A Quest to Discover the Hidden Past

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When Anne Hanson’s dad first asked her to investigate the secret past of his parents, little did she know what she was getting into. For two decades, despite all her digging, she failed to unearth even the tiniest speck of evidence that the families of her grandparents, Frank and Ida Hanson, had ever existed. If her quest were a detective novel, its title would have been, “The Case of the Missing Ancestors.”

Finally, Anne unearthed her grandparents’ true identities and the secrets they took to their graves. Journeying into an early twentieth century drama of pain and heartache, she solved a mystery from an era when a young couple, thwarted by social conventions, could simply vanish and create new lives. They radically altered their family destiny, with aftereffects that reverberated for generations.

Yet Buried Secrets: Looking for Frank and Ida is, ultimately, a love story. When she learned the truth of her grandparents’ past, Anne comprehended the true depth of their love. Buried Secrets also illuminates the love between a dad and the daughter who gave him answers he had longed for his entire life.

Book Available in Paperback and eBook

Available at Ingram for wholesale purchases.

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Praise for the Book

“Buried Secrets is as suspenseful as a detective novel,” according to the Akron Beacon Journal. You can read the full review by clicking the button below.

My book was literary pick of the week in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press newspaper!

KMPH TV Fresno, Great Day Book Club, Oct 24, 2022

Hanson interweaves her engaging personal account … with fictionalized vignettes from various times in her grandparents’ lives, which give the memoir a novelistic dimension … it’s an intriguing journey through the world of genealogical sleuthing.

—Kirkus Reviews

Anne Hanson’s beautifully written memoir mystery is full of interesting characters, intrigue, and surprises. It’s a page-turner that will captivate readers from beginning to end. A great read!

—Elaine Tyler May, Author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

What a pleasure to read a book of discovery that moves forward like a true mystery whodunnit. It was hard to put down, so eager was I to find out what happened.

—David Rowland, President, Old York Road Historical Society

I find Anne Hanson’s Buried Secrets a rich journey through one family’s history. While details differ, however, I think all families share the complexities of past relationships that have come through generations and, without explanation, have given each generation its peculiar character. Buried Secrets brings to life past family members and the process of discovery with clarity.

This book does not easily fit into any neat category. It is concurrently a mystery story, a social history, and an examination of family complexities, for starters. Perhaps the core of this story, the glue that holds it together, is the narrator’s reflection “I have learned that the price of a deep and profound love is an equally deep pain upon its loss.” Its celebration of love even in difficult circumstances is powerful.

—Tom Woodward, Retired English teacher of forty-four years at Westtown Friends School

Past Event Highlights

buried secrets anne hanson book launch photos

Book Launch Party

New Britain Public Library program—Feb. 18, 2023

Podcast Appearances

In the April 17 edition of the Extreme Genes genealogy podcast, Anne spoke with host Scott Fisher about how she wrote Buried Secrets. You can listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Anne was recently the featured guest on the Journeys into Genealogy podcast of British family historian Emma Cox. You can listen at the following URL, or wherever you get your podcasts:

Journeys into Genealogy podcast

Anne also wrote a guest blog post for Emma, which you can read HERE


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Old York Road Historical Society

Author talk and reading
7 PM

Abington Friends Meeting
John Barnes Room, 520 Meetinghouse Road, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Abington Township Public Libraries

Author talk and reading

1030 Old York Road
Abington, PA

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Panel Member for Webinar: Writing and Self-Publishing Your Family History

3:00 pm EDST

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

National Author’s Day, sponsored by SUNY Morrisville and Chenango County Historical Society

Author talk

SUNY Norwich Campus
20 Conkey Avenue
Norwich, New York

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Second Life Virtual Genealogical Society

Author talk and reading

4:30 pm PST/7:30 pm EST

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Devon Family History Society

Devon, UK

Author talk and reading (Zoom)

7:30 PM GMT (2:30 PM EST)

Event link to come

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Bucks County Genealogical Society

Buried Secrets: Looking for Frank and Ida — A Genealogical Webinar


Tuesday, January 16, 2024

St. Cloud Area Genealogists, Inc.
St. Cloud, MN

Buried Secrets: Looking for Frank and Ida — A Genealogical Webinar


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Author Talk

M.O.R.E. (MGC: Open Records & Education) (Virtual Event)


Thursday, April 4, 2024

New Britain Women’s Club

New Britain Women’s Club


Past Events

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Waterstone at the Circle

Author talk and reading (private event)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Public Library of Brookline

Author talk and reading
2 PM

361 Washington Street, Hunneman Hall, Brookline, Massachusetts

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Book club discussion (private event)
Malden, Massachusetts

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Goddard House, Brookline (private event)
2:30 PM

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Boston Public Library, Jamaica Plain Branch

Author talk and reading

30 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

For more information, contact [email protected]

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

The Public Library of Akron

True Crime Book Club (Virtual)
6:30 PM EDST

Zoom link to come

About the Author

Anne Hanson, an inveterate explorer of the unknown, has always followed when her curiosity beckoned. She crossed the ocean for her African Studies degree, and as a reporter would drive endless miles across town to get the story. Finally, when investigating her grandparents’ secrets, she journeyed into a bygone century, her vehicle painstaking and detailed research.

Anne has written for the Boston Globe and numerous newspapers, as well as for corporate publications and the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s American Ancestors magazine. Although she loathes first drafts, Anne loves whipping unfinished writing into shape.

When she is not sleuthing or writing, Anne, a lover of food, foreign languages, and local history, can often be found photographing plants and trees during open-air exercise sessions, or creating art with repurposed objects. During the day, she works for a software company. Her favorite authors include English novelists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries such as Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, and Barbara Pym.

A Wesleyan University graduate, Anne grew up in suburban Philadelphia, where she attended Quaker schools. She now lives with her husband just outside Boston, Massachusetts.

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Contact the Author

For questions, comments, or to schedule a book club appearance, please complete the form below. Anne will respond within two business days. Thanks!

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Book Available in Paperback and eBook