Family History

Climbing the family tree
Dad’s family history
Mom’s family history
My family before me


My family before me

Lorraine Kalish hadn’t heard from Bill Durbin for nearly two years after their 1949 Easter Dance date and visit to the Chatterbox roadhouse, when one day the senior at East Side High was mortified to be called to the principal’s office. Had she done something wrong? It was only to retrieve a letter from my … Continue reading My family before me

Mom’s family history

Adam Malec was 20 years old in 1901. That’s the year he crossed the Atlantic in the zwischendeck, or steerage compartment, of a steamship. Adam had seven years earlier fled the family farm in Poland to get away from a mean stepmother, walking more than 600 miles to Hamburg, Germany. One of his first stop … Continue reading Mom’s family history

Dad’s family history

In 1723, more than five decades before the 4th of July meant anything special, Samuel Durbin and Ann Logsdon were married on that date in Baltimore, Maryland. He was my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather—my G6—and may have been one of the two brothers from Wales who, according to oral history, brought this line of Durbins to the … Continue reading Dad’s family history

Climbing the family tree

At age ten or so I read a brief article in one of the St. Louis newspapers titled “How to draw your family tree” or something along those lines. The idea intrigued me, and when I asked Mom and Dad about it they sat me down at our kitchen table with a blank piece of … Continue reading Climbing the family tree