Everything I ever needed to know in life, I learned from genealogy.  It’s true!  I started researching my family tree as a project in Mr. Tucker’s science class at Rushville High School when I was 13 years old.  I spent my summers at the Schuyler Jail Museum under the guidance of Lavina Walton and Vern Lickey, and so many others.  As I grew, I would visit counties in other states to find records.  If I couldn’t visit, I would write requests for copies.  Over the years, I have sharpened my skills as a researcher to become a genealogical detective–solving family mysteries, and uncovering the fantastic and tragic stories of my ancestors.

I live in Southern Illinois with my wife and son.  I teach language arts and social studies in junior high school.  My favorite assignment is the family history essay I guide all my students to write.  Often, we find information that even their grandparents didn’t know.

This blog is a venture to share new information with interested cousins, suggest techniques to help other researchers break through brick walls, and “hang out my shingle” to do research for hire.

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Dann,
    Went looking for you and Google found, of course. We have corresponded a few times over the years about the Beghtol families. A recent trip to Breckenridge Co, Ky turned up a letter written by Peter Beghtol that I have not seen mentioned anywhere else. It may contain a revelation. May I send you a copy and ask your opinion?

    Barb Eufinger
    St. Louis


  2. Hey, Dann: I’ve been reading through your blog posts and I have to admit that I am seriously impressed with the volume of work you have done, and the quality, as well. Being one of those cousins who has an incorrect family tree as far as my McAtee line is concerned, I welcome your research and your information. DNA is great for connecting the dots, but like you, I prefer to have solid proof. In the beginning, I did a lot of copy and paste but I learned my lesson a long time ago and am still undoing that damage. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just start over, but with 30 years of research, no way!! Always nice to find a stickler for details!
    Donna (Clem) Arthur


  3. Hello Dann,

    I was hoping to find out more about the 2018 play you wrote in partnership with the Lawrence County Historical Society on Elizabeth Reed. Please let me know the best way to get in contact with you. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


    Morgan Kolakowski


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