folks from the MHS Class of 1968
Most MHS '68 folks will find their ancestors in
For about 420 MHS '68 folks, there is
information about your ancestors at that link. For some,
the information extends for several generations and has
information such as passenger records from the ship that
they were on when they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to
reach the USA. The database has over 45,000 people and
over 120,000 attached records. The information varies.
For all MHS '68 folks for whom I've done basic
genealogies, my attempt is to show five generations,
meaning back to the person's great-great-grandparents.
Genealogical research has been my entertainment for many
years. My genealogical research on the folks who once
made up the MHS '68 group began in 1997. It began with
efforts to find contact info in advance of a reunion that
happened in 1998. To find someone, I would begin with the
last known info and work from there. Most people are
connected to other people in some way -- parents,
siblings, cousins, spouses. I began with the known and
worked back into the unknown. I stored the data using
software used by genealogists, because it was what I had
and because it was the most familiar for me.
I began with the 1967-68 student directory -- a gold mine
because it has birth dates and 1967 addresses. I used
some old reunion booklets, which listed spouses and
children. I used the '65, '66, '67, and '68 yearbooks and
the commencement program. That is all the info that I had
to begin with, that and the old memories I had of family
and social connections from having been in school with
people from kindergarten thru high school. The reunion
booklets had benefitted from Karen Broomall's efforts: In
the early years out of high school, Karen kept a
scrapbook with news clippings of wedding stories for
people from the MHS '68 group. She had shared that info
over the years, and the info was built into what I had to
begin with when I began the searching.
To track down some people, I had to find 1st cousins,
which meant building their trees up to their grandparents
and back down to their cousins. Then I would find phone
numbers for the cousins and phone them. Sometimes I
phoned ex-spouses. Seriously! (One ex-wife said,
"Oh, he's a great man, but our marriage just didn't
work. Here's his contact info." ... Another ex-wife
shared what I realized was a b.s. story when she claimed
that a local attorney "took some money to bribe the
judge, and that's how he [her ex-husband] got off from
the charge of molesting my daughter." I did not know
the judge, but I knew the lawyer. He was a Marian High
grad; we'd worked together one summer during college. I
knew that a lawyer with a Notre Dame J.D. was not going
to risk his bar license for $300 to offer a judge a
bribe, yet that was her b.s. story... Another man's
ex-wife said, "If you find him, I want to know where
he is." She shared a sad but credible story. Years
later, the story got even sadder when the half-sister of
one of the man's daughter's contacted me, and I
ultimately heard that the man had molested three
daughters, each from a different mother. The bare records
show the harm that he caused in his daughters' chaotic
But, back to how the MHS '68 genealogy info grew: When
someone would send word that someone's parents had died,
I would enter that info in the database and add whatever
info might be in an obit. Sometime in about 2005, I began
subscribing to ancestryDOTcom; that source is like a
diamond mine for genealogists! A few people from the
MHS '68 group specifically asked for some genealogy
help: Judy Greenlee had heard that she was related
to Carolyn Schwartz and Christine Carlson, but she had no
idea how. Turns out that Judy and Christine are
half-2nd-cousins, and that Carolyn is a cousin to
Christine, but a stepcousin to Judy. ... Dawn Housand was
in Mexico and pretty sad; I pulled together her
genealogical info and shared it with her via email,
hoping it might cheer her. ... Ken Brugh suspected (and
hoped) that Chuck Hoffman was a distant cousin. With lots
of looking, I figured out that they are 4th cousins. ...
A couple of old, old friends from the MHS '68 group
wondered about their ancestors, and I pulled together
that info. And a few modern-day MHS '68 friends asked for
help, and I helped them.
Because some of those people were interconnected, that
database was growing considerably.
At some point, with a few clicks, I converted the
database into a GEDcom file and uploaded the GEDcom file
to ancestryDOTcom. Once the database was at
ancestry, year by year, doing basic genealogical searches
became easier, and I had more time to fiddle --
especially as TV programming became crappier and
As I was planning and coordinating the 2018 reunion, I
realized how much data was already in that database, and
I challenged myself to doing basic trees for 50% of the
group. Once I'd reached that goal, I upped the challenge.
