered When I Was a Baby. I Just Found a Photo of Her Funeral for Sale Online.

Fidel Castro Is Dead. What Will Cuban-Americans Like Me Do Now?

Our parents and grandparents fought the dictator for half a century. Can young people finally repair the tortured relationship between our two homelands?

I Found My Grandparents’ Sorrow Buried in a Trove of Forgotten Letters

They rarely talked about the tragic loss of their first child. Sixty years later, sifting through my grandfather’s old letters helped me see their lives in a whole new light.

Searching for the Nazi Who Saved My Mother’s Life

Among my family’s many wartime secrets is the story of the SS officer who rescued my mother as a toddler. I fixated on learning more about his surprising act of kindness.