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Welcome to my personal genealogy blog.

I have been researching my family history for the past 20 years. At first I was unsure how to get started and in the process missed the opportunity to ask questions of grandparents that died before I figured out what I was doing. This blog follows my genealogy trail and I hope helps gives my readers ideas on how to solve some of their own brick walls. It has been a fascinating ride for me. Some things I have discovered and some things have discovered me. Because of the blog I have been able to break through walls with information given to me by some of its readers.

So grab a cup of your favorite morning beverage and ride along while I stumble and bump, meander and roam my way along my genealogy trail. I promise, I will tell you all about it.



  1. Hello. I bookmarked your site a few years ago (and just rediscovered that bookmark) when I found, to my surpise, a picture of Tamar Orlton, who appears at the top of my family tree. I also have Kilgores in that tree. This leads me to believe that we may be related. The family tree information that I have was researched by other family members, but I would like to take it back further than Tamar. I would like to take it back to England or Ireland, where I believe the family may have originated. Can you give me any information, or point me in the right direction?

  2. I believe we may be related-my great great great grandfather was Ulrich West. I actually passed the cemetery he is buried in today. I have learned a lot of great information from your blog. My grandfather was William West, whose father was Lora, the child of Ulrich’s son, John.

  3. I’ve seen his name listed as Laurence and Lawrence West as well. His birth year was 1881 and he died in 1920. His wife’s name was Esther.

  4. I am so glad I found this blog. I recently became interested in genealogy. My surname is Siffrinn as well, my great great grandfather was Peter Lewis Siffrinn, born 1880 in Germany and came to America around 1882. He was a glassblower in Kane and would later be survived by my great grandfather John, who died in 1970.

    1. Hi Lewie, Glad to meet another cousin! I know a lot more about the Siffrinn family today than I did several years ago. There are a couple of blog entries up about my research.

  5. Hi Cathy. My maternal grandfather is J M (Joe) Naiman, (1900-1992) the photographer of the photo. I was doing research on him when I found your photo. The photo location is actually Mount Vernon, VA. If you look at current photos of Mt. Vernon today, especially the center spire and chimneys of the main building, you will see the resemblance to 1922. I have seen only one other photo taken in this location. It is nice to find a new piece of his work. Best Regards, Howard

    1. Hi Howard. Thanks for the additional information! Glad I could provide a shot that you had not seen before. From what I was told the White House was being worked on and that is why the photo was taken at Mount Vernon. – Cathy

  6. Just what you needed another cousin, from Alton, Il. I’m Kerry Miller, son of Helen Senz Miller, granddaughter of Catherine Koenig Senz, daughter of Barbara Siffrin Koenig. Barbara is buried here, but have no info on Johann. Would you have dates on him and any info on Barbara’s parents? Thanks so much.

    1. Johann Michael Koenig was born Jul 27, 1825 in Schonecken, Germany, and died November 25, 1820 in Friedrichstal. His parents were George Konig and Maria Anna Bouchnay. The spelling on Koenig/Konig gets really creative. Johann had 8 children. He came from a family of 10 children.

      Barbara’s parents were Johannes Siffrin (spelling gets creative with Siffrin(n) Sivering/Siverin) and Elisabeth Pfeiffer. Barbara was one of 10 children. I can send yoou more information if you contact me at –


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