Unknown hands labelled the back of this photo with a question: Who is this? I found it among my grandfather’s old pictures. He kept it, along with other various treasures, in a tin box that was separate from the other photos in his closet. When I asked the same question to my grandfather, he answered without hesitation: “That’s my grandfather. That’s John Corr.” Continue reading
Today is the Fourth of July, and I can not think of a better way to spend the day than to write up a short profile on the first—and so far the only—direct ancestor I’ve found to be a Revolutionary War veteran! There are bound to be more, but let’s start with this one: Mr. John Hougendobler, an ancestor of my paternal grandmother. Continue reading
Because this website, and the business it represents, are image-oriented, I try to have some sort of stimulating GIMP work at the top of each post. The cost of this self-imposed policy is that many fascinating family history stories will go overlooked—unless I manufacture some visually stimulating way to represent the story.
Having recently made a bit of a breakthrough on today’s features ancestor, I wanted to write-up here what I had found. I don’t have a photograph of him, though, so I had to get resourceful. Here before you is the grave of Denis Graham, who was the uncle of my great-great-grandfather, John C. Graham. I’m not really one to doctor gravestone images, but since I recently picked up a few new tricks, I thought I’d see how far I could take them.
In this image, I’ve attempted to remove the rain-induced dampness in the original photograph to present the gravestone as if it were dry. The results were middling, in my opinion. Had I attempted this project for a client, I would have given it more time. Since I’m already a week overdue on Ancestor #25, I figured I’d post what I have and move along. The hardest part of this project is putting life back into the engraved flowers. There wasn’t much left in them after removing darkness of color. Continue reading
Today’s subject is my great-great-great-grandfather, Peter Staaf. This is my grandmother’s great-grandfather, that is, my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s father. Peter was the immigrant ancestor of this line. I found his passenger list on Ancestry.com, which led me to his hometown of Sterbfritz, which is right in the heart of Germany. He left that place and arrived in Baltimore on the sixth of May, 1854, with his wife and daughter, both named Margaret. He settled in Butler County, Western Pennsylvania.
The Staaf family line is the only one I’ve been able to trace back to the motherland, several generations prior to the emigration. This was thanks to a great stroke of luck, in the first place, and then the diligent efforts of a professional genealogist who happened to live right in that area. I learned about Mr. Clemens Schreiber in 2009, when I happened upon this web site that provided his contact information. He happened to live in Schlüchtern, which is a drive of mere minutes from Sterbfritz. Mr. Schreiber happened to charge a very reasonable fee: $7.00 for a family group record. At that price, I purchased the whole Staaf line by mail, going back to 1613. Mr. Schreiber told me that the line of Peter’s wife, Margaret Lotz, went back even further, to about 1450, and asked if I was interested in purchasing that as well. I did not have funds to purchase all of that at the time, but I’m glad to know that information is available. Continue reading
This photo didn’t really need a lot of work, but I gotta do what I gotta do to get a legit 52 Ancestors post up on here, and there is no better way to do that on St. Patrick’s Day than to honor John C. Graham, my great-great-grandfather along the paternal line. He is the Irish ancestor of my surnamesake. Although I’ll never hear his brogue, it still reverberates in the memory of my grandfather, who has done his best to help me preserve the family’s history. Continue reading
Of all the heros on my family tree, I believe none are more widely and openly venerated by his living descendants than this man, Antonino Rocco Scaletti. I say widely because that describes the breadth of his progeny. I say openly because he is the only one of my great-grandparents for whom photographs and memories are facebook news feed staple among his living grandchildren. Continue reading