About Me

Hello! I am Colleen G. (Brown) Pasquale, author of this blog. I am a wife, mother of three grown children, Nana & retired elementary school teacher. I live in rural New York State but I am often traveling to research our family or to visit our children and grandchildren who live in other states.

Are you a cousin? You will find lots of family data, stories & photographs of our shared family members. You will read about how I uncovered that information. Check my SURNAMES & PLACES to see if we are related. And, if you contact me, I might write a post about our connection.

Are you a family history enthusiast? You will find lots of tips in my posts. I post about helpful books, cemeteries, maps, websites and libraries. I also post about my research trips. I have searched in various Pennsylvania historical societies, the library in Salt Lake City, several southern states and Ireland. When I attend genealogy conferences I post about the experience. Look at my RESOURCES tab for websites that I have found useful for various states. Look at MY LIBRARY for books about various states & counties. Maybe you can learn from my experiences.

I am the person in the family who pesters everyone for family stories, memorabilia and photos. I love genealogy, photography, quilting & mostly, my family! I didn’t realize genealogy existed until about 1990, when I came across and purchased a book titled: Do People Grow on Family Trees? Genealogy for Kids and Other Beginners, by Ira Wolfman. I learned I could discover more about my family than just the stories. I had always thought family history was an oral history; stories told by family members and passed on to new generations. I grabbed a notebook and trotted off to the local Family History Library where I learned about microfilm and microfiche. That was just the beginning of many research trips. If you see a lady with a camera around her neck, notebook in hand & cassette recorder in her pocket, that's me.

Like my blog? Become a follower, write a comment & tell others to stop by.

Questions? My email is found below. I will do my best to answer you promptly.

My Publications:

  • Pasquale, Colleen. The Mark Family Story.Troy, New York: Troy Book Makers, 2011. Print. 
  • Pasquale, Colleen. Remembrances. Troy, New York: Troy Book Makers, 2016. 

My Website: 

 Our Leaves & Branches 

Contact me:

Are you a cousin?  contact me. <cgbp [at] nycap.rr.com> Let’s share & compare. 

Who am I?
I am a small part of a wonderful family; wife, mother, sister, cousin, aunt,…
I am the result of a long line of strong, independent women.
I am a descendent of an Irish baker, a Western Union telegrapher & a Mississippi wheelwright.
I am a collector of postcards, family memorabilia, photographs and ancestors.
I am an enjoyer of holidays and traditions.
I am a gatherer of letters & documents, of names & dates.
I am an organizer who likes folders and paper and pens in many colors.
I am a journaler, a scribbler, a would be novelist.
I am someone who learns and grows; who teaches and shares.
I am a traveler, an explorer of new places.
I am a beach walker, a seashell collector, a wave splasher.
I am a photographer, trying to preserve today for tomorrow.
I am a lover of color & texture, of fabrics and threads and quilts.
I am a grower of pink roses, white baby’s breath and yellow marigolds.
I pamper my cats and feed the birds.
I laugh and cuddle with children.
I reread favorite books, enjoying the visit with the characters.
I light candles and whisper prayers.
I gaze at stars and imagine.
I love and dream and wonder.
I am a small part of a marvelous universe.

Colleen G (Brown) Pasquale

Where am I From?

I am from a red wagon, a rope swing, a fat pitcher of icy Kool Aid; from fields of wild flowers and the shady woods.
I am from a small town, a red brick school, quiet, settled, beside the Hudson River.
I am from apple trees, corn fields and neighborly mountains.
I am from family picnics, Scout uniforms, marching in parades, flags and freckles, dogs with wagging tails and piles of laughing cousins.
I am from mechanics and farmers; independent and ingenious.
I am from soldiers and carpenters; straight and strong.
I am from women who cooked and cuddled; who hung out laundry and encouraged dreams.
I am from mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles: working & joking, reassuring & inspiring.
I am from Rosary beads, altar boys and flickering candles in the peaceful darkness.
I am from Irish Coyles; from German Marks; from colonial Browns and American apple pie.
I am from a Jewish telegrapher, an Irish baker, an Ohio carpenter and a Mississippi wheelwright.
I am from weathered tombstones, faded photographs and a dented steamer trunk.
I am from a family tree with deep roots, a sturdy trunk and branches that reach to the future.

Colleen G (Brown) Pasquale


  1. Colleen, this is beautiful. What a rich heritage you have! I especially love the imagery in your words.

  2. I love your descriptions of your roots within your "I am from.." poem, Colleen. Wonderful!

  3. Colleen, I just found this, and I want to tell you how beautiful your thoughts and written words are!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Victor Alford here.
    I am grandson of Edwin Alford.
    Revisiting your site and have found it to be fantastic.
    Thanks for all that you have done. Regards

    1. Hello, cousin! I am excited to hear from you. I have more information that is not posted here. I'd love to know your connection to the family. If you'd like to share & compare,


  6. Hi Colleen,

    Joan Maley here. I am the Great x2 Granddaughter of Isaac & Isabella (Fisher)Ritter. My Great Grandfather was Anthony Casper and my Grandfather Harvey Ritter. My Mother was his daughter Donna Ritter. I am interested in anything you can tell me about that side of the family. It appears the Ritter's settled here in the 1770's if I am not mistaken. If you have a chance sometime, send me an email. I would love to trade information altough not sure what I could offer you. You have much of it covered already. I did make it out to Salem Cemetery where they have Ritter Row and Isaac and Isabella are buried there. I was thrilled to find them especially when my Mother was still alive. Here is my email. jmaley07@yahoo.com

    Thank you for such beautiful words on your blog and all the information so organized. Joan


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers,