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

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

During the Civil War, my great-great-grandfather, DJ Dobbs, held, at one point, the rank of Colonel, at another point, the rank of Private, and on yet another occasion, the rank of Master Private. And no, he was neither promoted nor was he demoted. As I revealed in a previous post, I found a letter from some citizens of Marietta, who requested of the Confederate state’s Secretary of War that “Col. DJ Dobbs of Marietta” be made the county’s enrolling officer for the Confederate Army. As I mentioned, I found no indication that he had been granted that office. Continue reading What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

International Man of Mystery-Pt. 3

The previous post ended with me wondering who Edward H Strobel was and what was his relationship with my great-grandfather, James M Dobbs, Sr. I thought it would take a while to figure that out; however, it only took me about 15 minutes. Edward Henry Strobel was my great-grandfather’s boss when James was the consul general to Valparaiso Chile (1893 to 1897). Mr. Strobel was … Continue reading International Man of Mystery-Pt. 3

International Man of Mystery-Pt. 2

In a previous post, I reported finding that my great-grandfather, James M Dobbs, Sr., had lied about his age on a passport application he submitted in 1918. He was going to the European war zone on behalf of the YMCA, the precursor to the USO. Travel during World War I required approval from the War Department, and the U.S. government was not allowing civilians over … Continue reading International Man of Mystery-Pt. 2

A Huge Discovery

Back in December I discovered that my maternal grandparents eloped and were married in Chattanooga Tennessee in July 1925. . It was an extraordinary find that raised the question of how a 19-year-old girl from Louisville, Kentucky came to marry a 23-year-old man from Atlanta, Georgia. Coupled with this is the question of how my mother came to be born in Columbia, South Carolina. Since … Continue reading A Huge Discovery

Diving into Historical Context

It seems that after my mother passed away in July, I caught the genea-bug once again following a hiatus of nearly a decade. In the past eight or so months, I have written over two dozen posts on this blog detailing my recent discoveries. These findings have revealed not only new information but also there are certain details in my book that require correction. As … Continue reading Diving into Historical Context

Now That’s What I Call Southern Gothic!

Of late, I have been reading books by Margaret Mitchell and William Faulkner; while at the same time I have been studying the probate records of an ancestor of mine who died intestate 185 years ago. As I am recounting my analysis from said study, I find the need to restrain myself from injecting too much drama into the proceedings laid before me. The ancestor … Continue reading Now That’s What I Call Southern Gothic!