Tag: lineage

Historical Imaging



Showcasing images I’ve created, composited and/or altered in order to make historical situations, places or circumstances more readily accessible to as many people as possible.

This grew out of my effort–shared with anyone who gets intricately lost in making family trees–of trying to find relevant imagery to use for people of whom no pictures exist (e.g., anyone who lived before the 1840s). But not just relevant, you really want to push it further and find images that are interesting, too. Or at least I do. And accurate, for instance, to the time when a particular ancestor or historical personage might have actually lived or been at a given location. So from these endeavors, the following sampling of images.

First Example

This is Château de Jumilhac, a castle south of Limoges in southwestern France. In the course of working on a friend’s family tree, I learned some of his ancestors had been ChteaudeJumilhacleGrand copyinvolved in actually building it back in the 1200s. (!!) They’d been among its lords, too, for 150 years or so. After first thinking, aha! whatta sweet image to use for that string of ancestors, I learned as I read more about them and it, that the conical rooftops (that will surely strike Americans as quintessentially “fairy-tale”) were added hundreds of years after his family had been on the scene in the depths of the actual Middle Ages. Well I couldn’t use a historically inaccurate image, so I did something about it.

ChteaudeJumilhacleGrandOLD copy



This is much closer to what it would have looked like to the de Bruchard family as they knew it.




An older photograph also lent itself to easy changing:


















So the examples here are each within a category:

  • People & Location
  • Now to Then
  • Obsolete Professions
  • SketchUp 4 Teaching History
  • Now to Then 2 (showing elements)

People & Location

  1. Swedish origin spot of my great-grandmother and 3 generations of her people


South-central Sweden, Vastragotaland.


2. Recent Dukes of Argyll at their seat, Inverary Castle, Scotland

DUKE 11 1


Now to Then

  1. View from the Mayflower

2. Castle Hornby

On the left, as seen around 1900 (& today); on the right, as it was when my ancestor lived there (incidentally, just about the last–my most recent–ancestor to reside in a castle…500 years ago!)


Obsolete professions

Two variations


SketchUp 4 Teaching History

  1. Construction of the White House (the Executive’s Mansion) in the 1790s in Washington, D.C.

These are views of a multi-layered SketchUp model I’ve built of various stages of the White House’s construction. Here we see the foundation as it was originally laid down in 1791-2. The layers reflect the actual materials, orientation and configuration learned from researching primary source material (such as reports of the crew who laid the new foundations in the 1950s as to what they found as well as reports of Thomas jeffereson, architect Benjamin Latrobe and others involved in the early days of the building). The close-up is the northwest corner, seen from just a few feet south and west of it.


Here’s the southern facade, seen from the southeast, depicted as the Limestone facing began to be mounted on the brick walls.

And the same face seen from the southwest, a little further along in the process:












And here’s the north (properly, the front) as it neared completion. (The portico that we know today  was not added until the 1820s).


Now to Then 2 (showing elements)

Here you can see various elements that went in to the image at the very top of the page (the black & white 1800s looking street).

That’s Liverpool, England. Specifically, Vauxhall Road, looking across it from near where my gr-gr-grandad, a guy named Edward Dunn, had a business in the 1870s, to the intersection with Blacklock Street, toward the site of Vauxhall Gardens, a housing project that was destroyed in WWII during the Blitz just before Xmas 1940.




Composite of contemporary shot (made B&W) with old shot.






Composite of two images; the corner building has been added to the street shot. I then added this with the B&W version of the current corner seen in the shot above this to get the image seen at the very top of the page.

This is the current shot, unaltered.




And the combo with the building destroyed by Nazi bombs in WWII is below again for easy comparison.






Brothers Pt. 3 – Y-DNA Haplogroup Trees

AFRICA L2R copy 2

Welcome to the third part of this little spree of posts on Y-DNA and the worldwide lines of descent, wherein you’ll find haplogroup trees of the world’s men. Those men have been the agents and embodiments of its (Y-DNA’s) dispersal. Here are links to Part 1 & Part 2.

In this post I’m sharing more detailed charts I’ve made showing these descents, first of which is a slight revision of the first one I posted showing the African “trunk” of what I’m calling the world’s brothers. The main difference is simply that it’s oriented left to right instead of top down; I’ve also added some brief explanatory notes on it. Again, all the charts I post should be clicked on and then opened again at their max size.

