Return to Al & Jim Home

We present some of the family history here. Events and people chronicled here include surviving a wild fire, homebrewing, a girl spy in the Civil War, a Revolutionary soldier's troubles arising from his moving, tavernkeeping ancestors in 1600s in Germany, and side lights on some early Dutch settlers in New Netherland (one of whom may really have been a Mohawk). For more details (though not necessarily the latest results) consult the links page to find the complete family history on the internet.

For easier searching we have arranged this introduction page chronologically from the latest to the earliest topic covered.

Current (1935 - present)
Civil War (1861 - 1865)
Colonial and Revolutionary (1600 - 1783)

Current (1935 - present)

Jim's Résumé
Jim is a semi-retired rocket scientist and is seeking part-time employment in applied mathematics, technical writing, web site maintenance or related fields.
Fallbrook Fire
Read about our experiences and future plans in the great Fallbrook fire of February 2002.
Reminiscences of an old Home Brew Master
The author reflects on his hobby over the years of making beer and wine. He discusses several notable batches. And he tells how they dealt with the consequences of the Fallbrook fire of February 2002.
Biography of Jim Churchyard Himself!
The author summarizes his own life story in a very few words. Someday he will expand this to book length but, fortunately for you, he has not done so yet.
Surnames being Researched
You can explore the surnames which the author has researched. The details on these lines can be found by following the links to the family history.
Links to Other Sites of Interest
Here are some links to the web sites of organizations that we participate in, ancestral and current home towns, family history and some miscellaneous sites. For example, you can visit the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. [top]

Civil War (1861 - 1865)

Molly Pitt, a Union Spy in Richmond
Molly Pitt was called "a dangerous & traitorous character." Here you can read about Al's great-grandmother and the poor innocent woman who was jailed in her place. [top]

Colonial and Revolutionary (1600 - 1783)

The Rose, The Swan and Gertraud Steinkopf
Several of Jim's ancestors lived in the German town of Oppenheim. Some were tavern-keepers, some were butchers. In 1600 Oppenheim was a flourishing city. In 1689 it was a devastated ruin. Here you can explore the history of the family, the taverns and the city.
Dozens of Cousins in New Netherland
Here we present some of the relationships among the descendants of the first settlers of Manhattan. Although many nationalities appear as immigrants, the intermarriages of later generations produced many instances of cousin marriages.
Biography of Jan Juriaensen Becker, d. 1698
He had a checkered career as tapster, school teacher and finally respected citizen of Albany.
Biography of Surgeon Cornelis van Dyck, 1642-1686
The first Cornelis van Dyck was a surgeon at Albany.
Those Four Early Children of Matthias St. John, III, 1662-1748
Four children are attributed to him before his marriage. Here we analyze the evidence anew. We correct his vital dates and conclude that two of the four are not his. We challenge others to verify the remaining eight children.
Land Records of Jan Pieterse Mebie, 1693-1726
The interest in these land records lies in their evidence that Grietje, the wife of Pieter Jacobse Borsboom and mother of Anna Borsboom, the wife of Jan Mebie, was a Mohawk Indian.
Biography of Lt.-Col. Cornelius van Dyck, 1740-1792
He served in the First New York Regiment of the Continental Line during the American Revolution from 1775 through the end of the war.
Lt. Jacob Best's Quandary, 1742-1797
We picture the stalwart heroes of the Revolution much as Emerson portrayed the Concord militia: "embattled farmers" who "fired the shot heard round the world." But part of the battle, even in that day, was with the patriot's own bureaucracy. This is the story of one soldier's attempts to do his duty and the troubles he encountered.

Updated 2 December 2006.[top]