Rosslyn Hotel signs (partially) lit, by Jim Winstead (

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses You been out ridin’ fences for so long now Oh, you’re a hard one I know that you got your reasons These things that are pleasin’ you Can hurt you somehow —The Eagles I have previously written about the unfortunate circumstances of my grandmother María Lucia “Lucille”… Read More

Across the Continent, Lithograph, Frances F. Palmer, 1869.

During the Civil War, Missouri and Tennessee were claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy. The Union dominance in each of these states was achieved by a difficult struggle on many fronts, and my great-great-grandfather William Ivans (1842-1908) lived through the most terrifying years of the war in these two states. He served for… 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

The hand-written family history provided by my great-grandmother, Jesús García de Alvarado (1871-1966), has proven invaluable in building out the Alvarado line of my family history. At the same time, it has presented some conundrums. This article proposes a theory of our Alvarado lineage back to the Spanish colonial era, seeking to reconcile church records… Read More

Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young. And while you’ve got to love having non-conformist ancestors, sometimes their adventures make it difficult to track them. Case in point: my grandmother María Lucia “Lucille” Alvarado Wood Dunham Minasian. She was quite a handful, especially once she met up with my grandfather Sumner Earl Dunham… 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

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