Saturday, July 13, 2019

Recovering the past

Source: R. Salazar. Campuzano Family, Undated.
This week I received an amazing file from the National Archives, the Alien Case File for Maria Jesus Campuzano de Grijalva, oldest daughter of my 2nd-great-grandfather Vicente Campuzano. The photo above was shared to me back in 2015 by a granddaughter of Maria Jesus, and it shows Maria Jesus on the left, with likely Vicente's second wife Beatris Palacios, then Vicente. The young man to the right of him I think was my great-grandfather Plutarco Campuzano, followed by his sister Concha Campuzano on the end. The photo is undated, but given the age on Vicente's face, I think this is from 1920s, perhaps taken in Arizona or Sonora.

The A-file from the Archives includes two photos of Maria Jesus, one from 1951, and another from 1932. The 1932 photo looks a lot like her in the photo above.
Maria Jesus, A-file page dated 1932
The file includes a wealth of information about how Maria Jesus, as well as her father and siblings, came to the United States. I will be sharing some extracts from the file.

I am also preparing for another business trip, so the follow-up on this amazing story may need to wait a few days. But it's going to be worth it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Safford Junior High 1935-1937

Source: Safford Junior High Archives
While doing some research, I stumbled onto this photo from Safford Junior High in Tucson, Arizona. I think the photo has cousins of my Granny. The photo is dated class of 1935-1936-1937. I know from earlier research my Granny and her sister and cousins were at Safford in 1940. From newspaper archives my Granny and her sister Jessie were at Ochoa School in 1937. My Granny graduated from Safford in 1942.

Either way it is a cool photo. A hopeful and happy looking bunch.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Photo by Patrick Jones. Ramparts at Essaouira, 19 June 2019.
Before the meetings in Marrakech, I was able to enjoy a bit of relaxation in the beach towns of Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki in Morocco. Essaouira was featured recently in Game of Thrones and is also the home of the annual Gnaoua Music Festival. I was in the town during the set up for the stages for the festival, and was able to see live music from some early arrivals doing sound checks.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Sidi Kaouki Beach.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Door in Essaouira.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Essaouira. 18 June 2019.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Gnaoua Festival Main Stage. 19 June 2019.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Apollo 50

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. I'll be out of the country, so I'm marking the anniversary on the blog this week. The photo below comes from the NASA Apollo 11 archive.
Source: NASA. Apollo 11 launch, 16 July 1969.
For those in DC next week, the Smithsonian will be projecting images and video from the Apollo 11 launch onto the Washington Monument. This looks really cool.

Monday, July 8, 2019

WWII Draft Card

Source: WWII Draft Card for Alvin Read.
I don't think I've shared this draft card before on the blog, this is for my great-grandfather Alvin Read. In February 1942, he was living in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Alvin listed his mother Mary Alice as the person who would always know his address. The card does not help shed much more light on his life in Berrien County, Michigan.

I previously shared some other WWII draft cards from the family back in March.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Digging again into family history

I'm trying to do a better job of looking up family history. In digging into some documents for a cousin, I stumbled onto this clipping mentioning my Granny, her sister Jessie, and two cousins, Mary Lou Grijalva and Betty Polito. The clipping is from the Arizona Daily Star, dated 26 April 1940.
Arizona Daily Star, 1940.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Colorful Dyes

Photo by Patrick Jones. Dyes in Marrakech Medina, 20 June 2019.

I am back from my latest business trip, 10 days in Morocco. This was my third trip to Morocco, first since 2016. I managed to take time for a cool experience before the meetings, enjoying my first surfing lesson on a quiet beach thirty minutes south of picturesque Essaouira. I'll have some photos from that trip coming up.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Welcome to Arizona

Photo by L. Campuzano Reid. Arizona, 1970.
I'm trying to get back to more regular blogging. Above is a photo taken by my Granny on a visit back to Arizona in 1970. I converted this from slides to digital in December. Perhaps by starting slowly I will build up to a more regular rhythm of family history posts.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Immigrant Heritage Month

German ancestors in Southern Indiana. Undated photo.
I'm a little late in my annual Immigrant Heritage Month post due to travel over the first week of the month in Nordic Europe. The photo above shows my wife's 3rd-great-grandfather Stephen Freyling shoeing a horse, assisted by her 2nd-great-grandfather John Andrew Freyling on their farm in Warrick County, Indiana. In my previous Immigrant Heritage Month posts, I have tended to focus on my own immigrant ancestors, by my wife had immigrant ancestors as well, and it is important to recognize their contributions in coming to America at a time when it was much easier to do so.

Just like last year, I have made some donations to worthy causes that are supporting immigrants, including the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Wedding Photo

Wedding photo, Evansville, Indiana. 1 June 1947.
Here's another photo we picked up over the weekend in Indiana. This was taken on 1 June 1947, after the wedding of Allison's grandparents, Marilyn and Alfred Freyling.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Celebrating birthdays

Photo by B. Havens. Evansville, Indiana. 26 May 2019.
We're back from the Memorial Day Weekend festivities, where we visited family in Southern Indiana to celebrate the 90th birthday of her grandmother, Marilyn Freyling. We also celebrated a 10th birthday for our son, and caught up with all the cousins, aunts and uncles down on the family farm.

