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Friday, September 22, 2023

A walk in the steps of ancestors

 The gazebo nestled on the green of the town square was a surprise at the end of miles of rural road that traversed the farmlands of south-central Illinois encased by a tunnel of corn stalks . Like Brigadoon, the buildings seemed to appear out of the mist. I wanted to walk on the streets of this village for many years after the discovery that my maternal grandfather was raised here by his grandparents. Peeling back the decades since he escaped, it was meaningful to envision the young boy walking from the farm into the town for church services as the family was devout. Driving slowly around the center of town, the buildings surrounding the square looked tired and lonely. Few children played on the grass even though it was still summer.

Life was tough for a boy born to a single mother in 1905 in rural America where school children called him names and he rarely saw his mother who left him with her parents to work in the city and then married leaving him behind. He departed Illinois soon after turning 18 joining the Marines to be stationed in Hawaii and then Washington, D.C. where he married and had two children. As he rose to a position of importance in a government branch of the Treasury, he traveled a great deal. Within a few years he escaped again and did not see his daughter for twenty-five years until just before he died.

The trauma of abandonment has trickled down through the generations in many ways and the tour of the Illinois village where it started was helpful in understanding and forgiveness. The study of family history for some researchers can teach and heal.   Walking through the cemetery at the edge of the village to discover, touch and photograph family grave markers I was struck by the silence. The village was too small to hide in all those years ago and the young boy was a target of harassment and shame. He never took his wife or children to visit although family members were alive for many years. He lied to his wife about his paternal roots and may not have ever been told the details of his birth or father or possibly he survived the bullies by creating a story he came to believe.  From the age of ten he was called by the surname of his stepfather although he was never adopted or lived with him.

DNA analysis over several years led finally to grandfather’s paternity with a robust family tree with many branches but came too late to enlighten either grandfather or his daughter who both struggled with identity and feelings of loss. Having trudged the sad, quiet streets of the Illinois hometown, the visit has added additional background to the story of the young boy who many years ago ran away from the farm and unfortunately for his children and grandchildren…never learned to stop running.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Love of Water is the theme of my family

      Water weaves through the tapestry of my family, the thread that binds us all together. Brave men and women crossed the Atlantic from Sweden, Germany, and England on long and fearful journeys. The first settlers lived on the banks of the Delaware River and established homesteads and churches. Early in American history the Schuylkill River provided travel opportunities before roads were built. In later generations boatmen made their livings hauling coal on the canal, and in all generations the water provided recreational outlets. For many of us water still provides entertainment and a calming effect on the soul. Whether you remember family members swimming and boating in Maine or this author daydreaming at sunset on a pier in Maryland, water has been a link to each other and the moving water is our link to the past as well.

     The study of our family is a way of honoring those who came before giving us life and a rich history filled with courage and much hard work. Farmers, carpenters, mill workers, teachers...not the wealthy and famous, but all good hard-working, caring individuals. Their greatest lesson might be: work hard and stay true to your family. It is wonderful to find out who our ancestors were, and by doing so find out what we are made of and where we have come from. 

Schuylkill Canal - Philip E. Heavner 1905

     Digging up the past can be fun, challenging, hard work, and sometimes a little shocking. My research started by contacting family members who helped me gather names, dates, photographs, and stories about our ancestors. Many days were spent at the National Archives in Philadelphia and Washington, DC where I used microfilm readers to research through census records. This gave me the names of heads of households, sometimes spouse and children's names, occupations, addresses, and dates of relatives living between 1790 and 1910. I found family members names and relationships that I did not have before. Hours were spent in the Montgomery and Chester County Court Houses, Historical Societies, and Archives to look through deeds, wills, marriage and birth records, church records like baptisms, and cemetery records. I had lots of names and dates, but all the data in my files stared back at me with little feeling until May 1997 when I began to search through my father's boxes for pictures of his parents. I could remember dad showing me a picture of his mom and I was determined to find what I thought was a file folder or envelope. Suddenly a whole new world opened when I discovered a wooden trunk full of books, papers, and albums full of pictures. Names and dates instantly became identified with real people who lead interesting lives!!

