Problem with Names Part 4: Inconsistency!


This is part 4 of the series the Problem with Names in which I discuss some of the difficulties surrounding Portuguese names.  In this article, I tackle inconsistency.  It can be the more confusing part for many genealogists to learn that their ancestor wasn’t all that hung up on their name or the spelling. The … Continued

52 Ancestors: Grandma’s Mandolin


Growing up, I was intrigued by the musical instrument that sat on a shelf in our hall closet.  It had a short neck, a round body, and beautiful wood patterns.  I was told it was a mandolin. But, where did it come from?  I imagined it was one of those things my dad acquired.  He … Continued

52 Ancestors, Week 28: 24 Miles was a Journey

Leave a comment

[This is my entry for 52 Ancestors Week 28:  Road Trips] Today, a trip from Oakland, California to Centerville and Fremont, California is but a hop, skip, and a jump.  If traffic isn’t bad, you can drive there in less than 30 minutes. This view of Fremont Central Park gives an idea of what the … Continued

My First Experience Researching the Irish Catholic Church Parish Registers


You may have heard.  The National Library of Ireland website now has the Catholic Church Parish Register records online and available to research for free.  The records are available to research for free.  I’ve been waiting a long time to get my hands dirty with Irish research.  To say I am eager to begin this … Continued

52 Ancestors, Week 27: My Grandma Shellabarger was a Single Parent

Leave a comment

There are no American Revolutionaries in my tree.  My people came to America after 1840.  Most showed up after 1880.  So, I’ll turn to an ancestor who exemplifies the independent spirit.  Although I’ve written several times about my Grandma Shellabarger aka Anna (Jackson) Shellabarger on this blog, I can’t think of any ancestors who fits … Continued

52 Ancestors Week 26: John and Mary Jane, I Hardly Know You

Leave a comment

I have made it half way through the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.  Woo Hoo!  Usually I’ve given up by this point because life interferes. I’m behind a week, as usual, but at least I am still here! It is the halfway mark, so I’ll write about an ancestor I’ve researched only half way.  … Continued

Lost Kingdom By Julia Flynn Siler: A Hawaiian History Book Recommendation

Leave a comment

This is my review of Julia Flynn Siler’s “Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, The Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Venture”. One of the latest entries in the Hawaiian history genre, tell the story from Queen Liliʻuokalani’s perspective.  It is a book I wholeheartedly recommend! I am always on the lookout for Hawaiian history books, especially … Continued

52 Ancestors Week 25: Finding the Jackson House


This weeks theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is the Old Homestead.  I’ve only seen one of my ancestral homes in person.  I really wanted to locate the house my grandmother, Anna (Jackson) Shellabarger grew up in Oakland, California.  I used Google Maps and the Oakland Interactive Planning database to fulfill my mission. My … Continued

52 Ancestors Week 24: I Wish I Had Their Bango


This week’s theme for 52 Ancestors is heirloom.  One item I would really like to have is the bango tags of my great great grandparents is their bango. Do you know what a bango is?  No, it is not a drug reference and I didn’t misspell a musical instrument. The word comes from the Japanese … Continued