List of Blog Posts in Semi-Chronological Order

My mother passed away in July 2020, and since then, I have been busy finding stuff about the family history of both my parents. Over 100 blog posts have been written, and after a review of what I’ve written, it is warranted that I do a complete rewrite of my book Gathering Leaves. In preparation for this work, I have tried to put all the posts in chronological order.

18th Century and Earlier

Had I Known Then What I Know Now A report that I might have written in the fifth grade had I known then what I know now.
My Ancestor, the Insurrectionist How my 14th great-grandfather, Jan Van Coppenolle attempted to overthrow the Burgundian regime in Flanders.
More My Ancestor, The Insurrectionist More on how my 14th great-grandfather, Jan Van Coppenolle attempted to overthrow the Burgundian regime in Flanders.
A Brief History of Montécheroux This history is based on a translation of the information found at a French language website called Accueil Montecheroux. The site no longer exists but the contents are preserved at another location.
History of the City of Renaix (Ronse) Recherches historiques sur la ville de Renaix, published in 1856, is a book I found at Google Books (see here). The book, written in French, provides the history of the city of Renaix (Ronse), where my father’s Belgian ancestors lived for several centuries before coming to America.
Morgan’s Swamp Tracking my Morgan ancestors in the swamps of North Carolina.
The Carolina Connection More Morgan family history in North Carolina.
The Legend of John McMullan My third great-grandmother, Elizabeth McMullan, wife of David Dobbs, was a granddaughter of John McMullan (McMullin), a wealthy rice planter and veteran of the Revolutionary war who lived in Elbert County Georgia in the early part of the 19th century.
Bad Grandma? The story of Theodosia Beck Beasley, first wife of John McMullan and my
fifth great-grandmother
Eternal Triangle The connection between Theodosia Beasley and the legendary Tom Dooley
Just in time for the Fourth of July Just in time for the Fourth of July, I have discovered a new ancestor who was a soldier during the American Revolution.
Le Cerneux-Pequignot  I discovered that the Pequignot family dates back to at least the 13th century when they settled as pioneers in a village they called Le Cerneux-Pequignot. This is the family of my fourth great-grandmother, Marie Therese Pequignot.
Where It All Started Prothro land grants in South Carolina
Knox, Knox, Who’s There? A retelling of the story of how I am NOT a descendant of John Knox the Reformer, but I am a descendant of a man name John Knox.
Irish Legends More Knox and collateral families
My Mother’s Mother’s Mother Much more Knox and collateral families

