5 years ago on social media a sudden influx of genealogy memes appeared that only a genealogist—by trade or by interest—would find funny. These memes then and now share inside jokes that create and fill a unique genealogical niche. Styles have changed a bit and political relevancy has crept in, but there is always that ironic humor to enjoy.
Finding the author
A fan of Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches early on and through the years, I couldn’t help but wonder who is the brilliant genea mind behind Twisted Twigs? So I asked.
Deidre Erin Denton cheerfully revealed herself and replied to my request to interview her. We arranged a call time, and my opportunity presented itself to hear the creator’s voice.
A Personal Story
Preferring to be called Deidre Erin, a nice Irish name if ever there was one, I asked her what brought about the birth of the genealogical humor of Twisted Twigs? She shared that she was living with her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Her parents were divorced with her father in California and brother nearby but struggling with personal issues; she alone cared for her mother. A longtime genealogy researcher, Deidre Erin spent a lot of time at home, on the computer, and involved with genealogy. Her own struggle while living with her mother’s isolating illness developed into a humorous voice for herself and for the genea world.
Five years later Deidre Erin’s mother is now passed away, and “The Detroit Genealogist,” left Michigan. She changed her address, her life, and her memories to take and base her genealogical life and business in the Washington, D. C. area.
Deidre Erin is enthusiastic about her public presence through Twisted Twigs; she sees her memes as a means of “spreading the [genealogical] message. Her memes, in fact, are cloaked in socially embraced humor, and the underlying messages preach pithy principles in a sound bite. Obviously, her message is popular. In 2014 she was followed on Facebook by 15,000, while today Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches claims 34,390 likes producing 25-100 emails per day.
Twisted Twigs Genealogy, Deidre Erin’s research company, currently suffers the growing pains of a burgeoning business. While enthusiastic about her own genealogy research, her clients also experience her generous enthusiasm. Continuing to be known as the “GraveyardRabbit” and “Li’l Miss Go Get ‘Em”, researches and acts as a Records Retrieval specialist at the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) and other repositories in the D. C. area. Increasing her staff is a current priority. She can be reached through her website http://twistedtwigsgenealogy.com/ or her Facebook page of the same name.
Happy 5th Anniversary, Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches—and thank you, Deidre Erin Denton, for all the laughter and learning.