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Gathering Leaves – The Book

Gathering Leaves is more than just a history of my family. Its original working title was “How I Did It!” Besides all of the detail and footnotes, I hope to convey to the convey to the casual reader my tips and tricks for how anyone with access to the Internet can find their ancestors and connect with long-lost cousins. This began as a labor of … Continue reading Gathering Leaves – The Book

Dobbs v. Prothro

Yet again, I have solved another family history mystery and as usually happens upon solving one mystery, another mystery makes its ghostly presence known. Allow me to present The Case of Dobbs v. Prothro. The Dobbs in this case is David Judson Dobbs (1843-1877), my great, great-grandfather. The Prothro(s) being his brothers-in-law, Wilson and Gustavus Prothro – the brothers of my great, great-grandmother, Martha J. … Continue reading Dobbs v. Prothro

Two Dobbs Cousins

Two cousins on my mother’s-side were famous men in the first half of the 20th century, both living in Atlanta, Georgia. One was a sports figure during the silver-age of baseball and the other was an early civil rights activist. John Gordon Dobbs (June 3, 1875 – September 9, 1934) was the grandson of my great, great-grandfather’s eldest brother, he and my grandfather were 2nd … Continue reading Two Dobbs Cousins

Where It All Started…

According to the Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, Evan Prothro, my 5th great-grandfather on my mother’s side, was a soldier of the American Revolution. He served in the South Carolina militia during 1781 and was a hog driver during 1782. In those days, long before canning and refrigeration, hog drivers had the task of keeping the army provisioned with livestock. Following … Continue reading Where It All Started…

Kentucky Irish American

From the late 1890s to the late 1960s a newspaper called the Kentucky Irish-American was published in Louisville Kentucky. This is in the town that my grandmother was born in and that her parents and her parent’s parents lived in going back to the 1850s. This newspaper catered primarily to the Irish Catholic community and through association, German Catholics and people who were loyal Democratic … Continue reading Kentucky Irish American

Christmas Eve 1874 in Manhattan’s Little Germany

A little while ago, I made the discovery that the family of one of my great, great-grandmothers lived for a time in a New York City neighborhood that was then known as Little Germany. The family of Sophia Precht (aka Sophia P. von Spiegel) lived, from the mid to late 19th century, in a neighborhood found within the East Village of the New York City … Continue reading Christmas Eve 1874 in Manhattan’s Little Germany

Bits and Pieces

I made another pass at searching for my Dobbs ancestors in 19th century newspaper archives at, specifically David Dobbs, a 3rd great-grandfather and his son, David Judson (D.J.) Dobbs, my great, great-grandfather, both of whom were born and raised in antebellum Georgia. What I found was little bits and pieces of the puzzle… David Dobbs (1791-1871) was an attorney-at-law and a military leader in … Continue reading Bits and Pieces