MHS '68 genealogies:
Genealogies of folks from the MHS Class of 1968

Most MHS '68 folks will find their ancestors in this database:
Mishawaka Small Trees

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 lives.)

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 crappier.

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 (below).

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 never seen.

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 Italian ancestors.  

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, the lies.

I enjoy the puzzle solving. I know the dead ancestors of most MHS '68 people better than I know the MHS '68 people. 

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 father.

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 great-grandparents.

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 owners.

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 index.
  • 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 records.
  • U.S. censuses, state censuses, draft registration cards, military records, immigration records, and other records and info found at
  • 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 genealogist.

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 sibling sets:
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 explains terminology:

  • Kathy KLOTZ and Marty ZEMIALKOWSKI: aunt/niece (Klotz/Williams).
  • Curt ADAMS and Lewis GUSHWA: 1st cousins (Gerard/Mallory).
  • 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 cousins (Kelly/Long).
  • Byron ALDRICH and Walt EAKINS: 1st cousins (Eakins/Patterson).
  • Linda JASIEWICZ and the JASIEWICZ twins: 1st cousins (Jasiewicz/Bujwid).
  • Bob LESE and Jimmie TROVATORE: 1st cousins (Trovatore/Iavagnillio).
  • Deborah STRETCH and Robert STRECH: 1st cousins (Stretch/Rockett).
  • Barbara RILEY and Cheri FRAZIER: 1st cousins (Riley/Haack).
  • Pam CRAIG and Cindy WAIDNER: 1st cousins (Waidner/Fleck).
  • David HAMMAN and Connie HUBANKS: 1st cousins (Hubanks/Hamman). Note that this is on David’s maternal side; David’s 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/D’Hondt). 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 Dawn’s relationship lies between that for all of them.
  • Penny REYNOLDS and Tim KOBB: 2nd cousins (Kobb/Hattel).
  • Penny REYNOLDS, May COPP, and David HAMMAN: 2nd cousins (Warren/Thompson).
  • Penny REYNOLDS & David HAMMAN are 2nd cousins once-removed to Janet JOHNSON (Warren/Thompson).
  • 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 cousins (Squibb/Sullivan).
  • Gail MYERS and Debbie CLAEYS: 2nd cousins (Myers/Reimer).
  • Larry GEE and Paul HUYVAERT: 2nd cousins (Pauwels/DeClercq).
  • Marie PALMER and 1st cousins David HAMMAN & Connie HUBANKS: 2nd cousins (Hamman/Booher).
  • 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. (Eberlein/Gill).
  • Jan MILLER and Brenda SNYDER: 2nd cousins once-removed. (Miller/Rarig).
  • Bev VANCE and the EBERLEIN siblings: 2nd cousins once-removed (Eberlein/Gill).
  • Rich PUTZ and 1st cousins Curt ADAMS & Lewis GUSHWA: 2nd cousins once-removed (Gerard/Kleckner).
  • Bev VANCE and Greg COOK: 3rd cousin (Eberlein/Gill).
  • Greg COOK and Greg DEITCHLEY: 3rd cousins. (Deitchley/Rapp).
  • Randy MARKS and Judy GREENLEE: 3rd cousins (Berry/Cook).
  • Carolyn SCHWARTZ and Christine CARLSON: 3rd cousins (Carpenter/Hanville).
  • Rich Putz and Jan MILLER: 3rd cousins (Gerard/Bright).
  • Connie MULLINS and 1st cousins Pam CRAIG & Cindy WAIDNER: 3rd cousins (Scheibelhut/Reichert).
  • Jan MILLER and 1st cousins Curt ADAMS & Lewis GUSHWA: 3rd cousins once-removed (Gerard/Bright).
  • Paula LAMPERT and the BARBER siblings: 3rd cousins once-removed (Dreibelbis/Engle).
  • 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 cousins (Brugh/Workman).

1st cousins share one set of grandparents.
2nd cousins share one set of great-grandparents.
3rd cousins share one set of great-great-grandparents.
"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 husband.

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. 1711.
  • 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. 1595.
  • Spider Draves: shared ancestry not yet known, but DNA proves that Spider and I share DNA somewhere on my paternal side.

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.

The info has been evaluated in the usual genealogical ways. However, there may be incorrect conclusions, and there may be data entry errors.
If you find errors, please send email: