Why They Did the Things They Did

One facet of my study of family history involves finding answers to why my ancestors did the things they did. For example, some of the questions I seek to answer are: ‘How and why did my Southern ancestors maintain and defend the system of slavery?’ ‘What made my DeBacker family pull up roots in Belgium and go to Kansas in the 1880s?’ ‘Why did my … Continue reading Why They Did the Things They Did

Here’s Something I’ve Not Seen Before

Here’s something I’ve not seen before: a Marriage Bond. As I was doing some research this afternoon I came across a document titled marriage bond and it was essentially a contract signed by my great great grandfather Constantine Kollros and his future brother-in-law, Erhardt Eichhorn. The purpose of the document was to confirm Constantine’s intent to marry, Erhardt’s sister, Maria Eichhorn. Constantine was required to … Continue reading Here’s Something I’ve Not Seen Before

Knox, Knox, Who’s there?

When I was growing up, one of the family legends from my maternal grandmother was that we were direct descendants of John Knox, the Reformer – the man who founded the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. This connection to a famous individual who was a contemporary of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth the First was supposedly through my great, great, great-grandmother, Mary Emily Knox Kelsey … Continue reading Knox, Knox, Who’s there?

Finally, DNA Testing

After a long time of procrastinating, I have finally decided to get a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. If I want to revise and update my book, Gathering Leaves, I figure that I should at least include a chapter with a firsthand account/personal journey regarding DNA testing. For the past few months, I have been binge-watching episodes of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. … Continue reading Finally, DNA Testing

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. Marriage & Military Up first are military records of my third great-grandfather on my mother’s side, … Continue reading Recent Finds

Sacré 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. There is nothing exceptional about this in any way. Many geneticists and statisticians have concluded that anyone of European ancestry should trace at least one … Continue reading Sacré Charlemagne

They Simply Fade Away

Another great-great-grandfather, Francis “Frank” Gaume, was 19 years old when he volunteered and joined the Union forces during the American Civil War. In the Fall of 1862, Frank signed up with the 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Stark County, Ohio. In September of that year, his unit was in reserve at the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky. Then at one of the bloodiest, muddiest battles … Continue reading They Simply Fade Away