About Me

Hello! I am Colleen G. (Brown) Pasquale, author of this blog. I am a wife, mother of three grown children, Nana of four beautiful children & 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. Print.

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

  7. Hi Colleen --

    This is Denny (Micky) Mark... I'am the great, great, great and I think 1 more great grandson of Abraham Mark. Son of Denny B. Mark

    How has everything been ? Was curious if anyone of our families has take a DNA - ancestry match ?

  8. Cousin Denny, yes I have taken the Ancestry DNA. Contact me directly at
    and we can talk.


  9. If any family members want to get in touch -- my e-mail is messenger78@gmail.com
    I'am the great x4 grandson of Abraham Mark :D I'am Denny Brian Mark son of Denny B. Mark

  10. Colleen, I was at Troy Bookmakers yesterday looking for formatting ideas for my genealogy book and reviewed both of yours. They were wonderful, and gave me so many great ideas. Thank you so much for the inspiration!!

  11. hi, I have been looking everywhere for some information on w.j.fortenberry,I believe he was a planter back around 1867.he owned some land in oakvale,Ms. My dad owns that land and many years ago while he was disking up the front field, he came across several items like eyeglasses knives belt buckles.i start to learn the history of the land but my friend died unexpectedly. Could someone help me to learn more about the land and w.j.fortennberry.

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

  13. We are related. My ancestor William D Allen married Lydia Dillon, daughter of Lawrence Dillon.


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers. Note that I do not publish anonymous comments.