I inherited the genealogy bug from my mom and her mother. They and their ancestors also did me the favor of hanging on to a lot of documentation, so I've had a somewhat easy starting point. Lately I've also been researching my wife's family, so there's always more to do.

If you're interested in collaborating on any of the families listed below, please get in touch. I maintain a detailed family tree in webtrees which I can grant access to.


Genealogy is intertwined with history and geography. I like to try to understand a bit of the history of the places my ancestors lived.


Below are some of the family names I research. I have organized them by great-grandparent.

Pete's Great-Grandparents

  • Peter Rijks (1873-1939)
  • Anna Maria Daniëls (1873-after 1921)
  • Theodoor Jozeph Leynen (1887-1953)
  • Anna Catharina Barbara Spooren (1887-1949)
  • Thomas William Sisson (1885-1961)
  • Marie Justine Rourke (1889-1975)
  • Morton Beymer Chase (1903-1995)
  • Verdie Standley (1903-2006)

Jamie's Great-Grandparents

  • Augustine Francis McCarthy (1896-1972)
  • Stella Kelly (1898-1972)
  • Ernest William Mead (1896-1964)
  • Alma Exner (1900-1987)

Pete's Log Genealogy Posts

Sometimes I post about Genealogy on my journal. I tag those posts with a genealogy topic.


Anyone with European ancestry is likely to be descended from Charlemagne, but it's still fun to find details. In my case, I've tracked ancestry back to Peter Worden, a so-called "Gateway Ancestor." You can read more on my Charlemagne page.

American Revolution

I have tracked 11 ancestors to service of some kind in the American Revolution.

The Orphan and the Schoolgirl

My mom self-published a book about our Rourke ancestors. Here's the synopsis:

Born in Ireland during the potato famine Eugene Rourke immigrated with his family to La Salle, Illinois, in 1852, where he met Mary Dooner, a schoolgirl. His parents died a couple of years later leaving him an orphan. As Eugene Rourke grew older, the call of the West with promises of great riches in the gold and silver mines was throbbing in his breast . . . It did not take Eugene long to realize this was not the life for him, especially since the quest for gold seemed like chasing the pot at the end of the rainbow. In December of 1869 he left Denver with only a general idea of where he was going, started south and as far as possible follow the rivers . . . Eugene had left a sweetheart behind so was hard pressed to get the ranch started, a house built, buy as many cows as he could afford, return to Illinois, marry the school teacher he loved, and bring his bride to the home he planned for her. Eugene and Mary had ten children, seven reached adulthood. The family built a home in La Junta, Colorado, in the 1890's. Here they contributed to the community, help found Colorado Savings and Trust Company and the La Junta Theater Company. The Rourke Theatre was named in honor of Eugene, the largest stockholder in the La Junta Theater Company in 1914. Newspaper articles follow the family's activities and contributions to life in Southeastern Colorado.

The Sins of our Forefathers