     Inside the wooden box were documents from the family including a legal-size sheet that described a 1920 family reunion of the Eisenberg/Jones family. It gave some history that led me to research our connection, and all at once I was related to a family that settled in Pennsylvania before William Penn! I spent the summer learning all about "New Sweden" along the Delaware River that was settled starting in 1638. On September 27-28th, 1997, the descendants of the Swedish colonists held several events in Pennsylvania and Delaware to celebrate their heritage. I attended the annual Mans Jones Day in Berks County at the house owned by one of my ancestors in 1701. The Berks County Historical Trust had people dressed in colonial garb and I ate lunch in the nearby colonial tavern. The next day the state of Delaware sponsored the launch of a replica of a Swedish ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, which brought many of the Swedish colonists to America. It is to be the official "tall ship" of Delaware because the first landing of the original Kalmar Nyckel was near present day Wilmington.

Phil-Jo motorboat in Maine - 1950

      That fall I followed a few more leads that led to Revolutionary soldiers and Germans in Chester County in the early 1700's. Some major detective work on my part, and loads of help by archives directors and genealogists, as well as super support by all my family has led me to find something about the people to whom the names belong. Luckily for my current research, there was a fad in the early 1900's to research family history and have family reunions. Lots of such research is housed in the Historical Societies at the County and State levels. Sometimes family trees or pictures were included. It was probably like the surge in genealogical interest after the television show "Roots", which made people think about their family's past.

 I only hope that somewhere our ancestors know what a fabulous family history they passed on to us and we remember them in the flowing waters of the Schuylkill or looking out to sea sitting on the beach as the water speaks to our souls.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Köhlers of Northumberland County

In the midst of green farm fields and patches of woods an old red and white covered bridge crosses Schwaben Creek. The soft currents tumble over weathered rocks worn down by the elements over many years. Song birds and bumble bees flit between sweet smelling cedars in the rural quiet. 500 yards through the fields, an old church cemetery stands guard flanked by Line Mountain to the north and the main road that bisects southern Northumberland County to the south. The graves at Himmel’s Church mark the center of Mahantongo Valley that runs from the Susquehanna River more than fifteen miles east into the coal region of Schuylkill County.
Covered Bridge over Schwaben Creek

It was in this valley of rich farmland that German settlers labored for their dream of prosperity.  The insulated settlements retained their language and customs into the twentieth century.  Independent and adventurous Heinrich Köhler brought his wife Elizabeth and five small children into this wild land in 1775.  They traveled from Berks County across the Blue Mountains 40 miles North West to the last mountain before Indian Territory trudging along an old Indian Trail called Tulpehocken Path.  He started at Bethel, Berks County and carted his family in a wagon through Pine Grove and Klingerstown to a gap in the mountains then north to a 200 acre plot of land at Line Mountain.  Today there are historical markers along the route showing sites of the Pilger Ruh or Pilgrim’s Rest where the settlers could get fresh spring water and signs at the locations of old forts that guarded the trail. 

Alongside German families whose descendants would intermarry with the Kehler family, Heinrich felled trees and built a cabin, cleared land and planted crops, cared for horses and cows, chickens and pigs. The physical labor to carve out farms in the remote Pennsylvania woods took a toll on many of the settlers. Toddlers died early and men grew old before their time, while widows raised young children. The farmers in Mahantongo and over the years their descendants in nearby Schuylkill County survived with community support and fellowship. Heinrich and Abraham Schneider and Johannes Knärr worked the land in Northumberland County at the time the Revolutionary War raged to the south and east. They bought their land as original land grants from the Penn family. Indian attacks occurred as late as August 1780 near Sunbury ten miles west of Kehler land. It must have taken enormous courage to continue on. Twenty five years later Caspar Hepler cleared his land six miles east along the same mountain.

Kehler Farm

Each generation pushed ahead. Heinrich’s sons spread throughout Pennsylvania and continued to farm but added occupational skills such as tanning hides into leather, tin smithing, woodwork, and other goods to meet the needs of the community and give supplemental income. Generations of Kehler women were expert seamstresses and quilters. Those creative skills can be seen generations later in the crafts and artistry of Kehlers. Heinrich’s grandsons began to acquire land and made money buying and selling real estate. Kehlers have a connection to land and often use it to acquire wealth. Several more generations exhibited entrepreneurship qualities running businesses like meat processing and grocery stores. By the twentieth century several generations of Kehlers were expert machinists and then a microelectronics engineer who designed parts for space rockets foreshadowing software engineers in the family today.

