Monday, January 14, 2013

Reunion: A Search for Ancestors by Ryan Littrell

Genealogy enthusiasts often talk about putting their family histories in writing. The truth is that few actually take the time to do so. The excitement of the next great research discovery always seems to distract us.

Ryan Littrell is one genealogist who did take the time to pen his ancestral tale. He shares it with us in Reunion: A Search for Ancestors.

Littrell’s own immediate family history is a familiar one: Midwestern background with no discussion of family roots growing up. The author’s own curiosity led to the discoveries that fuel this book.

Reunion is actually two separate stories moving in time toward each other to become one. Littrell shares his own quest to move backward in his family tree starting with his grandmother. At the same time, Littrell introduces readers to the MacDonalds of Scotland hundreds of years ago. He brings their story toward the present day while taking his own MacDonalds back in time. Do they meet? Will Littrell make the connection? That’s the hook in Reunion.

Armchair genealogists will appreciate and relate to the author’s research trials and tribulations. Courthouse strikeouts, cemetery wanderings and chance meetings with cousins are all present.

Littrell’s search for the “right” MacDonalds leads him to test his own family DNA. Through this he reaches out to and connects with other MacDonalds. This makes for interesting reading, though those unfamiliar with the DNA process may be confused by the scientific descriptions.

No two personal genealogy memoirs are the same, and they run the gamut in terms of readability and quality. Littrell does it right combining research, road trips, history and colorful descriptions of the MacDonald homeland. If you like books about the thrill of the genealogy hunt, Reunion will fit nicely on your shelf. (author's official website)
Reunion Paperback at $12.99 (affiliate link)
Reunion Kindle at $4.99 (affiliate link)


  1. Thanks for the recommendation, Amy! I look forward to adding Reunion to my bookshelf.

  2. Thanks for the pointer to this book. Downloaded last night & had to force myself to stop reading.

  3. I've been looking for a book like this to read. Will be adding it shortly.

  4. Since we're talking family history, Amy... We may be related. I have the Coffin name in my line. :-)