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My Dirty Dozen: 12 Family Heroes

Anne Jennings Brazil was thoughtful enough, since we are distantly related and both interested in family history, to send me a copy of her first book (she’s already hard at work on a new one) as a Christmas present. I read through it in an afternoon, and was fascinated by her stories of relatives growing up in the same part of California where my mother’s family settled. It is amazing the similarities in the history of our ancestral family. If you are interest in family history research, or even California history in the 20th Century, this is a nice collection of stories.
You can find it on Amazon:

Posted in Booknotes, Bunker Family History, Detling Family History.

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Behanna Family 2016 Update

This week, I received an update on one of the extensive lines in my family tree.  Two of my Williams cousins (Hannah and Sarah Jane) married two Behanna brothers in Pennsylvania. I have shared information periodically with those working to document the descendants of James Behanna.  Researcher Bill Jones has done a masterful job trying to identify the origins of the Behanna surname, concluding that James Behanna was not born in Scotland as many online family trees suggest, but in Pennsylvania. He also concludes that the ancestral surname was not Behanna, but Buchanan.  If you are interested in Bill’s research, you may download his update.

For those who want to explore the Behanna lines more fully, you may download my Descendants of James Behanna report in PDF format.

Posted in Bunker Family History, Detling Family History, Main.

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Family Tree Data updated

After an update to Family Tree Maker due to its purchase from Ancestry by another software vendor, my family tree data base has also been updated on this site. Please feel free to visit.



Posted in Bradt/Brott Family, Bunker Family History, Detling Family History.

2015 Update on the Presumed Descendents of William Rublier and Abigail Brush

Cindy Walcott, on behalf of those researching the Roblee family, has updated her earlier work on the presumed descendants of William Rublier and Abigail Brush.  The report is available for downloading from the link below.   Unlike previous versions (which remain available from the site), this file is not password protected. We do ask that individuals using the file respect Cindy’s great contribution to the family history, and share the file only after giving her credit for this research.

Here’s Cindy’s comment about the file:

“The last update was in 2011. Since that time, I have continued to review my
data periodically, with the goal of making it as accurate and complete as
possible. Since 2011, a growing number of vital records are available on
line on, and other sites. Also, I have made
liberal use of historic newspaper sites, such as and They have been especially helpful for New York
families. I have been charmed by all of the local news I found on these
sites. Not only news of birth, marriages and deaths, but a myriad of little
details like who travelled where to visit whom,

“As always, I hope you will take the time to review the information about
your own ancestry, and to correct me where necessary. I have excluded
information about living people, or people presumed to be living, based on
year of birth.

“I think about all of those relatives of ours who died at birth, or during
childhood, or who left no descendants.  In some ways, I feel a special
obligation to them. Who remembers them, or tends their graves?  Let us be
the ones.”

The document is in PDF format, and is approximately 4MB in size.

Presumed Descendents of William Rublier and Abigail Brush

Posted in Detling Family History, Main, Roblee Researchers.

Dual Boot OS on a Tablet Computer

I’m backing this successful Kickstarter project, and my next upgrade hardware purchase was an ASUS Transformer T100 tablet booting Windows 8.1 and when Console OS is installed, it will dual boot to Android. Will keep my iPad gen 3, though, as well as my other Android devices (smartphone and tablets).  The grandkids always want to borrow them for hours.

Posted in Computer Interests, Main, Mapping, Personal.

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Southern Oregon Lavender Trail Tour

hdr_00009_0Manuela and I visited six Southern Oregon lavender growers on the SO Lavender Trail tour on Sunday, July 13. The photo is from the English Lavender Farm on Thompson Road in the Applegate Valley.


Posted in Community Musings, Digital Photography, Interesting Places, Main, Mapping.

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Family History Software updated

My family history pages have been updated to version 10 of The Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building.  Please report any anomalies to me.

Posted in Bradt/Brott Family, Bunker Family History, Detling Family History, Genealogy Web Sites, Main, Roblee Researchers, Web Site News.

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Getting Ready to Upgrade Family History Pages

Version 10 of TNG will be out tomorrow at RootsTech. I’ll be upgrading as soon as it’s available online.

TNG is The Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building.

Posted in Detling Family History, Genealogy Web Sites, Main, Web Site News.

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Thoughts on retiring from active employment

On September 30 I retired from active employment in local government after more than 38 years–the last 13+ years as Human Resources Director for the City of Medford.  I will continue to be active, however, as Chairman of the Board of  the HRA VEBA Trust, a three-state health benefits trust serving more than 40,000 local government employees in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. I will also continue to actively support the Oregon Chapter of the International  Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the Oregon chapter of the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association.  It was  pleasure to appear at ORPELRA’s annual conference this week in Wilsonville, talking about experience with Oregon’s employment relations statute.

Some random thoughts on retiring;

  • I have repeated many times my belief in public service as a noble calling. The dismal support by Americans in their public servants is depressing, but I am constantly amazed by those who carry on despite this.
  • I am sometimes asked what I tell professionals just starting out, and I usually laugh., and then tell them some basic rules which I have accumulated over the years and listed here in no particular order:
  1. “You are only as good as your word.”
  2. “Always tell the truth, even when it hurts.”
  3. “Be careful what you wish for.”
  4. “No good deed goes unpunished.”
  5. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”
  6. “Don’t promise what you cannot deliver. “
  7. “To be successful in politics, you have to learn how to stand on the right street corner when the bus goes by.”
  8. “If you want to be a manager, the first person to manage is yourself.”
  9. “Never forget the importance of supporting those who do the work.”
  10. “No problem is so big or so complicated it cannot be run away from.”

And, since I don’t believe in only 10 rules, here’s another (like rule 10 advice from Charles Schulz):

“People expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair.”





Posted in IPMA-HR, Main, Personal.

Public Service Recognition Week May 5-11

This week has been designated by Congress as Public Service Recognition Week, and, as a professional public employee, I want to recognize the thousands of public servants at all levels of government for the services they provide, not just to residents of the United States, but throughout the world. They include aid workers in Africa, clerks in embassies, soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere, first responders in our nation’s towns and cities, managers of local parks departments, teachers, air traffic controllers, public highway workers, scientists working in the national health regulatory, Border Patrol officers, and countless others (the list goes on and on). And, while others might not always agree, to me public service also includes elected officials both paid and unpaid. Each and every day, those of us in the public service have one mission–to make the lives of our fellow human beings better, safer and more fulfilling. Public service is, at its root, ennobling. I know of no higher calling.

Posted in Community Musings, IPMA-HR, Main.