19th Century

On Down the Tallapoosa to the Gulf of Mexico  My third great-grandfather, David Dobbs, served as an officer in the Georgia militia during the Creek war of 1814 and the First Seminole War.
Bits and Pieces Little things I found in the newspapers regarding my third great-grandfather, David Dobbs.
It’s Complicated Celebrating multiple national holidays in the month of July.
A Bill of sale Documenting the purchase of an enslaved family by my 3rd great-grandfather, Evan Prothro.
Breaking through the brick wall Discovering a new family surname from an old photograph
Chairman David Dobbs, Never Van Buren-er. The politics of my third great-grandfather, David Dobbs
…and Milly, Uxor Introduction to an analysis of the will and probate records for John McMullan and his son, Patrick.
Now That’s What I Call Southern Gothic! An analysis of the will and probate records for John McMullan and his son, Patrick.
Marietta, 1844  I discovered that on at least one and possibly two occasions, David Dobbs, a Colonel in the Georgia militia, had a prior association with General William Tecumseh Sherman.
The Watermills of My Mind Based on records I was provided years ago by fellow researchers in Belgium, the DeBacker and collateral families owned and operated wind and water mills in the region of East Flanders going back centuries.
A Peculiar Institution
The first Baptist Church of Marietta Georgia before and after the Civil War.
German American heritage month 2021 My mother has German ancestors on both sides of her family.
More Mills I found yet another Watermill and another windmill associated with my Belgian ancestors.
Photograph of Richard Bannon A photograph of my great, great grandfather, Richard Bannon.
The Mysterious Case of Sophia B. Solving the mystery of my great, great grandmother, Sophia Precht’s.
The Question of Judie’s Father Josiah Dobbs, brother of David Dobbs and the daughter that he had by one of his slaves.
The Shamrock Wall
I have Irish ancestors on both sides of my family.
Three Valuable Sawmills for Sale My third great-grandfather, Evan Prothro, owned more than one plantation in South Carolina, and this included more than one sawmill.
Bloody Monday One of the deadliest incidences of political violence in the 1850s has become known as Bloody Monday. This was a Know-Nothing riot in Louisville Kentucky. Both my Bannon and Kollros families were living in that city at the time.
Bloody Monday Rhetoric Revisited  I recently renewed my subscription to Ancestry.com for one month and an outlay of $60 for the reasons I describe elsewhere. One of the benefits of doing so was that it gave me access to a different set of newspaper archives. For a brief period, I had access to the Louisville Daily Courier and the Louisville Daily Journal, including the summer of 1855.
Once I Built a Railroad Whatever happened to that railroad that my third great-grandfather David Dobbs was supposed to have built.
Here’s something I’ve not seen before I found a marriage bond signed by my great great grandfather, Constantine Kollros in 1863.’s
The Third Man The service of David Judson Dobbs during the Civil War. Plus, a correction regarding the service of David’s brother, James Monroe Dobbs.
Louisville Silver Band I found an advertisement for an early music group led by my great grandfather, Constantine Kollros, and his brother-in-law, Erhardt Joseph Eichorn.
A First Draft My great great grandfather Constantine Kollros registered for the draft in Kentucky 1863.
George C Spiegel George C Spiegel during the Civil War
The 19th Ohio Speaks  Soldiers of the 19th Ohio veteran infantry voted on a resolution declaring their support for the Union cause.
Marietta, 1864  The New York Times provided a lengthy description of the Georgia town of Marietta in the summer of 1864.
What did you do in the war, daddy? New information regarding the service of David Judson Dobbs during the Civil War
What Miss Mattie Said to the General According to her obituary my great great grandmother, Martha Prothro Dobbs, supposedly had word with General Sherman when he came through Marietta in the summer of 1864.
Grand Army of the Republic  I discovered that my great great grandfather, Frances Gaume, a veteran of the Civil War, was also a member of the veterans service organization, the GAR.
Carpetbagger Or Scalawag Dobbs family after the war after the war
Diving Into Historical Context David Judson Dobbs, after the war
Dobbs v. Prothro My great-great-grandfather was sued by his brother-in-law’s in a dispute over my great, great grandmother’s inheritance.
He Was Mean to His Slaves Reflections on the way that people use to talk about slavery
How Does One Lose 15,600 Cigars? My great-great-grandfather George C Spiegel one time sued a man claiming the man had stolen a large number of cigars.
Milestones and Tombstones


Discovering the First Baptist Church of Marietta
More Questions Than Answers On finding my great great grandparents on passenger lists Savannah to New York City
The mystery package An unclaimed package for my great great grandfather, George C Spiegel.
Christmas Eve 1874 in Manhattan’s little Germany Reflections on where my Precht ancestors live in the NYC neighborhood of Little Deutschland in the lower east side of Manhattan
Intriguing Items More items from the newspapers regarding my Dobbs family.
The Belgian School War  A review of the Belgian politics that motivated my DeBacker family to emigrate to the USA in 1883.
The Accidental Doctor  I discovered what my great-grandfather, August DeBacker, did before he became a doctor in the late 19th century.
All I Have is a Photograph
Panama Man The original title for this post was international man of mystery part four but that would make it out of chronological order.
The Dobbs Lumber Company v. Appling  Here is what I found when recently searching for J.M. Dobbs, Sr. in Google Books. I had thought that when my great-grandfather took a presidential appointment and left Atlanta, Georgia, for Valparaiso, Chile, in the spring of 1893, he had sold his share of a lumber company in Atlanta. That narrative has been corrected upon finding an entry in a journal documenting cases before the Georgia Supreme Court during the March and October terms of 1895 – The Dobbs Lumber Company v. Appling.
International Man of Mystery Part I My great, great grandfather and his passport problems
International Man of Mystery Part II More on my great, great grandfather and passports
International Man of Mystery Part III


One minor passport mystery solved
Chile won’t drink our Beer  My subscription to the New York Times gives me access to 150 years of archives of that newspaper. I found my great grandfather, James Monroe Dobbs, mentioned on three occasions in the gray lady.
The Piano Man of Mystery The connection between Emma Hahr Dobbs and Steinway & Sons
Where The Hell Is Valparaiso, Dobbs? A story told about the time my great-grandfather met Pres. Grover Cleveland. It was repeated more than once in the newspapers.