Our story starts with Russell Dwight Kehler, born in 1926 in the coal region of Pennsylvania and traces back through the generations to his German ancestors from Baden-Wuerttemberg and one line of miners from Wales. It is a story of courage and independent spirit and hard work through trials and setbacks. As shown by the perseverance of these generations, the family motto seems to be Bleib die Kurs or Stay the Course, setting goals and overcoming obstacles by grit and determination.
©Ancestor Encounters all rights reserved. No copies without written permission from the author.

Monday, May 1, 2023

A young student discovers Family History

 Jaime Grasps Her Past

    Jaime had fun helping her friend Christopher learn about his family tree. She wanted to know more about research for family history. Her teacher, Miss Bowman loved history and wanted to help.


The teacher explained that the study of family history is called genealogy. Researchers are like detectives who gather facts and put them together into stories of family history. Jaime's teacher told her to reach out and hold onto her family story, or to GRASP her past. By using that phrase, Jaime could remember the important things for her study.

Gather facts and items that tell about your family.
Read all you can find about when and where your family lived.
Ask questions to your family members about their memories.
Sources are where we get our information.
Publish what you find about your family in a book or craft project.        
Gather- Jaime was excited to start her search, so she went home and began to organize all the things in her house that helped her discover her family story. She found some pictures of her grandparents and some older pictures of houses where her family had lived many years ago. Maps and documents like records of birth were added to the growing pile of clues. She pictured one of her ancestors saving items to pass on to the family. Even Jaime's ancestors loved family history.

Read- Jaime learned to read all the papers and books that she collected about her family. She looked for facts like names and dates. Sometimes she found clues for where to look next in her search.

Ask- Questions for family members about their story helps researchers know a great many things about a family. Jaime made a list of questions that would be interesting to ask her aunts and grandparents. Where did they go to school? What country did our family live in many years ago? What kind of music was played when my ancestors were young?

Source- A book or person who gives researchers information about family history is a source. Jaime learned that she should write down information about her sources so that she could go back and check on the information again if she ever needed it.

Publish- Sometimes researchers write a book after they study a family, but Jaime wanted to do something to share her research right away with her friends at school. Miss Bowman suggested an oral presentation so that Jaime could explain her study and show her classmates what she found. She later put together a scrapbook that included pictures and recipes that were important to her family long ago. Sharing the research is important no matter how the genealogist puts it all together.

Jaime found more information about family history and genealogy. She learned to GRASP her past. She hoped that all her friends and family would learn about their ancestors and how fun it is to create a family tree.

All rights reserved. Ancestor Encounters © 2023 
No copies without written permission from the author.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

The search for Clara's roots

 The view from the balcony of the Gasthaus in the quaint German village of Neulautern was pastoral.  The rolling green hillsides could have been a view in upstate Pennsylvania but were dotted with whitewashed half-timbered homes with terracotta tiled roofs separated by tall evergreens that created a traditional German village scene. It was this tiny rural town that spawned the Neumeister family line.  40 miles northeast of Stuttgart the village was famous for glass manufacturing during the eighteenth century.  By the time the glassworks closed in 1821, the area became impoverished.  Johann Friedrich Neumeister struggled to raise his family in the village during the early nineteenth century.  

He lost several of his children and his first three wives to early death. One of his sons, Christian Gotlieb Neumeister was only 13 when his mother died and he found life in Neulautern difficult.  He married in the village and had a son Karl, but twin sons born in August of 1849 lived only a few months.  Shortly after this tragedy Christian Gotlieb packed up his wife and remaining son emigrating to Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. 

Neulautern, Germany 2006 - C. B. Kehler

It was a long modern journey to find the Neumeister ancestral home as the family stories had been lost over time. Recent generations of Neumeisters did not pass on photos or stories of the previous generations so the family history was quilted together bit by bit over time.  The family history notebooks on our library shelves are color coded.  The documents for each of the four branches of our children’s heritage are organized in blue or red or green notebooks.  The yellow-colored books for the paternal mother’s line was the smallest section on the shelves.  It was bothersome that an important branch of our family tree was atrophied.  In an effort to honor the memory of Clara Kehler, all the documents left by her mother and husband were organized and research began.  Lines of ancestors traced back to small towns throughout South West Germany who emigrated to Pennsylvania and intertwined to create a saga of struggle and triumph culminating in the beauty of Clara Elsie nee Miller, Kripplebauer by adoption, and Kehler by marriage. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Travel to the ancestral homeland

Traveling with family to the land of ancestors is a profound experience. The efforts to get there pale by comparison to what our forefathers suffered, but the fatigue and stresses give us inklings into their plight. Cultural shock arriving at the destination, with unfamiliar cuisine and language mixed with the thrill of feet planted on our homelands. 

