Blogs are traditionally presented in reverse chronological order, which makes it easy to find the most recent post. However, Project Lizzie is an ongoing story. Therefore, if you’re interested in starting from the beginning, this is the place to start. Please find all of our blog posts listed in the order they were published.

  1. c/o M.C.A Cigar Company: Fifty-four of the eighty-six cards addressed to Lizzie were sent to her in care of the “M.C.A. Cigar Company.” Who was this company? Did she work there?
  2. Lizzie Milligan: Lady Boss: Not only did Lizzie work at the a cigar factory, but she was also the boss.
  3. Lizzie Milligan: Mom and Widow: The 1910 United States Federal Census lists Lizzie as a widow with a young son. Who was she married to? When did he die?
  4. Lizzie Nestor Marries Patrick Milligan: We found the marriage records for Elizabeth Nestor and Patrick Milligan.
  5. The Nestor Family: Now that we know Lizzie’s maiden name (Nestor) we found two more things: her family and her baptismal records.
  6. A Baby Boy: Edward Milligan: Edward Milligan was born on March 24, 1886, almost 9 months to the date of Lizzie’s marriage to Patrick.
  7. A Family of Cigar Makers: Lizzie married a cigar maker and worked at a cigar factory. It looks like her brother-in-law and sister are in the business too. Coincidence?
  8. Immigration Shenanigans?: Inconsistencies in fifty years of census records make us wonder if the Milligan family was playing some sort of immigration game.
  9. When did Lizzie leave us?: “The problem with stories like this,” my friend said, “is that we know how they end.” An analysis of Lizzie’s various addresses provides clues as to where we might find her death certificate.
  10. Death Certificate: Lizzie Milligan: Lizzie’s Death Certificate tells us much more about her, including the location of her grave site.
  11. Mystery Solved: My Connection to Lizzie Milligan: Sometimes research leads us in a different direction than the one intended. This happy accident linked Lizzie to me.
  12. What’s up with Edward?: A series of clues lead us to wonder about Edward Milligan’s condition.
  13. Finding Lizzie’s Grave Site: Clues lead us to Lizzie’s grave site where we learn of a tragic story twist.
  14. The Death of Patrick Milligan: Tragedy strikes as Lizzie loses her 30-year-old husband to a terrible disease.
  15. Did Patrick work at the Cigar Factory?: Two new clues link Patrick to the M.C.A. cigar factory…or do they?
  16. Finding Lizzie’s Obit: A journey to the Malden Public Library leads us to Lizzie’s obituary.
  17. The Dead Don’t Slam Doors: In a tale that proves that life is indeed stranger than fiction, Ron’s attempt to contact one of Lizzie’s relatives goes horribly awry.
  18. The Death of Edward Milligan: Edward Milligan’s death certificate sheds light on previously asked questions and establishes a major directional change for Project Lizzie.
  19. The Cardinal Family: When Lizzie lost her husband, she turned to her sister and brother-in-law for help. She and Edward then moved in with the Cardinals.
  20. Ella Veronica Kinnally: The thing about researching postcards is that we tend to know more about recipients than senders. But could little tidbits listed on a few postcards lead us to understand the relationship between Lizzie and a particular sender? In this case, the answer is “Yes,” and the answer is amazing.
  21. Ellen (Nestor) Cardinal: Lizzie lived with her younger sister, Ellen, for over 50 years. In this post, we take a closer at her life.
  22. Lizzie’s Mom: Mary (Carroll) Nestor: We trace Lizzie’s family history back to 19th-century Ireland after finding her mother’s death certificate.
  23. June 1914: June was a pivotal month for those who lived in 1914. The future of the world hung in the balance as a series of poor decisions were bringing Europe to the brink of war. In this post, we take a look at what it might have been like for a 42 year-old Elizabeth Milligan, who’s draft-eligible son and nephew would have caused her to keep close tabs on the United States’ decision to enter into the European conflict.
  24. Bring Back “the Long S”: While reading the address on one of Lizzie’s postcards, we discovered an old handwritten character called “the long s.” In this post, we ask the question, “What if we brought ‘the long s’ back?”
  25. The Drowney Sisters: Thirteen of the ninety-nine Project Lizzie postcards are not addressed to Elizabeth Milligan. While four are addressed to known family members, nine of the postcards are addressed to four women with the same last name. This post seeks to understand, who are the Drowneys and why are their postcards in Lizzie’s deck?
  26. 6 Month Update: Lizzie’s Family Tree: Here’s an annotated family tree that shows my connection to Lizzie.
  27. My Inspiration for Project Lizzie: People always ask me why I’m doing this project. I thought I knew the answer until an interviewer turned the tables on me.
  28. Remember me to…: By studying the words on Lizzie’s postcards, we get some insight into the life and times in which she lived.
  29. Calling All Nestors: In an effort to find Lizzie’s living relatives, we take a closer look at her siblings: The Nestor family.
  30. The Cigar Connection Continues: While researching Lizzie’s brother, John, we learn of yet another cigar connection.
  31. Another Amazing Connection: G. W. Tarlson: A reader’s comment about the M.C.A. Cigar Company makes Ron take a closer look at an 1894 invoice for 100 cigars. What he learns is an incredible connection.
  32. Edward Gerard Cardinal: The discovery of a High School Yearbook uncovers the first photograph of a Lizzie Milligan relative: her nephew, Edward G. Cardinal.
  33. Project Lizzie Interview on Genealogy Gems Podcast: Lisa Louise Cooke interviewed Ron Ploof on her Genealogy Gems podcast. But during the interview, she turned the tables on him by explaining his true motivation behind Project Lizzie.
  34. Lizzie’s Parish: Sacred Hearts Church, Malden: Lizzie moved to Malden, Massachusetts in 1914. She lived there for the next 58 years. One of the buildings that she would have spent time in was the Sacred Hearts Church, which we had the opportunity to visit in October 2014.
  35. Who is H-something Sachern?: Sometimes the answer to a question is easy to find. Other times, it requires a little luck.
  36. The Cardinal Family Grave: During my October visit to Malden Massachusetts, I stopped by Holy Cross Cemetery to find more grave sites. That’s where I found Lizzie’s sister, Ellen (Nestor) Cardinal…and a few more tidbits.
  37. Nestor Cardinal (1906-1945): Lizzie’s nephew, Nestor Cardinal, died at 39 years old in 1945. What can we learn about him?
  38. Edward Nestor (1861-1916): Lizzie’s oldest brother, Edward got married in Montreal, moved to New York City, where he supported his family as a waiter.