Y-DNA African haplogroup tree, Y DNA, Y chromosome, african y-dna, y-dna haplogroup A, y-dna haplogroup B, y-dna haplogroup A00, chris rock y-dna, y-chromosomal adam, spencer wells, genographic, human migration, human family tree

And next is the branch that came from “CT Little Brother” in the chart above. CT is the working designation of the Y-DNA haplogroup of the men who first left the garden-like cradle of Africa about 72,000 years ago, and from whom 90% of the world’s men descend.

YDNA tree haplogroup CT, Y-DNA haplogroup CT chart, Y-DNA haplogroup CT, Y-DNA haplogroup DE, Y-DNA halpogroup E, Y-DNA haplogroup F, y chromosome haplogroup CT, out of africa migration, y haplogroup d, y haplogroup e, genghis khan dna, richard iii y dna

Next we have “The Rest” of us, the Brothers. It’s worth noting that almost all of the migrations demonstrated in these charts were back in the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic period).

Y-DNA haplogroup tree, Y-DNA haplogroup IJ, Y-DNA haplogroup R, Y-DNA haplogroup O, Y chromosome r, china y-dna, europe y-dna, viking y-dna,

And last for today is this amazingly elegant & simplified version of the big picture from a great site called The Genetic Atlas:


Thanks for visiting! And as always, if you share any of these Y-DNA haplogroup trees, just link back here or attribute them otherwise.

A Turn to Thee Wyffe’s…in Die Schweiz!


Ah yes. Spectacular, no?

COGLIO VAL 2 PASCALThis is the valley in southern Switzerland where my ex-wife’s mom’s maternal line originated. It’s thus the home of my kids’ mitochondrial-DNA (mT-DNA, handed down by mothers to all their children, but only passed on by tCoglio map 2heir daughters when they become mothers). So far I’ve only been able to push back the ancestor envelope on that side a generation, so from my kids that’s only 5 generations back.

However, based on what we know, it’s a safe bet the line was in the Vallemaggia, as the locale is known to residents, as well as to maps, tourists and anyone interested. We already knew that my wife’s great-grandmother was born in Switzerland. I began with that and in a step found and confirmed the village: Coglio. As the search thickened (as they do), I started COGLIO KATKAseeing lots of the same few family names in all the records: from those who came over (including in the locations, here) as well as in the European documentation. And I came to find that the families were long-established in this valley of the River Maggia. My kids’ great-great-grandma was a woman born in Nov 1878 in Coglio named Gemma La Franchi. And it seems like her mother was a lady born there in 1849 named Mariangela Pozzi.

You Want La Franchis? We got La Franchis!   GROTTO L 1

Turns out the Vallemaggia was thick with Pozzis and La Franchis, and there’s the pretty standard occurrence in places like that of cousins marrying every couple-few generations or so. A crazy proportion of people in the village and in the valley moved en massed to America between the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

For now, this post is to just share the beauty of the place. It could be that I’m  projecting a little bit, since, after all, this is the place, ultimately, from which two very special little eggs indeed hatched.

But come’on! Look at this place! It’s awesome!


The Story Behind a Reunion Photo!

Above is a photo that both returning readers and relatives (a lot of overlap, there, too 😉 will recognize.

There are a few copiesof this picture floating around amongst those of us descended from the fellow on the right, George P.B. Campbell (1835-1910). From the date written on them, we’ve always known the picture was taken the summer of 1905 in Georgetown, Colorado. And from written “records of the family” we’ve known three things: 1) that Georgetown, Colorado was at that time the residence of the fellow on the left in the picture: Thomas B. Campbell (1830-1907), eldest of the group of siblings; 2) that he and the rest of the family had lived in southwestern Wisconsin from 1844 to around 1880; and 3) that in 1905 they were the last living of what had been a brood of seven.

Seated next to Thomas (in the middle), Henry R. Campbell (1843-1913) was the second youngest of the seven, and at the time of this picture lived in Stockton, California, where he’d lived since 1874. Only George (on the right) remained living in Wisconsin, but not in the extreme southwestern part of the state where they’d all lived as boys, where their parents had died, where they’d all grown, married and had families, where their only sister and baby brother had both died some 40 years earlier, the area that even for the two brothers who went west to California was without question the family crucible and launch pad. Henry and George had served together in the Civil War in Company H of the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. (Here’s a narrative I wrote of that: GPBC CIVIL WAR1) In fact, it was an event oif the Civil War veterans’ organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, of which they were both members, that occasioned this reunion. Meanwhile, The 2nd oldest of the siblings, John A. Campbell (1833-1873) had gone overland in 1851; the 4th son Columbus A. (1838-1900), had sailed via Panama in 1858.