I gathered the names of small German villages, discovered the names of the parish churches, and booked a trip to take the children using up all our credit card Airmiles. We flew into Paris and took a commuter flight to Strasbourg where my high school French did not help quickly communicate my need for sustenance after the long days of travel. We were lucky to have booked accommodations for a family of five and passed out. Walking through the old city the next day we saw jaw-dropping artists and the cathedral, but the boat trip through the city was my favorite. A train ride into Germany took us through beautiful scenery to Pforzheim and then a rented car took us into the rural countryside to stay in a series of ancestral villages.

After checking into a hotel and buying a bag of snacks for a walk through the village, we approached the old town wall and as I reached out to touch the old brick with threatening tears, my teenager said, "where's the McDonalds?" The message of balance between ancient family history and adventures for the rest of the family was received and we planned some fun days throughout the rest of the trip with a family fun park, visits to gift shops, firework displays, and another boat ride down the Neckar River through the vineyards that was breathtaking. We experienced conversations with local merchants and the waitress at a restaurant in a mix of German and English maternally scolded us that we needed to finish dinner before dessert. We made memories in the towns of our ancestors and the remembrances held most dear are the adventures we all shared together.

Black Forest Cuckoo Clock purchased in Triberg

Research for travel and accommodations gets the plan started, but communication with local businesses or the town hall can help avoid loss of access on a holiday or limited hours. Many historical societies or genealogy groups can help with church history or the location of cemeteries that may be sites of ancestral interest. Sometimes there are living descendants of our ancestors in the area who can give a personal touch to the visit. Traveling with family could be an immersion into the culture and getting a flavor of the village saving the research days for personal genealogy trips. Sometimes families will go in different directions one day so the family historian can dig in with the local archives. Taking notes as you photograph the village keeps you organized, but taking time to label all the various points of interest once back home allows researchers to use the photos and antidotes gathered later when they want to illustrate the family history.

Mapping out a planned itinerary was important, but so was the flexibility to pivot on the ground when changing weather or interesting side trips suddenly begged for a different route. The trips I over-planned were always best so we had lots of options, but be willing to cross off items to save for another time so your family has time to absorb the ambiance. Making memories together by walking in the steps of our ancestors was momentous, and doing so together was unforgettable.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The evidence is within us! Autosomal DNA analysis: methodology suggestions Part 2

DNA match lists are not for the faint-hearted researcher. They are overwhelming. If your research question is important enough to you, whether you are adopted or missing a branch of your family pedigree chart, the end results of the analysis of those match lists are worth the many hours of work. Sometimes it comes quickly, suddenly you see a very close match that leads to the missing ancestor, but more often it takes a great deal of time and effort.

The list below makes the path look simple and easy, but the first step to working with autosomal DNA (AtDNA) matches is learning the language and how to use available tools. Watch webinars, take classes, attend lectures at genealogy conferences, read books by experts, and follow blogs. This is a new field, but there are already some genealogists who have become experts at the methods and teaching the rest of us:  Blaine Bettinger,[1] Diahan Southard,[2] and many others.  Read through the website of ISOGG.[3]

My Strategy:

Although absolutely not a genetic genealogy expert, through the kind guidance of mentors I have learned to start by creating a robust and well-sourced family tree for known branches including collateral lines if possible to help pinpoint how unknown matches relate to me.

1.     Test DNA. Strategies differ for individuals depending on the research question. Develop a testing plan if possible.[4] Many testers start with AncestryDNA which has the largest database of testers. It is possible to transfer the results to other sites that expand the match pool and increase the chances of finding close relatives.

