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Stories from the Garden Shed

by Merrill Williams

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After discovering a trove of old family photos in her late mother’s garden shed, Williams embarks on a years-long genealogical search that leads back to her ancestors who arrived from England in the 1800s. Along the way, she learns their surprising stories, and her own.

Book Bytes:

"Two years after my mother's death spurred my genealogy search, I had filled in many blanks on my family tree. Before I knew it, I was spitting into a vial to submit a DNA sample to another online service that took my lineage far, far back into the mists of early history."

"I had expected that this tidal wave of information would be profoundly moving to me, but it wasn’t. However epic the scale of my genetic history was, it felt dreadfully impersonal. I had started my family history with the question, who am I? Was I supposed to be satisfied with the answer: J1c7?"

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About Merrill

Merrill Williams began her career in publishing as an editorial assistant at Vogue magazine in New York City. After relocating to California to raise a family, she joined the management team at a private athletic club, and a few years later was recruited by a nationally renowned resort as their director of public relations. When she retired from the hotel business, she moved to New England where she published and edited a regional food and lifestyle magazine. Finally retiring for good in 2009, she returned to California to be closer to her family.


Stories from the Garden Shed, a family history, is her first full-length book.

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