6 episodes

Mary Duffy is the Genealogy Detective, solving your family's mysteries and telling your stories. Each episode we'll investigate a new case: unearthing family secrets, finding long-lost cousins, uncovering origins with research or DNA, and proving whether the legends your grandmother handed down are true.

The Genealogy Detective Mary Duffy

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 36 Ratings

Mary Duffy is the Genealogy Detective, solving your family's mysteries and telling your stories. Each episode we'll investigate a new case: unearthing family secrets, finding long-lost cousins, uncovering origins with research or DNA, and proving whether the legends your grandmother handed down are true.

    Moby and Herman: Part Three - The Chase

    Moby and Herman: Part Three - The Chase

    We bring our investigation to a close, tracing Moby's tree back to Scotland and talk through all of Herman Melville's own family's ancestral hopes. 


    Gregor Ehrlich
    Background on Herman Melville’s genealogy and Thomas and Allan Melvill’s attempt to prove their relation to General Robert Melvill comes several sources, including: 
    “Data on the Melvill Family,” the research put together by Allan Melvill, courtesy of the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
    Herman Melville's Malcom Letter, (Hennig Cohen and Donald Yannella, 1992)
    “Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: Melville,” (ed. Cuyler Reynolds, 1911)
    Jean F. Melvill, “Melvill Genealogy,” Melville Society Extracts Number 95, December 1993
    Merton Sealts Jr., “The Melvill Heritage,” Harvard Library Bulletin XXXIV (4), Fall 1986
    Hershel Parker, Herman Melville: A Biography (Volume 1), 1996
    John Bryant’s biography of Herman Melville is Herman Melville: A Half-Known Life (2021)
    Melville lineage back to 13th century from Sir Robert Douglas’ The Baronage of Scotland (1798)
    Letters between Allan and Thomas Melvill about their ancestry and heritage are collected in “Data on the Melvill Family” (Berkshire Athenaeum)
    Descendants of David Melvill of Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island, Helen S. Ullmann, 2021
    David Melville’s (1776-1793) pewter porringer and plate are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
    Wikipedia page for David Melville (1773-1856), inventor of the first gas street lighting. For more information see Daniel W. Mattausch, “David Melville And The First American Gas Light Patents,” Rushlight Journal, December 1998
    Herman Melville, Redburn (1849)
    For more about Herman Melville’s choice of names for his children, and particularly Malcolm, see Herman Melville's Malcolm Letter: Man's Final Love, by Hennig Cohen and Donald Yanella (1993)
    Moby discussing Moby-Dick from a video made for LA Library Foundation
    Music by Blue Dot Sessions and Breakmaster Cylinder. Special thanks to John Bryant, Hap Hall, Elizabeth Doss and Gregor Ehrlich. 

    • 41 min
    Moby and Herman: Part Two - Cutting In

    Moby and Herman: Part Two - Cutting In

    Our research into Moby's ancestry begins in earnest and leads to a Melville ancestor.  
    Notes:
    LA Times article about the LA Library Foundation event from September 2013
    Moby discussing Moby-Dick from a video made for LA Library Foundation
    Read Moby-Dick if you dare
    Moby discussing family from a video made for LA Library Foundation
    Moby talking about his grandmother from Porcelain (2016)
    Page from New Jersey marriage Index recording marriage of Alice B. Albridge and John M. Gardner
    Page from Massachusetts marriage index recording 1935 marriage of Alice Beverly Albridge
    Marriage record of Alice Beverly Albridge to John William Hall in April 1935 
    Obituary of John William Hall, San Bernardino County Sun, June 4, 1980
    Photos of Melville “Hap” Hall (used with permission)
    Family tree of John William Hall (1912–1980)
    Family tree of Herman Melville’s siblings and immediate descendants 
    Family tree of Clara Ellery Melville (1833-1909)
     
    Music by Blue Dot Sessions, closing theme Breakmaster Cylinder. 

    • 30 min
    Moby and Herman: Part One - Loomings

    Moby and Herman: Part One - Loomings

    My friend Adam brings a question to me: is Moby (aka Richard Melville Hall) really related to Moby-Dick author Herman Melville.

