In the spirit of Halloween, when traditionally styled gravestones are popping up on lawns everywhere, I offer the real thing. Through the magic of findagrave.com, which contains some 65 million cemetery records, I found today photographs of headstones of several early Maine relatives, including the gravestone of my 4th great-grandparents James Dunham (1758-1829) and Elizabeth… Read More


Isaac Dunham was the first keeper of the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, Maine, near Bristol in Lincoln County. After many catastrophic shipwrecks at that place, an act of May 18, 1826 provided $4,000 for the construction of the lighthouse. The lighthouse went into service on November 29, 1827 with Isaac, my first cousin five times… Read More


My second cousin once removed, Enriqueta “Quetita” Dávila, is the daughter of José María Dávila (1897-?) and Enriqueta “Queta” Goldbaum (1900-?). I have written previously about her mother, who is my first cousin twice removed. I discovered this delightful article by Rafael Benabib about Quetita in the August 16, 2009 issue of El Diaro de… Read More


My second great-grandfather Fernando Alvarado married María Eugenia Trinidad Tamayo probably sometime around 1840 in Sinaloa. Recently I received the 1822 baptismal record for Maria Eugenia Trinidad from San Pedro de Chametla in Sinaloa. The record clearly states that she was “mulata,” meaning one of her parents was black. Here’s what the record says: María… Read More


Appomattox Court House Union soldiers

As has been noted elsewhere on this blog, my great-great-grandfather Seth Dunham came to California from Maine during the Gold Rush. His parents, James Dunham (b. abt 1788 in Orland, Hancock, Maine) and Elizabeth “Betsy” Gilpatrick (b. 27 May 1795 In Orland) had 10 other children besides Seth. So while I’ve paid much attention to… Read More


The following article from the El Paso Times of March 16, 1957 is a profile of my great-grandfather Ludwig “Louis” Stoltz, born 18 May 1866 in Delano, Wright, Minnesota. He was the son of Peter Stoltz (1836-1921) and Apollonia Stricker (1831-1896). Louis was the first generation of his family born in the United States; his… Read More


He was not a pirate under Captain Jack Sparrow, but he did sail the seas and served under a another Captain Sparrow, for a very different cause. My fourth great-grandfather James Dunham was born 12 Sep 1758 in Plympton, Plymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Cornelius Dunham (1716-1766) and Patience Barrows (1724-1807). James was a sailor,… Read More


Plimouth Plantation

The earliest Dunham ancestor to come to North America was John Dunham, a Separatist who fled religious persecution in England by first emigrating to Leiden, Holland, and then to Plymouth Colony. He was my ninth great-grandfather. He was born about 1589; a record exists that year of his baptism at the Church of St. Mary… Read More


I am constantly amazed at the family connections to be made when undertaking family history research on the Internet. Not only has this blog enabled me to learn things from cousins I know, but it has also unearthed cousins I did not know about. All are so helpful and willing to share what they know.… Read More


In a previous post I mentioned that I had discovered that my great-grandparents José María Alvarado and Jesús García were married in San Diego on 10 Sep 1895. But where in San Diego? They had apparently met in Ensenada, and we do not yet know why they chose to be married in San Diego. The… Read More