Contents: Family History

The most recent posts about family history are at the top.


I have tried to make sure that all art throughout the site, unless otherwise noted, is in the public domain. If you believe I have included something that needs attribution, please let me know.


Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, by John Trumbull. 1826 (U.S. Capitol, Washington, D. C.) Public Domain

Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (Virginia Historical Society) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Thanksgiving, by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Fall of New Amsterdam, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses, by Peter F. Rothermel (1817–1895). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Declaration of Independence, by John Trumbull. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Battle of Long Island, by Domenick D’Andrea. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Nieuw Amsterdam, by Johannes Vingboons. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

First Dutch Reformed Church of Albany, by Unknown. Edited by Daniel Case prior to upload. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Official Presidential Portrait of Thomas Jefferson, by Rembrandt Peale. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Martha Jefferson. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.


A Little About Me

Starting at age 15, I often helped my mother do family tree research.  We spent a lot of time traipsing through cemeteries and interviewing older relatives. Though I am mostly retired after 50 years of teaching,  genealogy continues to consume much of my time. I have two sons and six grandchildren, and I would like to share with them what I have learned about our family history.

I have lived most of my life in Texas, but I have also lived in West Virginia, Germany, and Suriname and have visited France, Switzerland, Spain, Lichtenstein, Austria, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, French Guiana, Mexico, Peru, Italy, and much of the United States. I have not been to England, Scotland, or Ireland, which is unfortunate because most of my ancestors came from the British Isles. Even so, my studies and travels have helped me visualize the places and circumstances of my ancestors.

I know that Michelle Obama’s genealogist has written about Mrs. Obama’s family history under the title American Tapestry. However, I used that specific title many years ago on a web page before I had ever heard of Michelle Obama. As far as I know, I was the first to use it. I would like to thank Cathy Meder-Dempsey for finding the page (below) showing my use of the title American Tapestry well before 2008.

If you are especially interested in West Virginia family history, do check out my Substack Newsletter, Southern West Virginia Settlers.