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Oct 1, 2021

Are you your family’s historian? The one that listens to all the elders' stories or digs into that big box of old family photographs? Ever wonder how many of your dad’s stories are really true? Or if you have a big family secret that hasn’t been revealed for generations? If so, this episode is for you! In celebration of National Archives Month, we’re talking to two accomplished family historians.

Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored, the state’s history magazine, interviews author Jill Marie Snyder. Snyder has a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in Communication from Fairfield University. Retired from a corporate career in the insurance industry, she's completed Boston University’s Principles of Genealogy course. Her book Dear Mary, Dear Luther, based on letters written between her parents, won the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Award for Nonfiction Romance/history in 2020. Jill will be teaching a workshop on “Telling Your Family Story, Putting it all together” on Oct 20, 2021 for the Ancient Burying Ground Association and Hartford Public Library. Register for the workshop on the Ancient Burying Ground Association’s Facebook page under events.

Our second guest is well-known Hartford Jazz musician and recording artist Orice Jenkins. He studied music at the Hartt School and has released four solo albums including the fantastic Centennial Cole: the Music of Nate King Cole in 2019. He teaches in his hometown of Hartford and tours nationally with the Afro-Semitic Experience. His website features his family history blog Chesta’s Children: a Collection of Stories, People, History, Records and Research.

Find out more about our guests at their websites,

Order Snyder’s book at

For more about family histories, read the stories in Connecticut Explored’s Family History issue here

For more on Connecticut’s African American history, visit our Topics page at

This episode was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan. Donohue as documented the built environment and pop culture for over 30 years. Contact her at

Subscribe to Connecticut Explored at