A photograph of my ancestors (and me)

family history photography

I’ve been spending more time with a camera this past year, and less time doing genealogy research and website additions. This wasn’t a conscious decision, more a byproduct my professional time in 2013 and 2014 being consumed by development of a new website and CMS for my firm, GreenBiz, making ByrneFamily site additions… Read more“A photograph of my ancestors (and me)”

Levi Austin’s fleeting wealth quickly washed away

Fremont Landing California

Dead and long forgotten. I have a soft spot for those who led interesting, meaningful lives, but for one reason or another never got much attention from other researchers. Often it’s because they fall into the category of d.s.p. (descessit sine prole; died without issue). With no descendants to carry their stories, they… Read more“Levi Austin’s fleeting wealth quickly washed away”

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”