I was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, home of the Pony Express. When I was 10-years-old, my dad moved us to San Diego, where he had found a better job. Except for a brief stint when I returned to Missouri for college, I’ve lived in San Diego most of my life.
I have an absolute passion for the frontier west. Most of my travels are to the backroads of the west, poking my nose into the places where history happened. I think the place that stunned me the most was Pecos National Historical Park, near Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s because I realized I was walking the same ground that Coronado walked 500 years earlier. It gave me chills.
But of course I love trips that involve finding family history and stories. See that photo of me wearing the red shirt? It was taken during a genealogy trip to Reed Cemetery near Harrisonville, Missouri. There, in an overgrown and untended cemetery I (with the help of Harrisonville genealogists) found the final resting place of my great-great-grandparents. That was a day I’ll never forget.
When I have time, I read a lot – primarily books about American history. I’m also an avid iPhoneographer and cemetery explorer.
10 Things You May Not Know About Me
- The branch of my family tree that gives me the biggest challenge is Hendrickson. Go figure
- My Civil War great-great-grandfather was wounded at Shiloh – this is the first family story I remember.
- I take at least one major genealogy/history trip every year with my sister.
- I am a minimalist.
- I have been interviewed about genealogy by the New York Times.
- I didn’t know either of my grandfathers.
- I have strong memories of my dad eating radish and butter sandwiches.
- I have found four Revolutionary War ancestors but have never joined the D.A.R.
- I was shocked that my DNA came back 14% Irish. Who’d a guessed?
- I wish I had the stamina to walk 50 miles of the Oregon Trail.
A Few of My Books