At this point (April 2023), the database has basic trees
for all except five people from the MHS '68
group: Jeff Barcus and Robert Lynn (both who
were adopted), Eleanor Allen (whose maiden name may have
been Eleanor Hitt), Suhaila Shamsuddin (no access to
records from her country and no language ability), and
one person who is intentionally omitted from the database
because he is an asshole. (Yes, I really typed that.)
I go into that database frequently and work it, mining
for "gold" here and there, refining and
correcting trees. It is odd, harmless entertainment,
and nothing more. More and more information has come
online at ancestryDotcom, and I get my money's worth from
the annual subscription price. These days, not only are
census records available thru 1950, but, for Indiana,
there also are marriage and death records until very
recent years, and birth records thru 1944. The available
records vary by state, but Indiana is easy to work.
Along the way, I figured out various cousin-connections
for MHS '68 folks. Most of them are listed on this page
Most of the people at the levels of 2nd cousin and beyond
likely did not know that they are related. Indeed, most
folks only think they know what a 2nd cousin is.
I learned lots about the details of the lives of the
parents and ancestors of most people from the MHS '68
group. Occasionally I learned details about MHS '68 folks
themselves, but mainly what I've learned has been about
your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents,
and your great-great-grandparents. For many, I turned up
details that you've never heard and records that you've
In a few instances, there were DNA tests that people
asked me to look at and puzzle thru: In one case, I
figured out that an MHS '68 woman's great-grandfather was
not the man she believed him to be. Circumstances may
have resulted in the truth being hidden, but the DNA
reached across 100 years and spoke the truth.
In another case, an MHS '68 woman grew up being told that
she was Italian, thru her mother. The woman's confusion
was that the DNA ethnicity analysis showed no Italian. I
began working both the documents and
the autosomal DNA. Her mother's Italian surname
came from her father, who got the name from his mother
(because he was born out-of-wedlock and carried his
mother's surname). And his mother got the surname from
her FOSTER parents, more specifically from her foster
father -- whose parents were Italian immigrants.
The MHS '68 woman herself? No, she has no
Then there was the case that was all paper-trail
genealogy: An MHS '68 man had the craziest story. He
claimed that his father's mother (i.e., his
paternal grandmother) was Jewish and had abandoned her
husband and young son (his father) to run off to Chicago
and marry a Mafioso mobster. He said that he went to both
Catholic school and Hebrew school (weekly Hebrew lessons)
when he was a kid. When he was in 8th grade, a
grandmother (more correctly, his father's stepmother)
counseled him that he must decide Catholic or Jewish,
that trying to "ride the two" would not work.
And, he decided to be confirmed as a Catholic. The
reality is that his paternal grandmother was NOT Jewish.
... But, that's what the man believed when he asked for
"a bit of help" with his genealogy. ... It
turns out that his father's parents had divorced when the
father was very young. Both of the father's parents
re-married, and there was some custody fighting over the
boy. Eventually, the father's father got the upper hand,
and the father ended up in Mishawaka, as a teenager.
... I.e., the father knew absolutely that
his mother was not a Jewish woman who had run off with a
Mafia man. Indeed, the father would have known that his
mother was a Catholic woman. I found the MHS '68 man's
grandmother's grave and found all sorts of records
proving the situation. However, it was the reveal of the
1950 census that suggests WHY the MHS '68 man's father
told the lies: By 1950, the grandmother of the MHS '68
man was living in a mental institution. It appears that's
where she spent the last four decades of her life. Thus,
I enjoy the puzzle solving. I know the dead ancestors of
most MHS '68 people better than I know the MHS '68
As a genealogist, I've communicated with some of your
cousins and other relatives who have contacted me because
of the database. And, in at least one instance that I'm
recalling, I collaborated with one person's cousin: Dave
Nevel has a cousin who is an intense genealogist. Dave's
cousin reached out to me, and we puzzled thru some info
about one of Dave's great-grandfathers.