20th Century and Later

Animal Accidents


 My great-grandfather, August DeBacker, was a small-town doctor in Kansas at the turn of the 20th century. His name appeared in the newspapers at least once a month – every time a baby was born or a dog bit man.
Baby Dobbs and Daddy My great-grandfather, James Monroe Dobbs, probably used the popular Kodak Brownie #2 camera to take the snapshots shortly after my maternal grandfather was born. Back then, for a dollar, one could buy a pre-loaded camera from Kodak. One would take pictures and then send the box to Kodak to get the pictures processed. Too bad they didn’t do selfies back then.
Kentucky Irish American The Kentucky Irish American was a newspaper published in Louisville Kentucky. My maternal grandmother’s family frequently advertised in that newspaper.
Sisters Photo of my great-grandmother and her sister taken in Dallas, Texas c. 1877.
Spiegel family, Dallas, Texas, circa 1900  A photograph of my Spiegel ancestors taken in Dallas probably 1901
Spiegel Girls A photograph of two of my great grandmother’s nieces.
Two Dobbs Cousins
Brief bios of two of my maternal grandfather’s cousins
Why They Did the Things They Did Filling in the blanks on some of the aspects of life of my great-great-grandfather, George C Spiegel.
Before Facebook There Was the Cigar Maker’s Journal Attempts made by my great-great-grandfather to communicate with two of his sons.
Down on the Border  Photograph of my great grandmother and one of her friends taken down on the border during the Mexican Revolution.
Georgia cousins This is a photograph of my grandfather James M Dobbs and his first cousin Christine, daughter of Evan Prothro Dobbs and Margaret Hulda Hahr
Helen and Friend This photo is marked: Helen Von Spiegel and Annie Meker(?) Mineral Wells (Texas) Aug 1908
Helen Spiegel Dobbs  The back of this photo is marked “Helen S. Dobbs – Mexico City”. She was my great-grandmother.
The Lodge at Cloudcroft The inscription on the back of this picture identifies the woman in the center as being my great grandmother Helen D Spiegel, that the woman seated on the right is Claudia Meador “(now Mrs. Eli Sanger),” and that the photograph was taken in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. It’s undated but I believe this was taken sometimes in the 1910s during the Mexican Revolution.
Jimmy Dobbs 1917  This photograph is of my maternal grandfather James M Dobbs Junior taken when he was a teenager in the late 1910s.
They simply fade away Information regarding the death of my great great grandfather Frank Gaume, a Civil War veteran who died in 1917.
A Huge Discovery In a lot of information can be found in city directories.
A pair of train wrecks Two of my great-grandfather’s were involved in train wrecks in the 1920s.
Atchison People Will Be Interested in an Omaha Item


A newspaper item regarding my grandmother Geraldine O’Malley DeBacker.
Cadet Dobbs In one small photo, my grandfather is wearing a cadet uniform.
Preppy The photo that hung in my bedroom when I was a kid.
The Case of Dr. L.J. DeBacker  My paternal grandfather was a Navy medic during the Spanish flu pandemic 1918 to 1920.
A frightful fate The tragic death of Katherine Spiegel
The Frat Boy, the Flapper, and a Lost Cause  My maternal grandparents were young adults during the 1920s
Pardon me, boy I discovered that my maternal grandparents eloped five years before my mother was born.
A Huge Discovery You can learn a lot from city directories.
The Birthplace of Me How I used Google maps to find where we lived when I was born.
Do You Want Freedom Fries with That?
A review of the ethnicity report on my DNA results from ancestry.com.
Finally, DNA testing I figured if I was going to write a book on genealogy and family history that I had better do some DNA testing.
The Results Are in First look at my DNA results
An Old-school Southern Gentleman I discovered a letter that my maternal grandfather’s second wife wrote following his death in 1956.
Recent Finds Submitted for your approval: an assortment of recent items found while mining the family history websites and databases that I have free access to via my local library’s digital network. These finds cover both sides of my family and, in some cases, presumably extends my pedigree back several generations.
Sacre Charlemagne Earlier I mentioned that I could trace my family tree back to Emperor Charlemagne through one of my great great grandparents, and I thought that I would make a short video showing at least one way I make that connection.
Found One! How I found my great-grandmother in the 1950 census.
1950 Census District Finder Finding my maternal grandmother in the 1950 census
Another Find in the 1950 US Census Finding another great-grandmother in the 1950 census
Needle In a Haystack Finding my paternal grandfather in the 1950 census
That Was Too Easy! Finding my mother in the 1950 census
Two Discoveries in One Day Finding my father in the 1950 census (Finally).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s