My interest in my family's roots began the day my daughter came home from school and -  with great excitement - explained that she had learned that the colonists might have lost the Revolutionary War, had some Revolutionary War soldiers not captured a spy carrying the plans for West Point to the British. When I told her that one of the three soldiers, Isaac van Wart, was her 5G grandfather, she wanted details which I couldn't provide. I began by asking my mother and my aunt. I then spent some time in our local libraries and local historical societies. I was soon infected with the 'roots bug.'  The rest - as they say - was family history.

Like most family historians or amateur genealogists, I began attempting to identify as many relatives as possible, focusing on names, dates (birth, baptism, death, burial, marriage) and relationships. This soon lost its appeal to me (though I still enthusiastically add new relatives to my tree when I find them - even very, very distant relatives. I am now much more interested in the historical and social context and the stories of individuals. I love finding old photos and letters and diaries, news clippings, and wwiting about what life was like.

I am a hobbyist, not a professional genealogist. I do the best I can to veify what I include in my publicly shared genealogies - but you should not assume that I am correct. Please feel free to let me know of conflicts, errors, or potential additions.

I use LeisterPro's Reunion software on my MacBookPro to collect and document what I find. I have been using this product for a long time and it has served admirably -  recommend it for all Mac users. Reunion allows me to create a variety of tools for sharing my information and I update my public facing Ancestor Report right here on this site (the link opens in a new tab) at least every few months.

I use SmugMug to share (and sell) some of my digital photography work. I have built a section there for my family history photos. Feel free to visit. It is a work in progress and I will add more photos as I find them.

I also have accounts at  and  I use these accounts primarily to WORK ON my projects, not to display them. If you have an account with either of these, you may find my trees there - but be aware thaat I do not attempt to keep them fully in synch with Reunion, my Source Of Truth.

Here are my major maternal surnames of interest:

  • Dutcher
  • Fuller
  • Conklin
  • Ayres
  • van Wart
  • Roth
  • Dietz
  • Price 
  • Jaques
  • Oliver
  • Storm


Here are my major paternal surnames of interest:

  • Elias
  • von Arnim
  • Riese
  • Kauders
  • Frankl
  • Wolf
  • Beck
  • Kretschmar


My current brick wall is the ancestry of my GGG Grandfather Philip Jakob Dietz who was born 1 May 1779 in Willsbach, Heilbronn, Württemburg (Germany), married 14 July 1802 Rosina Barbara Heckenlauble (1782 - 1833), and died 2 December 1853 in Willsbach, Heilbronn, Württemburg (Germany). I believe his father was Johann Martin Die(t)z who married 7 September 1773 Maria Magdelena Kleinknecht in Willsbach, Heilbronn, Württemburg (Germany) and who had 3 siblings: Catharina, Gottfried Matteaus, and Christoph Friedrich. I would love to hear from anyone with information about this line.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professionahl genealogist. This has been a hobby. My information is definitely incomplete and probably contains many inacccuracies. I would love to hear from people with corrections or additional information.