1.     AncestryDNA test, then download RAW results file,[5] then upload to FTDna and My Heritage.[6]

2.     Upload to GEDmatch if comfortable, always read who sees results and privatize if you have concerns.[7] 

2.     Test family members. Especially helpful are 2nd cousins and half-siblings to know which DNA comes from various branches as you compare results. Get written consent that clearly states unexpected results may come to light and instructions on handling those concerns if necessary. Since testing can be expensive, I find many genealogists pay for their relatives' testing and then manage the match lists and analysis. Always include those generous relatives in the analysis of results if they are interested.

3.     Look at match lists. Begin the process of clustering or grouping matches and use-

1.     shared match tool for matches at any of the companies

2.     Genetic Affairs cluster tool,[8] or My Heritage cluster tool

3.     spreadsheets to organize

4.     Find the cluster that cannot be linked to known relationships (members of the cluster match each other, but do not match any of my known cousins).

5.     Research each member of that cluster by looking at their posted tree or building one for them using-

1.     clues in their profile

2.     a public records search company such as BeenVerified.com

3.     “US Public records Index” on Ancestry.com if you have access

4.     Google.com

5.     Newspapers.com for articles or obituaries

6.     Find overlap in the created trees to find a common ancestral couple or the most recent common ancestor (MRCA)

7.     Build a robust and well-sourced family tree for the MRCA couple with every generation as complete as possible including spouse information.

1.     Analyze the members of each branch to see if they were in the right location/time

2.     Use census, directories, and other sources to track all the members of each line

3.     Rule out any candidates for an ancestor who were too young, had died before the time frame of study or were in a remote location.

8.     Study that MRCA tree and get to know locations, surnames, and dates. 

9.     Place any matches from that unknown cluster into the created MRCA tree.

10.  Use What Are The Odds and Shared cM Project tools to form a hypothesis of how I fit into that MRCA tree.[9]  I share matches with members of that cluster and therefore DNA with them, how am I related?  Usually, the higher number of shared cMs, the closer the relationship so concentrate on the branches of the MRCA tree that I have matched with the highest number of shared cMs.

11.  Check the ethnicity of the matches to rule in/out possible candidates.

12.  Step back and look at other clusters of unknown matches and try to see if any of them overlap with a spouse from your MRCA tree. Looking at the ancestry of the spouses will narrow the list or find the candidate you seek

 Tools used in DNA analysis for genetic genealogy change over time and the best practices for using DNA results to break down brick walls in a family tree are evolving within the genealogy community, so it is best to continue learning what methods are recommended by the genetic genealogy experts. The power of knowing we carry evidence of our past in every cell within us is awe-inspiring.

[1] Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., website:  https://thegeneticgenealogist.com/13-2/

[2] Diahan Southard website: https://www.yourdnaguide.com/about

[3] International Society of Genetic Genealogy website: https://isogg.org/.

[4] Diahan Southard, “Create a DNA testing Plan,” blog post, Your DNA Guide (https://www.yourdnaguide.com/ydgblog/dna-testing-plan : accessed 13 July 2022).

[5] AncestryDNA (https://support.ancestry.com/s/ancestrydna : accessed 13 July 2022).

“Downloading DNA Data,” Ancestry (https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/Downloading-DNA-Data : accessed 13 July 2022).

[6] FamilyTreeDNA website uploads: https://www.familytreedna.com/autosomal-transfer

MyHeritage website uploads: https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload

[7] “GEDmatch.com Terms of Service and Privacy Policy,” GEDmatch (https://www.gedmatch.com/terms-of-service-privacy-policy : accessed 13 July 2022).

[8] Genetic Affairs website: https://geneticaffairs.com/features-autocluster.html

My Heritage Cluster tool: https://blog.myheritage.com/2019/02/introducing-autoclusters-for-dna-matches/

[9] Jonny Perl, “Frequently Asked Questions About WATO,” DNA Painter (https://dnapainter.com/help/wato-faq : accessed 13 July 2022).

Blaine T Bettinger, “The Shared cM Project 4.0 tool v4 beta,” DNA Painter (https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4-beta : accessed 13 July 2022).


Sunday, January 1, 2023

The evidence is within us! Autosomal DNA analysis: Part 1


Test results from the genetic company arrive in your email inbox and the journey begins. Sometimes unexpected and unnerving results turn our world upside down, but more often we are amazed that a lab was able to link us to locations and living relatives who share segments of ancestral DNA. It is a profound moment. Genealogists currently use consumer DNA testing companies to confirm their documented family tree or use the new methods of genetic genealogy to break down brick walls and push back their pedigree charts.  