In another case, a young woman who lives in northern
Indiana figured out who her father is because of info in
the database: She had done a DNA test and found that she
had matches with people who had some ancestors in that
database. She made contact with me, and we puzzled thru
who her father is. Her father is the 1st cousin of one of
the MHS '68 men. She and her father have met. I don't
remember her name any longer, but I do remember the name
of the MHS '68 man who is a 1st cousin of her biological
One MHS '68 man's parents divorced when he was very
young. He never really knew his father, and he had no
photo of him. He was one of the really hard ones to do a
tree for. It took years even to figure out who his
parents were. Finally, with lots of piecing and puzzling
and looking at old Mishawaka city directories, I figured
it out. Then I turned up a photo of the man's dad as a
young man in the military. The MHS '68 man looks just
like his father. Out of the blue, I sent the photo to the
MHS '68 man, and he seemed appreciative. He carries the
surname of a man who was his stepfather for a few years.
We who were part of the MHS '68 group never knew this
man's original surname. It took some major searching to
find that info.
A few MHS '68 folks have been so estranged from their
families that they learned of a parent's death via an
email-blast that I sent to MHS '68 folks.
One MHS '68 woman's mother was adopted. Her mom died
several years back. The woman has asked for my help in
solving the puzzle of who her mom's parents were. She did
a DNA test, and we're seeing what we can see. So far,
I've been able to determine who some of her mother's
ancestors were -- perhaps at the level of
A few have asked for help finding their "Indian
ancestors." For all but one, the answer was,
"You have no Indian ancestors." ... For that
one woman, I found a document from 1908 that identified
her grandfather as having a mother who was "1/2
Indian of the Chippewa Tribe." The document was her
grandfather's "Application for Enrollment in a
Nonreservation School." Count the generations and
the fractions: That means that the woman had one
great-great-grandparent who was a Chippewa Indian. That
great-great-grandparent was a woman born in 1838 in
Quebec; that woman herself had a
"well-integrated" ancestry of Chippewa and
French. ... Are you still with me? Here's the short
version: The MHS '68 woman had one out of 16
great-great-grandparents who was some mix of Chippewa and
French. One out of 16 is just over six percent, and the
paper trail says that it was not a full six percent,
meaning that the great-great-grandmother herself was of
"mixed" ancestry. Long before 1840, the
Chippewa people living in Quebec were well intermarried
and intermingled with the French, who had arrived in
Quebec as traders in the 16th century.
One MHS '68 man was convinced that he is one-quarter
Comanche Indian. He was being paid $ to give lectures to
audiences of predominately people of color -- usually
black, but maybe a few Amer-Indians. Something about
"empowering people" and about how "white
people have harmed us." He explained that he would
begin his speeches by saying, "You look at me and
see a white man, but my grandmother was full-blooded
Comanche." The story as he told it to me just did
not ring true. I began pulling together his genealogy.
There is zero truth to the story that he was telling
people. As kindly as possible, I shared with him the
documents that I had found. He never replied. ...
Ancestrally, the closest connection that MHS '68 man has
to Amer-Indians is that he had a great-great-grandfather
who served in a U.S. military unit that engaged in some
battles with Seminole Indians in Florida. ... My guess is
that he would not want to hear the detail I learned about
one of his great-great-grandfathers: I found that man in
Escambia County, Florida in 1860, on a list of slave
There are a couple of MHS '68 people who never asked me
to do any genealogy searching for whom I chanced to find
records showing that they honestly do have a
great-grandparent who honestly was listed as Amer-Indian
on a legitimate record. I've no idea whether they know.
I don't really know many MHS '68 people especially well,
but I know the stories of many of your ancestors.
You are welcome to see what I've found about your
ancestors at this site:
Mishawaka Small Trees
I built that database. It has over 500 "trees"
and includes trees for Mishawaka-connected folks other
than MHS '68 people. I maintain the database and keep
adding to it. Most public libraries have free access to
the site. That database will survive. Long after I'm
dead, your great-grandchild could be doing genealogical
research and find the work I've done on your ancestors.