    Notes:
    A screenshot of Moby’s Wikipedia page, taken May 2023 Excerpt from the Afterword of Moby’s 2016 memoir, Porcelain (2016)
    Tweet from Moby (@thelittleidiot): “On this day in 1851…”
    Tweet from Moby (@thelittleidiot): “Happy Birthday Uncle Herman…”
    Background on Moby’s career was compiled from several sources including: 
    Moby’s memoirs Porcelain (2016) and Then It Fell Apart (2019);
    Grayson Haver Currin, “All That Moby Needs to Be Good,” NPR, May 22, 2020
    Rob Gordon Bralver documentary, Moby Doc (2021)  
    Clip from “Rave Dancing the Night Away,” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 13, 1992 
    Clip from “Moby Bright Spot in a Colorless World,” Los Angeles Times, January 18, 1993
    Clip from “Moby: Remixed, repulsed, reborn,” Hartford Courant, March 12, 1995
    Video of Moby’s segment with Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards
    Clips of Moby discussing his childhood from Moby Doc (2021)
    Obituary of James Frederick Hall, Bridgewater Courier News, September 26, 1967
    Clip of Moby discussing childhood in San Francisco, taking LSD from Porcelain (2016)
    Clip of Moby talking about his nickname from an interview with Steve Paikin on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin
    Melville’s family tree of direct descendents, taken from Hershel Parker’s Herman Melville: A Biography, Volume 2 (1851-1891) 
    “Metaphors? I hate metaphors…” clip from Parks and Recreation episode “Fluoride” (Season 6, Episode 8)
    “Though I wrote the Gospels in this century…” quote from Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, June [1?], 1851
     
    Music by Blue Dot Sessions, closing theme Breakmaster Cylinder. 

    • 28 min
    Boris and Hannah

    Boris and Hannah

    Hannah's grandfather always said their family was related to Boris Pasternak. The Genealogy Detective digs for proof, and teaches herself the Cyrillic alphabet. 
    Credits
    The Genealogy Detective is written, researched, produced, edited, mixed, and hosted by Mary Duffy.

    Music by Blue Dot Sessions.

    Special thanks to the Portland Public Library of Portland, Maine. 

    • 23 min
    Mariel and Ilona

    Mariel and Ilona

    Mariel never knew her grandmother Ilona, a Holocaust survivor, or about Ilona's parents, siblings, and extended family. But she's in a place in her life where questions about her family and their history have begun to take on new importance. In this episode we find some answers. 

    Credits
    The Genealogy Detective is written, researched, produced, edited, mixed, and hosted by Mary Duffy.

    Music by Blue Dot Sessions.

    Special thanks to Doree Shafrir, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, JewishGen.org, Ekkies and Squish.

    Interviews of Rose Ringel (1996) and Albert Rosenthal (2000) are from the archive of the USC Shoah Foundation. For more information visit http://sfi.usc.edu.

    • 31 min
    The Genealogy Detective

    The Genealogy Detective

    Most of us live securely in the knowledge of who our parents are, our uncles, aunts, cousins, our grand-parents and great-grandparents. How can we define who we are, unless we know where we came from, and who we came from? Some of us are still searching for those answers. And every family has their own legends, stories, myths, and also, mysteries. Solving family mysteries is what I do. I’m Mary Duffy, and on each episode of The Genealogy Detective we’ll hear a new case and how it got solved. Please join me and subscribe to The Genealogy Detective. And if you have a family mystery you’d like solved, email me, the genealogy detective at detectivegenealogy@gmail.com

    The first episode drops on Halloween.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

nancymil ,

Ya had me at ‘genealogy’!

I am an amateur genealogy detective myself and my maiden name was Duffy… sold😁!
Besides all that irrelevance, the true stories appear well-researched and well-narrated.
Recommend!!!

SueT1983 ,

Genealogy

I found this just today … and enjoyed listening to all available episodes! I have a couple of mysteries that have me baffled in my own search. It’s nice to hear that some mysteries can be solved.

Sick and Tired of You ,

Love this!!! So we’ll done!

I just got into genealogy. I’ve been listening to podcasts on this subject. Yours is unique. I hope you keep at this. Your wonderful!

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