I managed to get copies of some old family photos during the trip. One below shows Marilyn's mother Helen holding her in 1929. Helen was probably 20 years old when this photo was taken.
Helen Umbach Halter with Marilyn and Donald.
Another shot of the extended family is below, showing Marilyn's grandmother Emma Koehler Umbach, then Helen holding Marilyn, and her great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Schwarzlose Koehler. These photos were likely taken in 1929.
Photo from Evansville, Indiana, 1929.
1930 US Census, Vanderburgh County, Indiana.
In the 1930 US Census, Marilyn can be seen living in the household of her parents, Luther and Helen, next to Helen's parents Fred C. and Emma Umbach.

Photo by Patrick Jones. Elberfeld, Indiana. 26 May 2019.
Here's another shot from the weekend, taken next to the road from the farm in Elberfeld, Indiana.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Wat Arun

Photo by Patrick Jones. Wat Arun, Bangkok. 6 May 2019.
I'm back from a week of workshops in Bangkok, Thailand. I did not manage to see as many sights as I did three years ago when I was in Bangkok for a UN conference. I've shared some photos on Instagram and will get around to some other thoughts from the trip. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Cloud Gate

Photo by Patrick Jones. Cloud Gate, Chicago. 24 April 2019.
The sculpture above is Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, also known as the Bean. It is located in Millennium Park, Chicago. I was in Chicago for a couple of days at the beginning of the week visiting long-time friends.

Blogging has been non-existent this month, partly due to a long trip in the Nordic region of Europe at the beginning of April, partly due to distraction and other activities at home. I have not been doing any family history research for a while, something I hope to rectify in May when meeting up with family.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Photo by Patrick Jones. Invader's AstroBoy near Shibuya, 16 Mar 2019.
I'm back now from my trip to Japan. This was the longest I think I've been on, a trip that took me to Los Angeles, then Kobe, Kyoto and Tokyo. The photo above is a bit of street art by internationally-known artist Invader, taken near Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. I had a great trip and I will have more photos on the blog. 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cherry Blossoms

Photo by Patrick Jones. Ikuta Shrine, 7 Mar 2019.
I am currently in Japan for meetings. On Thursday I had a chance to walk around Kobe. The photo above is from the Ikuta Shrine, which dates back to 201 AD. It is nice to see some early cherry blossoms here.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

New sub-regions in AncestryDNA results

Another recent advancement by Ancestry on their ethnicity estimates in AncestryDNA is the addition of sub-regions within countries. If this is not new, I missed it before. When looking at my Dad's results, I see an update pointing to Central Ireland, specifically the region of Roscommon and Longford. This is an unfamiliar region. All of the known research about my 3rd-great-grandfather John O'Brien had said he came from County Clare.
Source: AncestryDNA. Updated results for my Dad.
To be fair, Roscommon & Longford are directly northeast of Limerick, where John likely joined a ship that took him into the British Navy. Perhaps this is a more ancestral region of the family, or the home of another Irish branch, such as the Connor family.

Here's another visual courtesy of Google Maps, showing possible routes from Limerick to Roscommon and Longford.
Source: Google Maps.
AncestryDNA also shows how many matches also share a region. My Dad currently has 19 matches who share East Roscommon and Longford. When I look at those with a common ancestor, the result lists O'Brien, Martin, Conner/Connor, and our Allman branches of the tree. As I currently have a brick wall on the identity of my third-great-grandmother, the mother of John J. O'Brien, there's a whole other set of branches that may also connect to this part of Ireland.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

More Draft Cards

After looking at the draft cards for my grandfathers, and my Uncle Bob, I thought it was fair to look at the draft cards on Allison's side of the tree. Her Papaw signed his draft card on 13 December 1943. He was employed at the US Post Office in Evansville at the time.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1943.
Her other grandfather, James Ross Havens, was already a Navy veteran when he signed his draft card on 8 May 1946.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1946.
Her great-grandfather, Ross H. Havens, signed a draft card on 16 February 1942. He was a veteran of World War I, and was working for Chrysler Corporation in Evansville at the time.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1942.
Another great-grandfather, Clarence M. Boston, signed his draft card on the same day, 16 February, in Sturgis, Kentucky.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1942.
Her other great-grandfather, Calvin Luther Halter, signed his draft card on 16 October 1940. The reverse of his card showed that he had no appendix in 1940.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1940.

