TENANTS HARBOR — Kathleen Fox discusses her research and writing in a presentation entitled “Finding Your Roots is Not Always What You Expected” Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m. at Jackson Memorial Library, 71 Main St. Writing as Kathleen A. Earle, her “An Early History of the Wyoming Valley: The Yankee-Pennamite Wars & Timothy Pickering” releases April 18 through Arcadia Publishing. Fox chose to use her maiden name, “Earle,” as the book resulted from her search for Earle ancestors over the past few decades.

“Imagine my surprise when I found out [my ancestors] kidnapped a prominent Pennsylvania official, Timothy Pickering,” she said. “But the story is a good one, so I wrote a book about it. The Earles play a very minor part, but the time and events are fascinating.”

When Connecticut Yankees began to settle the Wyoming Valley in the 1760s, both the local Pennsylvanians and the powerful native Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) strenuously objected. The Connecticut Colony and William Penn had been granted the same land by King Charles II of England, resulting in the instigation of the Yankee-Pennamite Wars. In 1788, during ongoing conflict, a band of young Yankee ruffians abducted Pennsylvania official Timothy Pickering, holding him hostage for 19 days. Some kidnappers were prosecuted, and several fled to New York’s Finger Lakes as the political incident motivated state leaders to resolve the fighting. Bloody skirmishes, the American Revolution and the Sullivan campaign to destroy the Iroquois all formed the backdrop to the territorial dispute. Earle (Fox) covers the early history of colonial life, war and frontier justice in the Wyoming Valley.

Fox is an artist and native New Yorker whose ancestral roots go back to Pennsylvania. She is an author, artist, former professor and former director of research at the National Indian Child Welfare Association in Portland, Ore. She attended Cornell University and the Rockefeller College of the State University of New York–Albany, where she received a PhD in 1996. She has written and illustrated several award-winning children’s books and many peer-reviewed articles in the areas of mental health and child abuse. For several years, she taught at the University College Center in Rockland. She lives in Tenants Harbor with her husband, Stan.