What are the ‘holy grails’ of Genealogy?

Some might say the “holy grail” of genealogy is putting aside all that paper research and gumshoeing and spitting into a tube, sealing it up, and mailing it off to the Mormons for verification in their ever-expanding database of lives lived, down to the DNA. But that just doesn’t get my socks going up and down. It’s a trick of chemistry that, to me, makes blood, somehow, impersonal.

I’ve skipped the saliva-gram altogether, and found my own grails to pursue.

Whispering Across the Campfire

Pfouts Michael Conotton winter view wide Every spring, the flowering shrub planted — or having taken root — at Michael Pfouts’s gravesite swallows his memorial stone, and each autumn, it shrivels to reveal the stone again. Picture from March 2011. This was one of my most unique genealogy finds — I first visited the cemetery south of Bowerston, Ohio, in Spring and couldn’t find Michael’s stone due to the flowering plant. When I came back at the tail end of winter, there was the resting place of our oldest Foutz ancestor, first to come to the United States from Germany.

What (Still) Captivates Me About Genealogy

Howdy, all, after a good long while. And happy 2020.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Whispering Across the Campfire. And though a kind of yawning chasm has tended to open up between my posts, especially of late, this year I’ve resolved to open up the archives and spill…

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Smile a While: Cat Laps up Tuna Water

Drinking Tuna Water? It's Meow-valous Every dog has his day, so they say. And around our bustling household, that goes for cats, too. Or should I say, cat. (Thank God we just have the one.) Something to hopefully tickle your fancy today as the world continues with our hunker-down approach to the spreading corona virus:... Continue Reading →

A (Short?) Farewell to Vintage Jersey Mecca

Ebbets Field Flannels Liquidates Seattle Storefront Strange times we're living in. Strange times indeed. Been sort of surreal since returning from my business trip to London and Amsterdam, just as U.S. borders were closing, I haven't left my house in 14 days due to self-quarantining (I fortunately feel fine), so I have not had a... Continue Reading →

Laud & Cheer: Rosewood Hong Kong

In Praise of the Rosewood Hong Kong, Champion of Hotel Luxury Throughout the United States, and around the world, many of us are nearing the end of a second week of social isolation. My world has narrowed to the walls of my house, maybe the walking perimeter of my neighborhood, and my commute is as... Continue Reading →

I Am Dad, Destroyer of Toothbrushes

Three Electric Toothbrushes: Dadtritus Alert Is it just me, or do most Dads mow through toothbrushes with our mighty molars at a pace that leaves them buzzing and stuttering in our wake? To wit: at last count, I had not one, not two, but three Philips Sonicare models of various vintage standing sentry on my... Continue Reading →

Smile a While: Kid Animation

Kids Coding: Pear Meets Bear We're five days in -- or, is it seven? Nine? -- to the endeavor of social isolation, and though I have no inkling of how we'll fare by the end of this week, we've so far found some productive ways to keep from climbing the walls. Case in point: my... Continue Reading →

Grilled Cheese Fit for Dad

Man Up Your Grilled Cheese -- With Steak I'd like to think that, having been a bit of a picky eater myself growing up, most of the dishes I grill and boil and fry and simmer are ones my kids can stand to eat. Yeah, dream on, Dad. I mean, I haven't yet subjected them... Continue Reading →

Dueling Lighters: Is it Just Me?

Dadtritus Alert: Twin Zippo Lighters Can you get too much of a good thing? As we tackle the notion of "dadtritus" -- those very dad-type objects that seem to accumulate in cabinets and drawers and corners -- the answers seems to be a resounding, "well, duh." Whether it's an avalanche of rapidly-graying T-shirts, or closet... Continue Reading →

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