Any person from the MHS '68 group is welcome to contact
me and request an "invite" to the database. The
"invites" are totally free. With an
"invite," you can look at the database anywhere
that you have access to the internet. Free advice: Use a
laptop computer or an IPad. The screen on a phone will be
too small for you to see the data well enough to make
sense of it.
Info in the database has come from public sources,
including the following:
- 1967-68 MHS student directory.
- Published obits.
- Marriage records from Indiana and
some other states.
- Social Security Death Index.
- Social Security Claims.
- St. Joseph Co. Public Library obit
- Obits at the St. Joseph Co.
genealogy web site.
- Birth records from Indiana and
some other states.
- Death records from Indiana and
some other states.
- Occasional published divorce
- U.S. censuses, state censuses,
draft registration cards, military records,
immigration records, and other records and info
found at ancestry.com.
- Will and probate records.
- Old newspaper stories.
And, as noted, recently some people
from Mishawaka have allowed me to see their DNA test
results, and that has allowed for the finding of
information not shown in records.
As of April 2023, the database includes over 45,000
people and over 120,000 attached records. The database
grows when I'm bored. This is something like an unending
supply of puzzles for an obsessive-compulsive
As the database grew, an additional
challenge became seeing where trees overlap -- i.e.,
finding cousins. It became a genealogist's version of
three-dimensional chess. Here are the results.
First, there are nine
Barber, Eberlein, Fisher, Jasiewicz, Locke, Natali,
Nisley, Reith, Van Camp.
Then, there are the
cousins, at various levels. Matches are included here
only if it is what the paper-trail shows. Likely guesses
are not included. See a note at the end of the list that
- Kathy KLOTZ and Marty
ZEMIALKOWSKI: aunt/niece (Klotz/Williams).
- Curt ADAMS and Lewis GUSHWA: 1st
- Terry DeMAEGD and Alan DeMAEGD:
1st cousins (DeMaegd/Warnier).
- Greg BALDONI and Jimita BALDONI:
1st cousins (Baldoni/Farabegoli).
- Debbie WERBROUCK and Larry KARNES:
1st cousins (LaCava/Arnot).
- Connie KELLY and Randal KELLY: 1st
- Byron ALDRICH and Walt EAKINS: 1st
- Linda JASIEWICZ and the JASIEWICZ
twins: 1st cousins (Jasiewicz/Bujwid).
- Bob LESE and Jimmie TROVATORE: 1st
- Deborah STRETCH and Robert STRECH:
1st cousins (Stretch/Rockett).
- Barbara RILEY and Cheri FRAZIER:
1st cousins (Riley/Haack).
- Pam CRAIG and Cindy WAIDNER: 1st
- David HAMMAN and Connie HUBANKS:
1st cousins (Hubanks/Hamman). Note that this is
on Davids maternal side; Davids
maternal grandmother was a HAMMAN; his paternal
grandfather also was a HAMMAN; however, the two
were not related.
- Greg DEITCHLEY, Keith DeLARUELLE,
Thomas DeLAURELLE, and the NISLEY brothers: all
share one set of great-grandparents (de
laRuelle/DHondt). Greg and the Nisley
brothers are 1st cousins to each other
(DeLaRuelle/Doens). They are 2nd cousins to Tom
and Keith, who are 2nd cousins to all others in
the group of six.
- May COPP and Janet JOHNSON: 1st
cousins once-removed (Copp/Warren).
- Dawn HOUSAND, Jimmie Christine
HECKAMAN, Steve HAZEN, and VanCAMP brothers: all
are Housand/Bain cousins. Jimmie Christine and
VanCamp brothers are 1st cousins; they are 2nd
cousins to Steve, and Dawns relationship
lies between that for all of them.
- Penny REYNOLDS and Tim KOBB: 2nd
- Penny REYNOLDS, May COPP, and
David HAMMAN: 2nd cousins (Warren/Thompson).
- Penny REYNOLDS & David HAMMAN
are 2nd cousins once-removed to Janet JOHNSON
- Joyce MABIE and the VAN CAMP
brothers: 2nd cousins (Webber/Funk).
- Jerry HEISER and Claude RODGERS:
2nd cousins (Heiser/Sanger).
