Emigration from Boveglio, a Family Affair


Giacinto and DariaThe tiny Italian village of Boveglio sits nestled high in the hills of Tuscany just about 15 miles to the Northeast of the beautiful walled city of Lucca. In the nineteenth century most of the residents there made their living growing olives and chestnuts. The chestnuts would be ground into a fine flour which was then used to make the bread and pasta that sustained them. It was in this pastoral medieval town that Giacinto Giorgi and Daria Ferrari would raise a family.

Continue reading


The stories on this site have been grouped in multiple ways. The six collections featured on the homepage are organized by the theme that run through all the stories, regardless of who they are about. And the tag cloud on the sidebar groups stories with similar topics together.

However, a fellow genealogist once told me, “I am as interested in your family as you are in mine,” meaning that he wasn’t interested in my family stories at all. So for those folks who might only be curious about specific people, this FAMILIES menu sorts the stories by the major family lines in my tree. Hopefully it will just be a springboard to get you interested in the other fascinating people discussed here.

Family Charts – Vanderwalker & Call Descendants

1824 - Isaac Vanderwarker tombstone 800hThe Vanderwalker/Vanderwarker/Vanderwarken family tree goes back to Colonial times in the early 1600s. They were a prominent family in upstate New York near Saratoga and included at least two patriots who fought in the American Revolution. My ancestors, of course, were in the branch of the family that left town to seek their fortunes elsewhere.

This is my biological line through my great grandmother, Agnes Call.

Continue reading

Family Charts – Hanlen & Holland

Cliff and June Hanlen 800x900My stepchildren were fortunate to spend a great deal of their Arizona childhoods with their maternal grandparents, Cliff Hanlen and June Holland. After I married their daughter’s ex-husband, this wonderful couple was quick to recognize how much I cared about their grandchildren and I was welcomed with open arms. They always made me feel very much a part of their extended family. No DNA match required.

Continue reading

Family Charts -Grabner & Pauli

I grew up hearing stories about “Uncle Grabner” but until I started digging into our family history, I wasn’t exactly sure who this guy was. Turns out that Ferdinand Grabner and his wife, Katherine Pauli, were my great great grandparent’s best friends. The family legend was that Uncle Grabner had sent a photo of Sophie Scheuer to Ernest Taeuffer suggesting he marry her and that Ernest moved to California to do so. It makes a good story, but turns out it cannot have been true. The truth is that the two families were inseparable throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries and that they remained close friends even after the Grabners moved out of Healdsburg in the late 1920s.

Continue reading