There are currently three tests consumers can take that measure different parts of the cells.   


Test #1: Autosomal (AtDNA) is the test advertised on TV.  That type of DNA is a mix in every individual with 50% from each parent.  Siblings have similar, but unique combinations of the parent DNA.  Half of the genes are inherited from the mother and half from the father.  That does not mean the tester received copies of all maternal genes representing all her ancestry, it means that randomly upon conception the tester received half of what maternal genes were available.  Siblings inherited half of their maternal genes, but a different selection.  The other half of maternal genetics was lost to the tester but may appear in sections of his siblings or in smaller amounts in cousins who got DNA from grandparents.  Because of the inheritance pattern and the loss over generations of DNA from ancestors, this test is best used to find or confirm ancestors for the past 4-5 generations. Submitted samples from the oldest relatives are therefore most helpful in the analysis of results as they were closest to the ancestors further back in time.


The AtDNA results can be used in several ways.


  1.  Lab results can predict your ethnicity and ancient origins. Interesting, but not always 100% accurate.  Their analysis is based on each company’s test group in countries around the world which are compared by the computer to your results.  Every company has different analyses and various sizes of sample populations for comparison.

  2.  Matching test results with others who test can help solve lineage questions.  Most of the match lists with other testers sharing some of your DNA will be unknown relatives, but some may have family photos, documents, or other information that will help illustrate or push back family lines.  

Test #2: Mitochondrial (MtDNA) testing is for men or women to show what we inherit from our mothers.  Women pass it on to all their children, so men have their mom’s MtDNA, but do not pass it to children. This might help with maternal ancestry.                     



Test #3: Y-DNA is tested only done with male subjects as females received two X chromosomes, but males received XY. Follows the male line for many generations.  This information could possibly help with paternal ancestry.

Once the results arrive from the test company there are steps for best practices suggested by professional genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy who are all concerned with privacy issues, professional and ethical use of results and teaches genealogists how to use results in effective analysis. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A picture is worth a thousand words

My family members have the photography bug. My great-grandfather took pictures with glass negatives in 1900 and set up a developing studio in his basement in Washington, DC. He left his collection of glass negatives that depict visits to the family farm of his future wife while they were courting which is a treasure for the family history.  

Great-grandmother on her father's farm while courting great-grandfather, 1904 Hugh Roberts

There are pictures of pigs and chickens and miles of white-washed fences all captured and passed down through time. Some of the photos in this wonderful collection are scenes of rural Dorchester County, Maryland giving a view of the area's rich agricultural heritage.

Farm laborers in Dorchester County, MD 1904, Hugh Roberts

His passion for capturing life onto film was passed on to his daughter who stood on the shed rooftop in 1919 to capture an image of their new home on the Chesapeake.

Deale, Maryland home purchased in 1919, Ella Roberts Miller

Grandmother had a camera attached to her body and captured family grouping at every event we can remember. At a cousin's wedding in 1997, the new groom was thrilled when he believed the photo session was over after several poses.  All the rest of the family giggled as we knew photography would go on throughout the day. But today as I sift through the albums that she passed on to me I am no longer full of mirth but of gratitude, for she not only took the photos but labeled and organized thousands of shots which  I am in the process of digitizing to pass on through the family.

My mother inherited the photography DNA but turned her camera to stained glass windows depicting iconography and stories in churches meant to teach or inspire through symbolism and rainbows of color. She earned a master's degree at a Pennsylvania Seminary and began a lifetime of presenting slideshow lectures throughout the east coast depicting her research.

Church window photograph used to teach lessons, Doris Miller Bowman 1976

My favorite place to photograph is our ancestral home on the Chesapeake. Sunsets, sunrise, eagles, osprey, family members who visited, and of course the water are all caught on film to cherish this beautiful place and the family who abided there. 

Sunrise at Cedar Point, 2015 Carol Kehler

Whether your photographs are family group portraits, images of the family homestead, beautiful local scenery, or gorgeous artifacts like stained glass, pictures enhance our stories and are sometimes truly worth a thousand words.