Thomas had had 8 kids, remarried after his first wife died and had three more kids before leaving to Colorado around 1879. George also had remarried after his first wife died and had had three kids prior to himself then moving to northern Wisconsin. Thomas had been a bookkeeper and shopkeep in what had started as a mining boom town. But New Diggings never made that critical transition away from economic dependency on mining. In the mid 1870s if mining boom towns was what you knew, the place to go was Colorado. Henry was also a bookkeeper, living just two doors down from Thomas; he left sooner (he had only three kids, so perhaps was able to save the money to go more quickly than Thomas) and opted for the help (possibly) of their brother Columbus out in California’s central valley (John had died the year before; perhaps Henry was to assist with John’s kids, too). George, on the other hand, had followed in the work of their father: he was in the lumber milling business, and by the mid 1880s one of the places to go if that was your thing was northern Wisconsin.

Out in California, Columbus died in 1900.

Thus, just from the barest knowledge that these three were the last living of the siblings–of a family that had been born and raised on the wagon roads through the Midwest, orpahend as kids (ranging from ages 19 to 3)–and that these three lived in truly far-flung locales (California, Colorado, Wisconsin), it was obvious that the picture was something of a big deal, or rather, had been taken full of intent to remember, notate, commemmorate.

Well at long last and sort of out of the blue, we now have–and I am tickled pink to present…

The story behind the picture,

told in first person



the oldest brother,

Thomas B. Campbell, himself

Here, then, is the account, told by that alert-looking little man on the left of the picture, of these three brothers’ reunion in the Rocky Mountains just over a hundred years ago, as he recounted it in a letter to one of his granddaughters, who was at Catholic boarding school in Nebraska.


December 11, 1905

Dear Granddaughter,

Thomas B. ~ ca.1874

I had quite a reunion last September with my brothers, George P.B. and Henry R. at the grand army meeting in Denver at that time. We three are all there is now living of the original seven, six brothers and one sister.

We three had met together at New Diggings, Wisconsin in July, 1874 at the time Henry was about to leave for California and we had not seen each other since then.


Henry ~ ca.1874

Brother Henry of Stockton,California was a delegate to the grand army [of the Republic] meeting and Besides, we found that brother George had a son – George D. …in Denver. This I did not know until the past summer, when a man on one of the excursions, inquired of the bystanders for me and I happened to be at the station at the time and he made him known as son of my brother George, and when brother Henry got to Denver, a letter of mine to him in the care of Mrs. Duff informed him of the address of our nephew George D.

George D.

Brother George (of Chetek, Wisconsin near St. Paul, Minn) did not intend to come to the grand army meeting, but brother Henry arranged with nephew George D. to have brother George come to Denver and he came…..

So we three brothers made our head quarters in Denver with nephew George D. and his wife. They gave us entertainment to the Queens or anybody else‘s state. We had a great time. Brother Henry and his wife were up here and went back to Denver before Brother George came out, and when George came, I went down to Denver and after brother Henry left for home, brother George came up here with me. The Denver relations appear to be nice people and we now hope that we can become better acquainted.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I am very truly yours,

Your grandfather,
Thomas B. Campbell


The letter is taken from a privately published book available through the LA Family History Library that chronicles the life of Thomas’s oldest grandchild, Lulu Donnersberger (nee Kidder) via letters written by and to her over the course of her life, beginning when she was 8 years old, and includes some, like the one above, between various other family members. The book was written and edited by Lulu’s daughter Ella Laub (nee Donnersberger) in the 1970s.

  Click here for the post that links to it.

1905, Georgetown, CO
L to R: Thomas B. (75), Henry R. (61), & George P.B. Campbell (70)

Father’s Hood Poetic…

The chart above shows the ancestors I know so far on my father’s side, which are essentially new discoveries for me.

Closer view of my father's tree back to his great-grandparents
One style of view of his tree
Another style of view of his tree

Below are pictures of typical scenes of streets and a court in Liverpool (which is where my dad was born and raised, where his dad was as well, and his father before him. That guy’s dad – my great-great grandfather – was a kid when his father before him had moved his brood from County Wicklow, Ireland to Liverpool in the 1860s.)

Site of 4 Court, Queen Anne St., Liverpool (Dunn residence 1901-ca.1930
Liverpool street, early 20th Century
A Court in Liverpool, typical of the kind where our folks lived