Family History

Anthony Karatzis (1921-1926)

Anthony Karatzis (1921-1926)

Tragically, Anthony Karatzis (Karr) was struck and killed by an automobile before his 5th birthday. This is his story.

"A pugilistic neck, a powerful man, but essentially very meek" - Chester Joseph Stuve (1913-1978)

"A pugilistic neck, a powerful man, but essentially very meek" - Chester Joseph Stuve (1913-1978)

My 1st cousins, 2x removed, Chester Joseph Stuve (1913-1978) was "A good-natured fellow, an enthusiastic athlete, and a diligent student." Apparently his also had a strong neck. Here is his story as told through yearbook photos.

Young Detroit Woman Wins Free Pint of Ice Cream: Georgia Vakendis (1929-2001)

Young Detroit Woman Wins Free Pint of Ice Cream: Georgia Vakendis (1929-2001)

In the summer of 1949 Georgia Vakendis (1929-2001), my 2nd cousin 1x removed, won a free pint of Cunningham’s Famous Ice Cream. This is her story.

Teenager Survives Mule Kick to Face: William Marion Arvin (1889-1960)

Teenager Survives Mule Kick to Face: William Marion Arvin (1889-1960)

This newspaper article from July 1, 1905 describes the violent mule kick suffered by my 1st cousin 3x removed, William Marion Arvin (1889-1960).

Hanley Photo and Frame Mystery

Hanley Photo and Frame Mystery

There’s an oval framed photograph in my family collection that I’ve not been able to identify. Here’s the story of how I took it apart looking for clues.

Albert "Rabbit" Zenner (1886-1964): Woodsman of the Upper Peninsula

Albert "Rabbit" Zenner (1886-1964): Woodsman of the Upper Peninsula

When you discover a relative in your family tree nicknamed "Rabbit" you obviously have to find and tell his story. Here it is.

Planes, Shuffleboard, and Hats: The Elegant Lydia Schmidt McNamara (1876-1961)

Planes, Shuffleboard, and Hats: The Elegant Lydia Schmidt McNamara (1876-1961)

Lydia Schmidt McNamara (1876-1961) was an elegant woman with a fondness for hats, planes, and jewelry. There is photographic evidence that she fancied shuffleboard as well.

Pneumonia in Detroit: Franciszka "Frances" Grzeskowiak (1886-1905)

Pneumonia in Detroit: Franciszka "Frances" Grzeskowiak (1886-1905)

Pneumonia was one of the leading causes of U.S. deaths in the early 1900s. It took the life of my 2nd great aunt, Francisczka “Frances” Grzeskowiak (1886-1905). This is her story.

Blind Man Marries Wife, Sight Unseen: Padraig Hanley (abt. 1810) - 4th Great Grandfather

Blind Man Marries Wife, Sight Unseen: Padraig Hanley (abt. 1810) - 4th Great Grandfather

Blind from a mining accident in Ireland, Padraig Hanley (abt. 1810) was my 4th great grandfather. This is his story.

Helen Borowski Nizol (1900-1935): Mother Dies, Leaves Young Children, Just as Her Own Mother Did

Helen Borowski Nizol (1900-1935): Mother Dies, Leaves Young Children, Just as Her Own Mother Did

Helen Borowski Nizol left 4 young sons when she died at age 34. Her own mother died when she was only 10. This is her story.

The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#79) - Blarney Romany Caravans, Ireland 1971

The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#79) - Blarney Romany Caravans, Ireland 1971

In 1971 my grandparents took a trip to Ireland. Blarney was one of their many stops in County Cork and adjoining areas. I just love this photo of a horse drawn Blarney Romany Caravan they saw along the way.

The Halvangis Family at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit, MI.

The Halvangis Family at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit, MI.

Several of my Halvangis family are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit, MI. Here are some videos I took of my recent trip there.

My 3rd Great Grandfather, Denis Uonhi (also Green and O'Sullivan), of Ballydonegan, County Cork, Ireland (b. 1810)

My 3rd Great Grandfather, Denis Uonhi (also Green and O'Sullivan), of Ballydonegan, County Cork, Ireland (b. 1810)

Born around 1810 Denis Uonhi (also Green and O'Sullivan) is my 3rd great grandfather. He made his family home in beautiful Ballydonegan, County Cork, Ireland. This is his story.

My 3rd Great Grandfather and "Prominent and Representative" Citizen of Cambria County, PA, James Costlow (1822-1904)

My 3rd Great Grandfather and "Prominent and Representative" Citizen of Cambria County, PA, James Costlow (1822-1904)

James Costlow (1822-1904) is one of the more prominent figures in my family tree. In fact, he was written about in in the Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County, Pennsylvania. This is his story.

Chicago Boy Becomes Broadcasting Legend: Quin Augustus Ryan (1898-1978)

Chicago Boy Becomes Broadcasting Legend: Quin Augustus Ryan (1898-1978)

Quin A. Ryan (1898-1978) is the most famous relative I’ve written about so far. He was a Chicago native and broadcasting legend. He is also my 2nd cousin 2x removed. Here is his story.

Mystery 16 Month Marriage of Porter Dean Sears (1906-1935) Ends in Divorce Due to "Repeated and Extreme Cruelty"

Mystery 16 Month Marriage of Porter Dean Sears (1906-1935) Ends in Divorce Due to "Repeated and Extreme Cruelty"

Porter Dean Sears (1906-1935), my 2nd great uncle, married Elnora Florence Cannon on July 9th, 1928. Sixteen months later they were divorced. “Repeated and Extreme Cruelty” was the reason cited (by Porter). This is his story.

A Boy's Life Cut Short: Michael Anthony Karr (1954-1964)

A Boy's Life Cut Short: Michael Anthony Karr (1954-1964)

There is little, if anything, more tragic in life than the death of a child. This is the story Michael Karr (1954-1964) and his life that was cut tragically short in 1964.

A Boy Without a Dad and the Family He Made: Arthur Bryan Myers Sears (1900-1964)

A Boy Without a Dad and the Family He Made: Arthur Bryan Myers Sears (1900-1964)

This is my great grandfather, Arthur Bryan Sears (1900-1964), probably around age one. As far as I can tell he was fatherless for his first several years. This is his story.

The Vallance Babies of Johnstown, PA

The Vallance Babies of Johnstown, PA

George and Laverne Rhoads Vallance (1899-1962) had four stillborn babies (one set of twins) between 1922 and 1924 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. These were their only children. Here are their stories.