Family History

Nebraska Man, Leo Amen, Cuts Off Own Finger To Free Self From Plow (1936)

Nebraska Man, Leo Amen, Cuts Off Own Finger To Free Self From Plow (1936)

In 1936, Leo Marcus Amen (1912-1994), a Nebraskan farmer, was faced with the unenviable task of using a jackknife to amputate his own finger that had become caught in a plow. He is my 3rd cousin 2x removed. This is his story.

"Dziadzio" - My Polish Great Grandpa: Adam Pawlowski (1879-1959)

"Dziadzio" - My Polish Great Grandpa: Adam Pawlowski (1879-1959)

My great grandfather, Adam Pawlowski (1879-1959) was known as “Dziadzio” by my mother and her generation. He was a quiet man, perhaps because he spoke little English. His hands seemed permanently yellowed from cigarettes and he had false teeth that he kept in a glass next to his bed. This is his story.

Genealogy Blogging and the Brick Wall Busting Discovery of My Schmidt Family

Genealogy Blogging and the Brick Wall Busting Discovery of My Schmidt Family

Genealogy blogging led me to the discovery of this beautiful photograph of my 3rd great grandparents, Carl Schmidt and Ernestina Zenner Schmidt (d. 1922), and their 8 children. Here is how.

"Son is Electrocuted Where Father Died" - Tragedy in the Costlow Family of Johnstown (PA)

"Son is Electrocuted Where Father Died" - Tragedy in the Costlow Family of Johnstown (PA)

Eerily similar tragedies befell the Costlow family of Johnstown, Pennsylvania on June 15th of 1930 and November 3rd of 1958. Anthony Joseph Costlow (1897-1930) and his son, James J. Costlow (1921-1958), were both electrocuted while working in the same steel mill. These are their stories.

Alma Ratz Hanley (1894-1979): A Photo Essay

Alma Ratz Hanley (1894-1979): A Photo Essay

Alma Ratz Hanley (1894-1979) was one of my paternal great grandmothers. She is also the subject of this 49th installment of my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks family history blogging challenge. I hope you enjoy this photo essay about her life.

James J. Halvis (1896-1987): A Greek Family Mystery Is Solved

James J. Halvis (1896-1987): A Greek Family Mystery Is Solved

James J. Halvis (1896-1987) was my 1st cousin 3x removed. Until now there had been an unclear connection between his family and my own Halvangis line. Here is the story of how this Greek mystery was solved.

Dewey Loudermilk (1898-1957): The Coolest Name In My Family Tree

Dewey Loudermilk (1898-1957): The Coolest Name In My Family Tree

Dewey Loudermilk (1898-1957) was my 1st cousin 3x removed. He has, perhaps, the coolest name in my family tree. This is his story.

The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#100) - Battle Creek Woman Reaches Century Mark

The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#100) - Battle Creek Woman Reaches Century Mark

If born just a few weeks earlier than her February 17, 1900 birthday, Ida Rhoads Sears (1900-2002) would have achieved the rare distinction of having lived in three different centuries! This is her story.

James William Halvangis (1920-1973): "Meeting" My Grandfather Through Photographs

James William Halvangis (1920-1973): "Meeting" My Grandfather Through Photographs

James William Halvangis (1920-1973), my maternal grandfather, was the only one of my four grandparents who died before I was born. I’ve enjoyed “meeting” him through photographs. I hope you will too.

The Contemplative Beard of David Costlow (1853-1924)

The Contemplative Beard of David Costlow (1853-1924)

The beard of David Costlow (1853-1924) is a soft and greying cloud in active weather. David’s calm eyes rest contemplatively above a yard that teeters tenuously between kempt and neglect.

The Last Will and Testament of Christopher Adkins (1825-1887), My 4th Great Grandfather

The Last Will and Testament of Christopher Adkins (1825-1887), My 4th Great Grandfather

“I Christopher Adkins, of Epsom, in the County of Daviess, and State of Indiana, merchant, being of sound and disposing mind and memory …” - I believe this to be the last will and testament of my 4th great grandfather, Christopher Adkins (1825-1887).

My 2nd Great Grandmother: Marie Zuchowska Pawlowski (b. 1851)

My 2nd Great Grandmother: Marie Zuchowska Pawlowski (b. 1851)

Marie Zuchowska Pawlowski was my 2nd great grandmother. Born around 1851 in what is present day Poland, she came to the U.S. with her husband, Baltazar, in 1907. They settled in Detroit, MI to join their children. This is her story.

Greek Tsardoulias Brothers Buy and Operate Hotel James in Greenville, Ohio

Greek Tsardoulias Brothers Buy and Operate Hotel James in Greenville, Ohio

In 1925 two recent Greek immigrant brothers, Nicholas and Angelos Tsardoulias, purchased and began operating the Hotel James in Greenville, Ohio. They are likely cousins of mine. This is their story.

1942 Letterman of Saint Michael High School in Flint, MI: Michael John Hanley Jr. (1924-2015)

1942 Letterman of Saint Michael High School in Flint, MI: Michael John Hanley Jr. (1924-2015)

Letterman (1942) of the Saint Michael High School Basketball team in Flint, MI and my grandfather, Michael John Hanley Jr. (1924-2015). This is his story.

Sophocles Tsardoulias (1895-1895): On When to Hire Genealogy Help

Sophocles Tsardoulias (1895-1895): On When to Hire Genealogy Help

How I decided to hire expert genealogy help to research my Greek roots: The story of my 2nd great uncle, Sophocles Tsardoulias (1895-1895).

Agnieszka "Agnes" Szaroleta Grzeskowiak (1854-1918)

Agnieszka "Agnes" Szaroleta Grzeskowiak (1854-1918)

Agnieszka “Agnes” Szaroleta Grzeskowiak (1854-1918) was my 2nd great grandmother. She was married to my 2nd great grandfather, Albert Grzeskowiak (1849-1931). They came to the U.S. from Poland in the early 1880s and settled in Detroit, MI.

Elderly Alcoholic Bachelor Dies Alone: Joseph Costlow (1855-1932)

Elderly Alcoholic Bachelor Dies Alone: Joseph Costlow (1855-1932)

Joseph Costlow (1855-1932), a lifetime bachelor of Cambria Count, PA, was my 3rd great uncle. He died, seemingly alone, from complications of his alcoholism. This is his story.