August, 2006

Madeline Bowie

Some time ago, I came across Texas state records which indicated that my father had a sister that he had not known about. Her name was Madeline Bowie, born on May 27, 1930, in Rockport, Texas. I spent some time thinking about whether it or how I would tell my father about this discovery. I wondered if he would be …Continue reading →


The Lost Families — Part One

After several years of working day and night on the family history, I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in most cases. But there are some situations that are not much further along than they were when we started. These I referred to as the “lost families.” The Martins About three years ago, my father told me that he had …Continue reading →


Now For Something a Little Bit Different . . .

Sasha Volokh, one of the most interesting young intellectuals in the country, has this take on succession to the British throne.


Big Brother or Merely Uncle Sam?

This blog is read all over the world, literally. Sometimes people come upon it accidentally while they’re looking for something else, but there is a corps of loyal and constant readers. [Thank you!] And I’m always happy to welcome new or occasional readers. I was rather surprised, however, when recently someone from the United States Department of Justice and the …Continue reading →


The Ancestral Neighborhood

Starting in the 1860s, my great-grandfather Richard William Gines lived at 1540 Ashton St, Shreveport, Louisiana. Although I’ve been to Shreveport, I’ve never been to 1540 Ashton St. Thanks to Mapquest, however, I know that that residence is between Pierre Avenue and Allen Avenue, just a little bit north of I-20 in Shreveport. MapQuest also tells me its a 28 …Continue reading →


Smithsonian Opens Photo Archives… Sort Of

The Washington Post reports this morning: From its very beginnings, the Smithsonian Institution has taken and collected photographs. Masses of them. John Brown’s steely eyes were captured in a daguerreotype by August Washington in 1846. A now-extinct Tasmanian hyena, sleek and striped, attracted photographer Thomas W. Smillie in 1891. Harry Bowden went to Jackson Pollock’s chaotic studio in 1949 and …Continue reading →


Texas Death Index at has changed its look and feel and added a number of new databases lately. The stylistic changes are somewhat of a mixed bag in my opinion. In some ways, the site looks cleaner; on the other hand at least one change has made searching a little harder and not easier as claims. One expanded database that has interested …Continue reading →


Hattie Bryant’s Death Certificate from Texas Vital Records

Hattie Bryant (1888-1944) was the daughter of Guy Bryant (1860-1910?) and Amanda Mariah Martin (1863-1920?). She was my father’s grandmother. Although she was married briefly to a man named Christy Morales, she apparently went by the name Bryant throughout all of her life. I recently obtained Hattie Bryant’s death certificate from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The cost …Continue reading →


Perry Gines

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA– Nearly everyone who comes here for any length of time, ends up staying here or wishing they could. “Alaska is different,” people here say, and that is evident everywhere one looks. I’m here for a few days on non-genealogical business, but of course I took some time to find a genealogical connection. That connection is Perry Wesley Gines, …Continue reading →


Read Nita Ighner

Unabashed (well, may be somewhat abashed) praise for fellow researcher. Nita Ighner is the extraordinary scribe of Diggin’ Up Bones, which chronicles her search for her paternal ancestors. Nita does hard work, the results of which can be described as real scholarship. But hers is a humanizing scholarship. She does her work with such an obvious personal pride and empathetic …Continue reading →

August 2006
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