George Morton (1585-1624) and Nathaniel Morton (1613-1685) This past week my publisher delivered the files for my book to the printer.  I imagine that within the next couple of weeks I will have an actual copy of my first book in my hands. The book is Ascend: The Catholic Faith for a New Generation, published… Read More


When my great-great-great grandparents James Dunham (1788-?) and Betsy Gilpatrick (1795-1860) were married in 1814 in Orland, Hancock County, Maine, they created a link between my Dunham ancestors and the ancestors of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Governor Hancock is actually my second cousin. He is seven times removed because he and… Read More


On April 18, 1898 my great-grandaunt Trinidad “Trini” García married Victor Federico “Freddie” Goldbaum in Ensenada, Baja California. She was born about 1878 in Alamo, Sonora, the daughter of Francisco García (~1843-~1899) and Rosario Moraila (~1857-17 Nov 1924). He was born 20 October 1862 in San Francisco, the son of Louis Goldbaum (1832-1899), a Jewish… Read More


Perhaps it has become a bit trite to say that you can’t choose your family. As worthwhile and notable as the lives of many Dunhams have been through the past centuries, it is only to be expected that some will fall short of what we might hope to learn about our ancestors. Certainly it is… Read More


The following is an account by Adeline (Klinger) McCarthy that illustrates daily life on the American Frontier. This story is courtesy of Cheryl Moore, Adeline’s granddaughter. Cheryl writes that “It was written in pencil, on faded yellow lined paper, held together with string. It’s missing the ending, but very insightful.” Adeline married my first cousin… Read More


This delightful folk tale is taken from Mexican-American Folklore: Legends, Songs, Festivals, Proverbs, Crafts, Tales of Saints, of Revolutionaries, and More, by John O. West (August House, Little Rock, 1988), and concerns my great-great-granduncle José Mauro Luján of San Elizario. His father, Don Jesús Luján (~1813-1871), built an adobe house just off the Plaza in… Read More


My 9xgreat-grandfather Nathaniel Morton was the secretary of Plymouth Colony, having arrived there in 1623 at the age of 10. As secretary, he was the keeper of the records of the colony and compiled the colony’s first published history, based largely on accounts of his uncle Governor William Bradford. The following excerpt of Morton’s history… Read More


Brand Boulevard, Glendale, 1950s

Come away with me, Lucille In my merry Oldsmobile Down the road of life we’ll fly Automobubbling, you and I To the church we’ll swiftly steal Then our wedding bells will peal You can go as far as you like with me In my merry Oldsmobile. This was the refrain of the extremely popular 1905… Read More


On an unknown date between 1946 and 1966, Jesús wrote out this account of the family history in Spanish, now (2008) in the possession of her granddaughter Gloria Joyce Hernández Alvarado in San Diego. The handwriting is difficult at times to read, and she used little punctuation or accents.… Read More


Union troops camped outside Chatanooga

In a pig’s eye. Under no condition, not at all, as in “In a pig’s eye he’ll pay me back,” or “You think he’s competent? In a pig’s eye!” This expression, a euphemism for in a pig’s ass, is generally used as a strong negative. [Slang; late 1800s].

—From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer, 1997.… Read More