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May I Introduce To You . . . Rachael Rifkin

Rachel Rifkin - Family Resemblance blog

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Rachael Rifkin and her blog, Family Resemblance, described as, “. . . A blog about the traits we pass down, whether genetically or environmentally, and the qualities we only find in ourselves. Also features selections from the blogger’s grandfather’s Korean War memoir, aka the book that started her interest in family history. For more information, go here: About Rachael.”

About Rachael

Rachael Rifkin is a ghostwriter/personal historian who blogs about her family and grandfather’s Korean War memoir at Family Resemblance. Her favorite things are reading, random acts of kindness, high fives, playing with her dogs, and laughing with her husband.  Rachael was born in Los Angeles, CA and currently lives in Long Beach, CA.

How Rachael Got Started in Genealogy

Rachael has been doing genealogy for about five years now, “. . . I fell in love with family history when I found my grandfather’s Korean War memoir. I was 26 when I read it for the first time and my grandfather was 27 when he wrote it. It was a really amazing experience. I felt like I had been given the opportunity to get to know him as a peer. And I discovered we had a lot of similarities, from the way we wrote to our thoughts on the world. These were things that I thought were unique only to me. Knowing that they weren’t made me feel really connected to my grandfather.”

Rachael’s Thoughts on Blogging

“My grandparents kept, well, everything. Among the piles of stuff, there were tons of family letters. One day I decided to match up the family members my grandfather had mentioned in his memoir to the people who sent letters. As I did, I started to get to know the different personalities and where they fit in the family tree.

I eventually went even further, tracking down and meeting living descendants (all descended from the same six siblings). Throughout this journey, certain similarities kept popping up. There’s a lot of doctors, lawyers, writers, musicians, worrywarts and procrastinators in our family. Most of the women can make this weird back-of-the-throat noise. There’s quite a few lefties, etc.

Though I hadn’t met any of my second and third cousins before, we all carried traces of the habits and traits of those six original siblings. I thought it might be interesting to identify and trace those habits and traits, and then blog about it.

I also wanted to get some selections from my grandfather’s Korean War memoir out into the world. He spent 30 years trying to publish it, to no avail. It’s time his writing got a few more readers.”

Rachael’s Tip for New Bloggers

“Find an interesting angle and go for it!”

Rachael’s Favorite Blog Post(s)

“The one about my mom’s death. It was the most painful one for me to write, but also the most important/cathartic. My next favorite is a post I haven’t finished writing yet. In it, I will describe (and then compare) how three generations—my grandparents, parents, and my husband and I—met and fell in love.”

Rachael’s Time with the Ancestors

“Both too much and not enough.”

Rachael’s Favorite Ancestor(s)

“My great-great grandmother Paula/Pesha Henya. I’m just going to let her daughter Mildred’s words (taken from a letter she wrote to my grandfather on July 26, 1983) speak for themselves, ‘My mother did many things. She was a midwife. She taught children Hebrew. Had she went to college, she could have been a good doctor. If anyone displaced a shoulder, arm, leg or back, she was able to put it back into place without an x-ray.’”

How Genealogy Has Improved Rachael’s Life

“I feel more connected to my family. In general, I look more for the similarities than the differences in people.”

What Rachael Loves Most About Genealogy

“The research, discoveries, and meeting relatives I never knew I had.”

Rachael’s Time Capsule Message

“The more you learn about your family, the more you learn about yourself. So spend time with your family and record their stories while you’re all still young.”


Please take a moment to head on over to Rachael’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Rachael, it’s great to have you here!

© 2013, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her grandchildren! Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

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