Stoltz, Chávez, Dunham, Alvarado, Luján, Rocha, Ivans, García, Marín, Stricker, Cuaron, Balderas, Springston, Todd, Telles, Tamayo, Moraila and more


Through risk, hardship and sacrifice, our ancestors colonized and helped found:

  • New Mexico
  • Plymouth Colony
  • El Paso
  • Ensenada
  • North Dakota
  • Maine
  • California


Downloads are available in the Image Galleries and the Family Trees section.


Our family researchers include Phyllis Maercklein, Helen Stoltz Costello, Jim and Margie Schoenfelder, David Stoltz, Eric Stoltz and Michael Stoltz. We are grateful for the contributions of Gloria Joyce Hernández Alvarado, David Hernández, Norbert Wegmann, Lysa Nabours and many other talented researchers who have assisted us as well as all our family members who have been so cooperative.

Archive for the ‘Photographs’ Category

A Luján House of Love

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Juan Maria Lujan House, San Elizario
Last week I visited family in El Paso, and one of the things I did with my dad and some cousins was to see historic San Elizario, just outside El Paso.

Aside from checking out the historic presidio chapel, founded 1789, where my ancestors were baptized, married and buried, I was curious to see the historic Juan Maria Luján House, pictured above, which I already knew from research was still standing.

Juan Maria Luján (1835-1914) was my great-great-grandfather, whose daughter Apolonia (1872-1929) married Ludwig “Louis” Stoltz (1866-1958). Just before leaving for El Paso I heard from a distant cousin in another state the family story how they met. And that’s why I really wanted to see the house. (more…)

Hey Great-Grandma, I Can See Your House from Here!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

For some time I’ve had a mission to find a photograph of the house on Fremont Avenue in downtown Los Angeles where the Alvarado family lived in the late teens and early 1920s. I’ve spent many hours combing through online collections of historical photographs, hoping to find some clue that would give me a window into the neighborhood where my grandmother grew up and was married off at the age of 15, where my granduncle Carlos died in the flu epidemic of 1918, where my great-grandfather died in 1921.

Imagine how I feel today; I’ve solved the puzzle and have a photo of that neighborhood and the very house. (more…)

A Gravestone in Maine

Friday, October 21st, 2011

James Dunham (1758-1829) and Elizabeth Robbins Dunham (1758-1820)

Gravestone of James Dunham (1758-1829) and Elizabeth Robbins (1758-1820)
In the spirit of Halloween, when traditionally styled gravestones are popping up on lawns everywhere, I offer the real thing.

Through the magic of, which contains some 65 million cemetery records, I found today photographs of headstones of several early Maine relatives, including the above gravestone of my 4th great-grandparents James Dunham (1758-1829) and Elizabeth Robbins (1758-1820) from the Carmel Village Cemetery in Carmel, Penobscot, Maine. I love the symbol of the hand pointing to the heavens.

The town of Carmel was incorporated June 21, 1811, previous to which it was known as Plantation No. 3, in the third range. The records begin with the report of the meeting held March 2, 1812, at which meeting James was elected field driver.

According to the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Maine was a “department” of Massachusetts until 1820 when it was admitted to the Union as the 23rd state as part of the Missouri Compromise):

Every field driver shall take up horses, mules, asses, neat cattle, sheep, goats or swine going at large in the public ways, or on common and unimproved land within his town and not under the care of a keeper; and any other inhabitant of the town may take up such cattle or beasts so going at large on Sunday, and for taking up such beasts on said day the field driver or such other inhabitant of the town may in tort recover for each beast the same fees which the field driver is entitled to receive for taking up like beasts.

Ending a Great War

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Daniel Dunham (1833-?) and His Siblings

As has been noted elsewhere on this blog, my great-great-grandfather Seth Dunham came to California from Maine during the Gold Rush. His parents, James Dunham (b. abt 1788 in Orland, Hancock, Maine) and Elizabeth “Betsy” Gilpatrick (b. 27 May 1795 In Orland) had 10 other children besides Seth. So while I’ve paid much attention to Seth, and to Seth’s grandfather James, it’s time to send out some love to those great-great-granduncles and great-great-grandaunts, Seth’s siblings.

James and Betsy’s first child was Abigail, born 4 Jun 1815 in Orland. On 10 Aug 1836 she would marry Leonard Newcomb, a member of a prominent Maine family, and they would live in Carmel, Penobscot Maine and raise four children there. Abigail died in May 1884.

Their second child, Nancy, also married well. She wed William P. Worthley in Orland on 30 Sep 1834. They would have 10 children.

Othniel was born 19 Feb 1818 in Orland. While Seth would partake in the great adventure of the Gold Rush and Sumner may have also emigrated later to California, Othniel and his younger brother Daniel were caught up in a more tragic national epic: The Civil War. (more…)

A World-Wide Web of Cousins

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
Frederick Brunk (1862-1943) and Barbara (Stoltz) Brunk (1870-1923)

I am constantly amazed at the family connections to be made when undertaking family history research on the Internet. Not only has this blog enabled me to learn things from cousins I know, but it has also unearthed cousins I did not know about. All are so helpful and willing to share what they know. And they tell us about cousins of long ago, who now become part of our own age through the Web.

Take this beautiful wedding photo of Frederick Julius Theodore Brunk (1862-1943) and his new wife, Barbara Stoltz (1870-1924), taken on their wedding day about 1894 in Saint Paul. Barbara’s Father, Anton (1839-1876) was the brother of my great-great-grandfather Peter Stoltz (1836-1921). Today I received this photo via email, along with other details of Barbara’s life, from a previously unknown cousin, Eugene Brunk, who saw this blog and was moved to share this photo.

Eugene writes:

For many years they lived in Maries County, MO where Fred was a builder of some local renown, while Barbara was a schoolteacher at Meta, MO. I was told that Barbara died in 1923 while driving a horse and buggy to school. She tried to cross a creek that was in flood stage, her buggy overturned, and she drowned. Fred lived until 1943, but never remarried.

What did we do before the Internet? I am in awe of what genealogists of previous generations were able to accomplish with paper, stamps and determination, but I am equally in awe of the possibilities open to all of us to reconstruct our family histories. And thank you, Cousin Eugene!