Marilyn Gross has traveled around the country visiting courthouses, cemeteries, churches and libraries hot on the trail of her family's history.
She's found links in her lineage to a handyman who repaired a window for Thomas Jefferson at his 5,000-acre Monticello plantation; to the Spencer family which included the late Diana, Princess of Wales; and even to Pocahontas.
"I've always been interested in my family," Gross said. "I always wanted to hear all the family stories. As I got older, I wanted to find out what my family was doing in certain periods of history."
Gross, like many other seniors, has made a hobby out of genealogy, the study of families and the tracing of their lineage and history. Although Gross said she started to trace her family's roots before she was 30, most amateur genealogists don't pursue it until after retirement.
Read the rest of this story and others in the September issue of Active Times, inside the Sept. 12, 2011, edition of the News Tribune newspaper or view September's Active Times online.