- Kitty KLAER and Mike SQUIBB: 2nd
- Gail MYERS and Debbie CLAEYS: 2nd
- Larry GEE and Paul HUYVAERT: 2nd
- Marie PALMER and 1st cousins David
HAMMAN & Connie HUBANKS: 2nd cousins
- Nancy CARNER and Keith DeLARUELLE:
2nd cousins (Wachs/Klein).
- Marsha HONOLD and James CARNES:
2nd cousins (Newcomer/Keil).
- Toni BEEHLER and Barry SPRINGS:
2nd cousins (Beehler/Klein).
- Christine CARLSON and Judy
GREENLEE: half-2nd cousins (Zoe Ella Johnson,
dau. of Valentine Johnson & Rebecca Powlson).
- Greg COOK and the EBERLEIN
siblings: 2nd cousins once-removed.
- Jan MILLER and Brenda SNYDER: 2nd
cousins once-removed. (Miller/Rarig).
- Bev VANCE and the EBERLEIN
siblings: 2nd cousins once-removed
- Rich PUTZ and 1st cousins Curt
ADAMS & Lewis GUSHWA: 2nd cousins
- Bev VANCE and Greg COOK: 3rd
- Greg COOK and Greg DEITCHLEY: 3rd
- Randy MARKS and Judy GREENLEE: 3rd
- Carolyn SCHWARTZ and Christine
CARLSON: 3rd cousins (Carpenter/Hanville).
- Rich Putz and Jan MILLER: 3rd
- Connie MULLINS and 1st cousins
Pam CRAIG & Cindy WAIDNER: 3rd cousins
- Jan MILLER and 1st cousins Curt
ADAMS & Lewis GUSHWA: 3rd cousins
- Paula LAMPERT and the BARBER
siblings: 3rd cousins once-removed
- Josephine KOZLOWSKI and Jim
THOMAS: 3rd cousins once-removed (Myers/Smith).
- Nanette SCHNAIBLE and Mary RHOADE:
3rd cousins once-removed (Matz/Berger).
- Margo LEE and the BARBER siblings:
half 3rd-cousins (Conrad Zimmerman).
- Craig SALYER and Ruth Ann SALYER
are complex cousins. They are half 1st-cousins
once-removed, AND they are 3rd cousins
once-removed. Both descend from Mary Watson b.
1882; Craig descends from Mary's 1st husband
(David, who died young), and Ruth descends from
Mary's 2nd husband (Grover). Mary's two husbands
were SALYER 1st cousins.
- Ken BRUGH and Chuck HOFFMAN: 4th
1st cousins share one set of grandparents.
2nd cousins share one set of
3rd cousins share one set of
"Once-removed" means one generation off. I.e.,
the child of your 1st cousin is your 1st cousin
once-removed -- NOT your 2nd cousin.
"Half" means sharing only one ancestor at that
generation; i.e., same grandmother, different
grandfathers because grandmother had more than one
There are ten remote cousins whom I
found for myself among MHS '68 folks:
- Keith Smith:
descent from Mr. GRIMES, who had sons born in
1774 and 1779.
- Sandy Young and Sandy
Eberhardt: descent from Jacob GREIB, b.
- Tammy Reed and Dawn
Housand: descent from Johannes KEIM, b.
reportedly in 1675.
- Pat McGee:
descent from Thomas SANFORD, b. 1608.
- Ron Wise: descent
from William BUNNELL, d. aft. 1-May-1654.
- Mike Hass:
descent from Joshua HOTCHKISS, b. 1651.
- Sharon Gill and Pat
Semprini: descent from George SOULE, b.
- Spider Draves:
shared ancestry not yet known, but DNA proves
that Spider and I share DNA somewhere on my
Except for Spider, all connections are
based on paper-trail genealogy (i.e.,
documentary research). Paper-trail genealogy is only as
good as the paper.
Totally by chance, in 2008, Alice stood
with three remote cousins.
At the time, the ancestral connections were unknown.
We stood together as old Camp Fire Girls,
from the Mishawaka Council of Camp Fire.
Sharon Gill, Tammy Reed, Alice Beard, Pat McGee.