Rules of Camp

What I’ve seen of long-winded genealogy newsletters makes my brain tingle and toes go numb. So, I thought I’d handle all introductions, ground rules, etc. here.

I’d be the last person, a couple years ago, to predict I’d get so immersed in this stuff that I’d put together something like this. But as fate and countless late nights would have it, I’m fascinated. And I’ve turned up a lot of neat stuff I’m figuring may fascinate you, too. Hence: this.

What this will be:

A series of blogs, some of which may be compiled into a longer “newsletter” — because blogs are easier to read, and can come with photos that won’t swamp your computer or email program.

Semi-irregular — I do have a day job, after all, and a family to gaze at instead of my computer.

Largely in story form — I kind of loathe genealogy “publications” with their countless lists and dates and tortured phrases. I’m not out to bombard you with information. I want what I send to focus on a theme and share some information that will illustrate, not inundate.

A recurring invitation — (to my family) to go on and and share what you know about our ancestors, as well as pictures, documents, stories, etc.

What it won’t be:

A comprehensive outline of our ancestors — again, let’s save that for the software that can handle it. The sites I use at and Ancestry each can display family trees far better than I can illustrate them in text.

A tutorial on how to use — the site is quite navigable and intuitive all on its own. Sign on and check it out.

A genealogy how-to. Again, plenty of resources out there on the net for that. But, hey, read a few posts, and check out my Sources page, and you’re bound to pick up on the way I do things. In short, a lot of curiosity, a compulsion for thorough confirmation, and an impulse for sharing what I find — in (virtual) print and in person with family.

How you can help:

Mainly, by reading, when you have a chance. And commenting, if the mood strikes you. And adding your memories and mementos to

If you feel a serious writing Jones, feel free to contact me about submitting a guest post.

I’m not doing this because I feel ownership over my family’s history — though I do take pride in and stand by the research I’ve done. I’m fairly confident that much of it is accurate. However: I’m open to assistance, suggestions, tips — whatever you’ve got to share.

Just pay me the courtesy of shooting me an email or giving me a call before going in and changing dates, names, places, etc. You very well could be right — and I thank you for that!

Now let’s start some conversations.


9 thoughts on “Rules of Camp

  1. Pingback: What are the ‘holy grails’ of Genealogy? | Whispering Across the Campfire

  2. Lisa B. (Johnson) Kirkpatrick

    Colt –
    I am fascinated by your “Whispering Across the Campfire” blog. I believe we are distantly related on the Johnson side. I am the daughter of Dwight Joseph Johnson, Jr who died in 1972. He had 3 daughters (Linda, Karen and Lisa), but we lost touch with all Ohio relatives when my parents divorced around 1968. You could say we are the lost sheep of the family! I wanted to thank you for your enthusiasm, and hard work on this site.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Great to hear from you. I know your Johnsons in Ohio well. Hope all is well with your family. Thanks for the encouraging words. Look for more posts soon!



  3. Pingback: Grace Foutz Feature Frames Life in Ohio | Whispering Across the Campfire

  4. Nancy Dionne

    I found a red ruby small glass that is inscribed on the front Lizzie Foutz and on the back M. W. of A. Dated 1910. While researching we found this may be a relative of yours. If this is your relative, this belongs to you. I cannot post a picture so if this is of any interest to you I will send a photo if you give me an email address I can send to.


  5. Colt,
    I greatly enjoyed
    your entries on Augustus Ley’s dry goods store in Port Washington and the family picture that included my grandmother Minnie Ley Wible’s brother, Charles, father, Augustus, and grandfather, Karl. I don’t see your e-mail address on this blog. Could you please send it to me? Thanks.

    Dave Wible, Ann Arbor, MI

  6. Hi Colt. Thanks for all your hard work and nice website devoted to our family genealogy! I just heard about your website from my cousin, John Wible whose son Tom found it in a Google search. Your mom and I are 2nd and 3rd cousins (I’m Scoop’s son, so also descended from Ley and Wible/Weible families) and I knew and admired your grandparents, Bob and Sue, as I saw them at family gatherings over the years. I’m very interested in how you established that Jacob Weible was Hans Jakob Waibel, born in Bockten, then went back 5 generations earlier there. As my mom probably said in her letter to your grandmother which you referenced, they did research in Switzerland and couldn’t find Jacob or father Stephen (per Metzger lore) where they expected to find it in Switzerland (in Bern, I believe). They followed one lead to the picturesque town of Ehrlenbach in the Canton of Bern, where they found Weibels with the names Jacob and Johannes, as I recall, registered in a parish in an appropriate time frame of the 1700’s and without a great deal of conviction adopted the town as the family homestead. I visited the town and church myself in 1985. About five years ago I saw some exchanges on going back to 2001 about John/Jacob/Stephen Weible where someone said they were from Canton Bern and came over on the Brittania in 1764 (whose registry shows a Stephan and Johannes Waibel) and someone else mentioned they understood Johannes was from Bockten and said they’d traced the family to 1600. I hadn’t seen the “Hans Jakob” name before. Have you found a ship’s registry entry for Hans Jakob Waibel and Johannes and Ursula Waibel?

    I visited Coshocton in 1980 and took some photos of the graves and (underground RR) homestead of Thomas and Henrietta Howells Powell that you may be interested in.

    Dave (David Frederick) Wible ……..named after my gg gf
    Ann Arbor, MI

  7. Earl Ley

    I enjoyed your blog very much. I like it free-flow narrative and story telling. Shanesville and Sugar Creek were a fun place to visit back when the Ley family history was coming alive for me. My first cousin, Doris Eileen Ley Hill wrote “The Carl Frederick Ley Family” published in 1992. I will call her tomorrow with your site address. She may have a picture or story that just fits for you. She has good endnotes. Carl Frederick was Doris’ father born Feb 14, 1904. Agustus and Minnie were brother/sister. Minnie married a Carl Ley from the old country and had son Otto Treviran who was my grandfather. Charles Henry Ley was son of Agustus. Thank you for all your interesting work. I commend you. Theodore Earl Ley, born Feb 20, 1943 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    • Earl — WONDERFUL to here from you! This is exactly why I do the blog — to answer some questions for others, and to connect with distant relatives to fill in further details to our rich family history.

      I look forward to hearing from Doris. Would be great to learn more about my great-great-great-great grandfather Ley and family!

      Want to make sure, also, that you’ve at least seen this blog:

      I’ve written a lot more about Carl Frederick and Charles Henry and the rest in Shanesville/Port Washington. But this is a good outline of the overall family from my branch. And there are links to other blogs. Just search the site for Ley and a whole mess of them will come up!

      Have a great weekend. Best,


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