Hello! I’m Anastasia Finch, a former youth services librarian currently living in Southern California. I’ve been researching my family history for about five years.

So Many Beginnings is my family history / house history research home base, where I’ll write about my genealogical research, webinars and classes I attend, conferences and meetups, books and articles I read, and so on. I hope that by sharing my family history research with you, I’ll be able to inspire your own research!

And of course, if you’re a distant relative…welcome!

About my family

All my family were immigrants from other countries; the Briners from Germany (unknown date), Vespas from Italy (1900s), Finchs/Kwiecinskis from Poland (then part of Russia) (1880s?), and the Lathrops from Germany (unknown date). I’m still in the early stages of research and don’t want to get anything wrong, so I’m taking it slow. So far I’ve gotten back to the 1870s and feel moderately sure about what I’ve found, but I have a long way to go.

Right now I’m focusing on my mother’s side of the family, the Briners and Vespas. They were mostly located along the east coast of the United States, particularly in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. My grandparents, great-grandparents, and much of my extended family were deeply involved in the Christian church and missionary work. I’ve been working on tracking down their movements in the 1930s-1990s and creating a timeline for that.

My father’s side of the family, the Finches (alias Kwiecinski) and Lathrops, are centered around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. I’m currently working on a timeline for the Finch/Kwiecinski line, as I’m particularly interested in finding out more about the name change (which happened in the 1920s, as far as I can tell).

I’m also dabbling in my step-father’s family line, which includes Courvilles and Lathrops. The Courvilles are from Louisiana (and eventually France when you go back far enough), and the Lathrops are from Pennsylvania (later moved to the West). Due to a distant DNA match many cousins away, my hypothesis is that his Lathrops are somehow related to my Lathrops. We’re still working on the exact line through.


  • B.A. English, University of New Mexico, 2010.
  • Master’s Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, 2018.
  • Genealogy Jamboree attendee 2016-2019.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • Southern California Genealogical Society
  • Association of Professional Genealogists (lapsed)