About This Blog

My Heritage

My name is Michelle Fontaine and I am the...
I am NOT Boston University genealogist and Mayflower descendant Michelle B. Fontaine.

My Research
When I started researching my family history a couple of years ago, I ran across an online photo of a relative of my grandmother (Vera Mann) and he was the spitting image of her. This is what really got me going. Why did this guy look so much like her? They seemed too distantly related. A year later I discovered they were related through two different Athol bloodlines. Recently, my husband, an avid tennis enthusiast and adopted, learned that his biological father was a professional tennis player. THIS is the kind of stuff that makes genealogy a blast!

Playing video games, soduku or reading fiction seems like such a waste of precious time. Studying history is great, but it's even better if it is YOUR history. Learning about where you came from gives you a lot of insight into who you are as a person--where you got your interests and your physical traits. It exercises your brain as you try and retain lots of names and dates. Mom says I'll "never get Alzheimers." Family research takes me on virtual journeys around the world as I study maps and town histories--without leaving my desk! The best reason for family research is the preservation of history and the memory of those long forgotten. This hasn't been done very well in the past, and it is a shame. My grandmother, who lost both of her parents by age 14, never discussed her family and I wonder if she knew how wonderful her grandfather was...or ANYTHING at all about the Mann family.

The Mann Family of Petersham
Both George S. and Horace Mann grew up in Petersham, MA.Their brother Wilson was a prominent citizen of Orange, MA. I had never heard of these men until I started my research in 2010. Sadly, I have never been to Athol...unless I was too young to remember. To date (2013) I have logged over 15 pages of Mann descendants--the youngest being born in May 2013.

Mann Memorial
This book contains the history of every Mann family in America, and it is the basis to my research. Thank God George Sumner Mann became a genealogy buff and that he took on such a huge project. Not everything is accurate, but I've found even legal documents aren't always correct, either. You can read the book online or download it.

Mann Memorial, 1884

Other Good Sources

More About Me
Originally from Asheville, NC, I have lived in Georgia since 1991. My husband Nelson and I don't have children, but manage to keep busy. I work from home as a graphic designer, but have many side hobbies (see my children's book.) Most of my free time is spent digging into the past through genealogy research.


  1. Love your site. We are cousins through Richard Man(Mann),and so glad to find you. My name is Keith Mann Spencer

    1. Excellent! Glad you are enjoying my blog!