Author Claudia Breland has never actually lived in Michigan, but fell in love with Beulah as a young child on one of her many visits throughout the years.
In researching this book, Breland drew on her passion for genealogy and family history, first sparked in 1971 when she received file folders of her grandfather Maurice Reed, which contained birth, marriage and death certificates, family trees, typewritten stories, letters, and newspaper clippings.
Breland became a professional genealogist in 2009 with clients from around the world. She has lectured on the topic in Washington, Canada and at the National Genealogical Society conference. She is an avid user of DNA and has solved over 25 cases of unknown parent and grandparent puzzles. Breland recently solved a 45-year mystery, using DNA genetic networks to find her great-grandfather, a Civil War deserter and considered a black sheep of the family. She also investigated the 1883 murder of his wife and discovered there could have been a financial motive. This is her sixth book.