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Reunion: A Search for Ancestors Kindle Edition

168 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Littrell brings the reader along as he researches, travels, meets distant cousins, and uncovers the history of his family....Reunion is an interesting and well-written book." (Leslie Lang, Talk Story Press)

"I loved this book. Ryan writes with great emotion and love of family....His experience with newfound cousins in Scotland who are willing to sit and talk is completely consistent with my own experience. I'm asking my children and older grandchildren to read it ASAP." (Mark MacDonald, National Historian of Clan Donald USA)

"Reunion: A Search for Ancestors is a fascinating story that is hard to put down." (Denise B. Olson, Moultrie Creek Books)

About the Author

Ryan Littrell grew up in Chatham, Illinois and attended Northwestern University, Harvard University, and Boston College. He lives in Austerlitz, New York, and Reunion is his first book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2960 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 098834100X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 6, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009WZGOU4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ryan Littrell grew up in Chatham, Illinois and attended Northwestern University, Harvard University, and Boston College. He lives in Austerlitz, New York, and "Reunion" is his first book.

To find out more, please check out his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AuthorRyanLittrell) or his website (www.RyanLittrell.com).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Melinda on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a writer! This book has a mesmerizing ability to combine history of Scotland, how-to-do genealogy research, and tell a story- all at the same time. Littrell has the ability to make one feel like they are in the Highlands, that you can see the surroundings that are there, and were there hundreds of years ago.

One feels first hand how it feels to be a Clan member and see the connection of us in the 21st century to those in the 17th century. After this book is read, you will want to find more about your ancestors, to bring their stories into the present. Littrell does, in fact, show one how to do genealogy study by describing in story-like fashion how he went about putting the pieces together.

Do yourself a favor- read this book, and discover your own family stories!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
This well-written page turner has started me asking myself what my ancestors and their lives were like. What adventures, celebrations, tragedies did they experience? Some of my ancestry is already known, but some of it isn't and I'm eager now to start learning more about my family! Thanks, Ryan, for such a fabulous book!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By CTHomeOffice on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Like many people, I've always been curious about where I came from and what role my ancestors played in history. For Ryan Littrell, that curiosity turned into a personal search for answers. Mixing genealogy, history and a quest for personal discovery, Littrell's Reunion is a great read that allowed me to join in his search and, maybe, inspire my own. Thanks for a great read.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Emerald Queen on March 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an unusual book, the title being a bit misleading since this author is only searching for his Mc/MacDonald ancestors. But he does give a lot of information that is valuable to any new genealogist. Such as the difficulty in searching our ancestors with the same first and last name- generation after generation, the most aggravating thing about ancestors! He also brings to the fore the unusual spellings of an ancestors name and how it can totally change, and yet be of the same bloodline - for example, another surname which actually is Mc/MacDonald is McDaniel.
I personally discovered 30 years ago that the surname spelling of one side of my ancestors changed spelling in the midst of my great grandfather spewing out children in the 1890s. Half of the kids were registered under one surname, the other half were recorded at the County Office in Michigan by a slightly different spelling. And earlier than that, in the 1600s, the spelling of my ancestors' surname was different again.
This author also brings up that in the USA all births, deaths, marriages, etc., are recorded ONLY in the local Counties where the events happen. As a Western Canadian, where all vital statistics are kept at the Department of Vital Statistics in the Provincial capital, it came as a real shock to me to discover that in Central and Maritime Canadian provinces, and in all of the USA, vital statistics records are kept at County offices. This makes tracking down ancestors who moved from one County to another, or one State to another, very difficult and expensive to track.
The book also brings to the fore how female DNA is not particularly important in searching for direct ancestors, but male DNA (the Y- Chromosome) is.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bitter Lawyer on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Reunion follows the efforts of one man to trace his family line back through foggy memories and inherited myths to the true historical fact of his distant ancestors. Littrell's prose is pleasing to read. It is clear and evocative without being pretentious. His passion for the project is obvious and infectious, and while genealogy buffs will get the most out of this story, almost anyone can identify with the need to know who we are and where we come from.

The book alternates between chapters told by the author and chapters told by an unnamed ancestor, each of them reaching out to the other over decades of time. More cynical readers might find this tactic to be a bit gimmicky, but it's a clever way to incorporate background information on history and culture without sounding like a pedantic college professor lecturing to a room of sleepy students.

The modern sections read like a mystery novel, as the author uncovers clues and hints as to who his predecessors might be. Admittedly this is more intellectual detective work than the gun-toting gumshoe kind - the author spends most of his time driving to tiny towns and rifling though dusty documents and microfilm - but the process is still an interesting one. Each crumbling will or wrinkled land deed adds another puzzle piece to the jigsaw. Modern science and DNA also play a part, yet another way to explore one's family history. It is easy to surmise that cheek swabs and spiraling helixes will play more and more of a role in these sorts of quests, replacing the traditional document search.

Some readers will undoubtedly find these sections a bit dry.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have given this book 5 stars as it captured such personal meaning and sincere interest to me as a Scottish descendant. The book tells us of the blessed history of Scotland and takes us back to our home country in a way that felt like I was ever-present and in the moment every step of the way. I truly enjoyed how the author alternates between the past and present to give a much broader and intimate view of his family's incredible journeys. I commend Mr. Littrell for his perseverance and passion in seeking the answers to the historic question "where did I come from". The DNA research that Mr. Littrell and his family members accessed has me intrigued and wanting to seek out the same answers of my ancestry. This book motivates me and leaves me wanting to dig deep into my Scottish roots and learn as much as I can about where my clan started... I am proud to be an ancestor of Clan Mackay and that of my husband's Clan Brine just as the author should be proud to say he is of Clan McDonald! This is a definite read for anyone who is interested in |finding their way back home"...Tapadh leibh (Thank-you) for allowing me the opportunity to review your well-researched and well-written Reunion! Slàinte!(less)
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