Last week I visited family in El Paso, and one of the things I did with my dad and some cousins was to see historic San Elizario, just outside El Paso. Aside from checking out the historic presidio chapel, founded 1789, where my ancestors were baptized, married and buried, I was curious to see the… Read More


Typical sod house built by homesteaders in the Dakota Territory. Peter and Apollonia Stoltz and their children would have lived in a similar house.

From this valley they say you are going. We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile, For they say you are taking the sunshine That has brightened our pathway a while. So come sit by my side if you love me. Do not hasten to bid me adieu. Just remember the Red River Valley,… Read More


We all knew about the eight children my great-grandparents Ludwig Josef “Louis” Stolz (1866-1958) and Apolonia Luján (1872-1929) raised in El Paso. One of these children, Louis Gustave Stoltz, died in 1928 at the age of 30. The other seven are the progenitors of the California and Texas branch of the Stoltz family, while my… 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


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


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


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