Our Mission – to serve kindred spirits in the areas of genealogy, local history research and vintage collecting by a) sharing our own “nearby history” research findings, b) curating similar work by others, c) providing recommendations on research resources, and d) selling hard-to-find and/or unique material artifacts that will enrich your projects and collections.
My journey to the Hometown History enterprise started about 40 years ago, when I was 11. At the time, I naively wanted to grow up to be a private detective like my TV hero, Jim Rockford. About the time that it dawned on me that Jimbo was constantly in harm’s way, I developed a less hazardous outlet for my investigative impulses, via genealogy. While working on the Boy Scout merit badge of the same name, my grandparents shared with me a treasured family heirloom, a book called Our Kindred: the McFarlan and Stern Families, of Chester County, Pa., and New Castle County, Del., published by our cousin Cyrus STERN in 1885. I developed a near-simultaneous interest in writing, which I satisfied through school journalism, part-time professional small-town journalism, and later through self-publishing.
So where are MY roots? Starting in close, I grew up in Martin’s Corner, a rural community in WestCalnTownship, Chester County, Pennsylvania, U. S. of A. Going about a mile down the road, a traveler comes to Hibernia Park, a 900-acre Chester County recreational venue, once the site of the Hibernia Iron Works, where I spent much of my childhood. Our high school was in the nearby city of Coatesville, where my father and his parents and grandparents had roots.
The newspapers for which I wrote over the years were The Village News (Coatesville, Pennsylvania), The Rambler (Honey Brook, Pennsylvania), and The Port Deposit Post (Port Deposit, Maryland). I addition to chronicling current events, I also occasionally researched and wrote about local history.
Information on my self-published works can be found here.
So what am I doing now, and what value can I offer to you?
I continue to research many local history stories, and I hope to address them all through my blog and possibly through some form of publication.
I am also frequently compelled to do micro-research on specific artifacts that I find in various places, and many of which I offer for sale – these are typically items which I can trace to a specific time and place and often to a company or individual.
I will also be sharing information on the resources that I use in my own research, including the many wonderful libraries, historical societies, archives, museums, cemeteries and other repositories that I have visited.
So please plan to come back to this website often to read my blog, check my links, and peruse my store. Hopefully you will find something you like!
Neal Kelso, Partner and Chief of Technology
I am a fellow adventurer and researcher, responsible for the design and maintenance of this website. I also acquire and curate some of the products featured in the store.
I am currently a student at Haverford College, majoring in biophysics.
Thanks for stopping by!