Category Archives: American Roots

Evolution of the Milhoan Surname



In research, you will often find various spellings for the same last name. While this can make your research a challenge, it is not impossible to track the changes. I came upon this issue when tracking my maternal grandmother’s maiden name, Milhoan.

I have seen Milhoan spelled many different ways, including Milhorn, Melhorn, Mulholn, and even Mulholland. With the variety of spellings, some extremely different, it isn’t always easy to tell whether or not you are on the trail of the correct ancestor. Continue reading Evolution of the Milhoan Surname

Discovering Martyrs


When I asked my paternal grandmother where her side of the family originated, I was told we were German, Irish, and English. In my research, I found that she was mostly correct. However, I traced one branch of her family tree to an area that she was unaware of. I came across the names of “Hess” and “Meili” as I journeyed through the generations. Both of these family lines find their beginnings in Switzerland. Digging deeper, I discovered Hans Jacob Hess. Continue reading Discovering Martyrs

Pieces of History




My paternal grandmother, Barb, has been an integral part of my life. She has been a constant source of love and encouragement for as long as I can remember. She taught me a lot about life. As a cancer survivor, she taught me the power of a positive attitude. She showed me how one person can greatly affect those around her with a “can-do” attitude. I spent a great deal of time with her growing up, and I learned a lot about her life. Continue reading Pieces of History

Tracing Nobility



My grandfather, Glen, was a wonderful man. He was a hard worker, but also knew how to enjoy life. He loved to fish, and was an excellent cook. In his later years, he turned into quite a baker. I spent a lot of time with him when I was growing up, and I observed many admirable qualities. From my grandpa, I learned the value of working hard, yet always leaving time for fun. He is my only grandparent who is no longer living, and I miss him very much. In “Down the Rabbit Trail” I wrote about my grandpa’s great-grandmother, Harriet Losey. I found much information about the Losey family that I had not known before my research. I decided to follow the Losey line further, and when I did, I found some pretty remarkable people. Continue reading Tracing Nobility

Unraveling the Secret



Thinking that I knew all there was to know about my recent generation ancestors, I have been focusing my research on the distant past. Today I unraveled a family secret. My maternal great-great grandfather, William Frederick Holdsworth, was adopted. Continue reading Unraveling the Secret

A Martyr Ancestor Provides Some Perspective

Mary Dyer led to Execution in Boston
Mary Dyer being led to Execution in Boston, 1660.

I had planned a fun family outing for Valentine’s Weekend that I was really looking forward to. My youngest acted up a couple of hours before the event, and I cancelled her and my involvement last minute. The rest of the family went on to have fun, while I and a crying seven year old stayed at home. I was disappointed about not being able to go, and started to feel like I was the one being punished.  Then I remembered that I chose to stay home in hopes that my daughter would learn a valuable life lesson. Continue reading A Martyr Ancestor Provides Some Perspective

Down the Rabbit Trail


Sometimes in research you come across a gold mine completely by accident. I experienced this when I took a detour while tracing my 2nd great-grandmother, Harriet Losey, from my father’s side of the family. I began looking into Harriet because her surname, Losey, is quite similar to my best friend’s maiden name. I thought if I investigated a bit, I might find some connection. What I found instead was something quite interesting about my family. Continue reading Down the Rabbit Trail