Henry Felix Kloman’s WWI battlefield letters

Henry Felix Kloman

Gathering data online is my primary research activity these days, but there’s something special about holding a historic book, letter or photograph in your hands. This was brought home to me recently when I revisited a stash of letters from my grandparents and great grandparents.  I had glanced at them several years ago, but… Read more“Henry Felix Kloman’s WWI battlefield letters”

Keziah Whitson Coles’ 1870 photo album brought back to life

keziah coles photos

There’s a long tradition of crappy photographers in my family. Great grandmother Edna was a pioneer of bad photography with her 1900 box camera mirror photo, presaging the selfie by over a century. Her son, Valentine (Coles), inherited the bad photographer gene, and proceeded to marry my grandmother, who was possibly the worst… Read more“Keziah Whitson Coles’ 1870 photo album brought back to life”

Thomas Tidball Trapnell: Finding my lost great grandfather

arlington cemetery graves

An afternoon of downtime in Washington DC a few weeks back afforded me an opportunity to visit Arlington Cemetery, and the grave of my great grandfather, Major Thomas Tidball Trapnell. It was a chance to get a few moments of peace in an otherwise hectic week, and to forge a connection with a… Read more“Thomas Tidball Trapnell: Finding my lost great grandfather”

Ryland Drennan photos lost no more, and a found cousin

One of the pleasures of hosting a website filled with genealogical records is connecting with family members I might not otherwise know.  Neither of my parents were diligent about maintaining family connections, save for periodic trips to Santa Cruz or Los Angeles to visit my grandparents.  On very rare occasions, we would go… Read more“Ryland Drennan photos lost no more, and a found cousin”

Renald Fernald: Early Settler of Portsmouth

point of graves cemetery

A highlight from a recent New England trip was getting to spend some time in and around Portsmouth, NH.  The town has a rich history for shipbuilding, fishing, and as an important port for the region.  More recently, Portsmouth has become a popular tourist destination, and like most of coastal Maine, the town… Read more“Renald Fernald: Early Settler of Portsmouth”

SR 33: California’s highway of solitude and adventure

Probably the ugliest and more boring highway in California is Interstate 5. And it’s also a road I travel on a regular basis.  So the prospect this past summer of another jaunt to LA via that well-traveled corridor populated by truck convoys and manic Lincoln Navigators was more than I could bear. Instead,… Read more“SR 33: California’s highway of solitude and adventure”