A few years ago a cousin discovered this photograph in a trunk full of Luján family historical records. On the back it was identified only as “Luján family.” Of course the next question was: Which Luján family? There were lots to pick from! I had a theory it was the family of Jesús Luján (1811-1871)… Read More


The weakest link in my Dunham family tree is that of my 3x-great-grandfather James Dunham Jr. of Orland, Hancock, Maine. He was the father of my great-great-grandfather Seth Dunham, who came to California during the Gold Rush. While his parents are generally assumed to be James Dunham (12 Sep 1758-18 Aug 1829) and Elizabeth Robbins… Read More


My fourth grand-uncle Josef Stoltz, together with a group of German immigrants who served in the Civil War, set up a cemetery and constructed the first Catholic church in Wright County, Minnesota. As far as I can tell, the bell they bought still rings from the third Church of St. Peter in Delano, Minnesota. I’ve… Read More


My 2x great aunt Jovita García was the sister of my great grandmother Jesús García de Alvarado. Great Aunt Jovita was born 7 Mar 1893, probably in Ensenada, Baja California, the youngest of nine children. She came to California with her mother, María del Rosario Moraila de García, around 1910, settling in Santa Paula and… Read More


San Quentin State Prison, circa 1910

My great grandparents Sumner Dunham (1871-1947) and Cora Belle Ivans (1873-1963) were married on 8 July 1894 in Cummings, Mendocino County, California, with Cora Belle’s parents William and Mary (Wilson) Ivans serving as official witnesses. It’s unlikely Cora Belle’s brother John E. Ivans, my great granduncle, would have been in attendance at the wedding. Then… Read More


Our family reunion in El Paso will come only days before the 150th anniversary of the enlistment of my great-great-grandfather Peter Stoltz in the Union Army. On 21 September 1864, Peter enlisted as a musician in Company B, First Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery. He may have enlisted as a musician because he was too short… Read More


In recounting the various jobs of my great-grandfather Louis Stoltz, I have been looking for images of the various places he worked. I was able to find a vintage 1950s postcard of the location of the El Paso Billiard Club,317 E. Mills Ave., where he was manager in 1940. The club was located in the… Read More


In response to the posted photo of my grandaunt Maybelle Stoltz Chavez’ El Paso band, her daughter my cousin Margie, points out: Both my Mom and her cousin, Juanito Lujan, were members of the band called The Stoltz Blues Chasers. Richard, Arlene and I remember that band being mentioned by Mom years ago… We did… Read More