Friday, March 1, 2019

WWII Draft Cards

Ancestry has added an update to the World War II Draft Cards from 1940-1947. I was able to find the draft card for my grandfather. In 1942 Gumpy was working at Allison Engineering, the same place my Dad would later work for over 30 years. The reverse side of the card said he had a scar over his left eye.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Cards, 1942.
Reverse of Draft Card.
The draft card for my Uncle Bob, Gumpy's brother, shows that he was also working at Allison Engineering in 1940. He was also 6 feet tall.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Card, 1940.
The draft card for my grandfather Leo Reid is also interesting. He was 21 at the time, in July 1941. He later joined the Air Force. Leo listed his address as 1341 Kentucky Avenue in Indianapolis. I've previously posted photos taken in front of this building from around the same time period.
Source: Ancestry. WWII Draft Card, 1941.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New AncestryDNA features

The annual Rootstech Conference starts today in Salt Lake City. Ancestry has conveniently launched some new features to its AncestryDNA product and main Ancestry tree. Two of the features can be found on the top left drop-down under "Extras", and then click on Ancestry Lab. The first feature is called MyTreeTags. This allows one to add labels and tags within your Ancestry tree, creating searchable tags and notes on the Facts pages for the people in your tree.

The next feature is New & Improved DNA Matches. By enabling the feature one can more easily sort, group and view DNA matches. This does seem to be a big improvement. I was able to create color-coded groups for my main family lines and then place DNA matches into the groups that I made. This also highlighted several new matches who had a Common Ancestor with me.

The third new feature is ThruLines, and appears to be a replacement or an evolution of the DNA Circles feature. ThruLines seems to be pretty cool. I have some screen shots below which shows how this looks. Back in August 2017,  I was trying to reverse engineer some AncestryDNA connections on the Amado line. Now when I look up my 5th-great-grandfather Jose Jesus Amado, I can see there are 18 DNA matches on the line of Jose's son Jose Santos Amado, and 10 DNA matches on the line descending from my 4th-great-grandfather Jesus Amado. That's very helpful.
Source: AncestryDNA's new ThruLines feature.
Here's another example. In October 2014 I wrote about an exchange over email with a researcher who was trying to confirm a connection between Arena Louisa Thornhill and my 5th-great-grandmother Sarah Westall Thornhill. This researcher died in 2010. Using the ThruLines feature, I can now visualize the DNA connections descending from Sarah, showing three DNA matches descending from Arena Louisa.
Source: AncestryDNA ThruLines. 
This is incredibly useful for researchers, and can potentially breakdown walls for adoptees. I also compared some of the ThruLines from my AncestryDNA results and those I administer for others in the family. Here's an example of what I see when I look up my 4th-great-grandfather Robert Thomas Jones.
ThruLines result for me.
My sister sees some slightly different matches.
ThruLines result for my sister.
Our Dad's results showed an even larger set of matches. This is expected.
ThruLines result for my Dad.
This is quite an update to the AncestryDNA functionality and I'll have to spend more time looking at this new feature. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Enjoying the game

Photo by Patrick Jones. Two for two on free throws. 16 Feb 2019.
The youth basketball season is coming to a close for our son. Saturday will mark the end of the season, with a chance to even their record. It has been fun to watch the scrappy group. Our #5 in the photo above has played pretty well, often serving as the ball handler up the floor and is showing signs of being quick to attack the basket on a breakaway.

I'd like to think he inherited this skill from me, or more likely from his Uncle Brian and my great-grandfather Edgar Lawrence Jones. Edgar was part of the Indiana State Champion Thorntown basketball team in 1915. I have covered this before on the blog, but looking back at my earlier postings reminds me to remind our son of this heritage when he is older.

My great-grandfather was not a starter, and he likely played the role of pressuring the starters in practice more often than helping Thorntown win games against other schools. Their team came from a town with only 1600 people and 120 boys in the school. Thorntown won their title after bouncing back from a slow 2-3 start. Along the way to the State Championship they had to beat several teams that had taken them down earlier in the year. One of those schools, Rochester, had beaten Thorntown in January 1915 by a score of 40-26. The next game the coach used mostly subs, and Thorntown won 42-16. I'd like to think Edgar had a hand in that victory. They later got revenge on Rochester, winning a close contest 17-14 in the second round of the State Tournament. Thorntown won the championship on the court at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Muncie Star-Press, 14 Mar 1915.
Brazil Daily Times, 16 Mar 1915.
The championship victory meant quite a lot in the town, as one can see from the clipping above. Stores, banks, the public library and schools were closed on the afternoon of 15 March 1915 in celebration. This was also Edgar's 19th birthday.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Photo by Patrick Jones. Under the dome, Louvre Abu Dhabi. 22 Feb 2019.
Last week I was in Dubai for a conference. At the end of the week I had a bonus day before my 2am flight back to the US, so I took the opportunity to visit the amazing Louvre Abu Dhabi. The building is really impressive, with its large dome of interlocking stars creating interesting light patterns and shadows on the exhibition spaces below.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Louvre Abu Dhabi.
I spent about three hours there, which was more than enough time to take in the exhibitions and enjoy a bite to eat. The current exhibition is Rembrandt, Vermeer and the Dutch Golden Age.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Louvre Abu Dhabi. 22 Feb 2019.