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Hi! I'm Don Spidell. I have many interests, but my first love, besides my wife, is computer genealogy. It seems like the internet is something for which I have been wishing most of my life. I was interested in computers while I was in high school in the 1950's. But I was first introduced to genealogy when I was in college at Brigham Young University in 1964. Since then I have studied genealogy, worked with computers, and prepared myself for technology to catch up with my dream. Now the internet is here, and here is my family. I think they look very nice together. My youngest daughter, Renea LaDawn Spidell, is now a grown woman and she has been writing poetry since she was able to hold a pencil. Here are a few which she chose as being among her best. These poems were written mostly during the Monsoon Season here in Graham County, Arizona.

The valley where we live is dominated by the beautiful Mount Graham. During the Monsoon Season, through the winter, and into the Spring rainy season, the mountain is often capped with a grumpy looking little dark cloud which we have named Fracto, after the Piers Anthony Xanth novels. Then at times the wind comes ripping down through the valley driving dust and rain before it like a child at the brink of adulthood racing through the leaves for what may be the last time, and exhulting in the sheer joy of youth and freedom. This is the inspiration for the poems you will see here. You can see a great picture of Mt. Graham and even "Fracto" on my wife's page.

The first four generations of my ancestry and that of my wife are posted here. I am listed as Donald Leroy Spidell. Many of these lines go back a lot farther, especially: the Speidels, the Finches, the Rohrers, the Marburgers, the Wunderliches, and the Sessions family lines. I intend to have our full pedigree posted on these pages in the future.

My main interests in genealogy and family history are these:

  • Germany
  • the Great Palatine Migration
  • the Celts
  • LDS Family History Centers

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Most of my famiy comes from Hesse and the Rhine River Valley, including the area of Switzerland around Basel. I went to Germany twice while I was in the Army. Two of the places where I was stationed are, Würtzburg and Mannheim am Rhine. Through classes in high school and college classes taken while in the Army in Germany, I learned to talk a little German and to read a lot more. Now I am trying to learn how to read the German Gothic handwritten script, and that is a real chore. I can give some advice on German research, and I have given classes in the Family History Center on the subject.

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The Great Palatine Migration

The Palatines and the migration are described in detail on my web page. I have studied the Palatine Migration in depth, and I have also given classes on this subject in the local Family History Center. The people from the Palatines settled in several places in the colonies of North America, but they were some of the primary settlers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and Washington County, Maryland.

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The Celts

Those of my ancestors who did not originate in Germany or Switzerland are from the areas of Scotland, Ireland and England that were originally settled by the Celts. Now I have found that the opening statement of this paragraph is not completely true, as even those of my ancestry that were from Switzerland and Germany were mostly from Schwebia, which was also originally settled by the Celts. For this reason, I have been studying the mythology and the art of this people. I like to work with wood and with silver, and I have used celtic knotwork designs in making several small wooden boxes for my family for various purposes and for various Christmas gifts in recent years. I am now taking classes in the local college on lapidary work and silver-smithing, and I have already fashioned a matched set of jewelry including earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet using silver sheen obsidian set in silver which has been overlaid with celtic knotwork designs. One of my most recent creations was done for a couple of friends of mine. I did an engagement ring with a small silver sheen obsidian stone. The ring was overlaid silver with the Lover's Knot intertwined around the band. The wedding ring had 5 diamond chips and it snugged against the side of the engagement ring. I don't like to sell my work, so I made the rings a wedding gift. The smiles of the bride were more than enough payment. One of these days, I might even have some pictures on this web page to show my handiwork. My work has won several ribbons in the Graham County Fair, here in Safford, AZ.
More Celtic Knotwork Designs:

The Ulster-Scots

A good part of my family, particularly the McCords and the McKernans were actually Scots that came from Northern Ireland, an area that once was known as Ulster. In America these people were known as Scots-Irish. For more about them click on the words Ulster-Scots in the title above.

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LDS Family History Centers

I've already mentioned the Family History Centers, but I have worked in them as a volunteer now for over five years. I have played with all of the programs on the LDS computers including the Personal Ancestry Program (PAF) long enough, that I am fairly well versed with just about every aspect of each of them. I have also given classes on German genealogy at the centers.

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Click Here Frederick County, Maryland USGenWeb
Click Here Washington County, Maryland USGenWeb
Click Here Graham County, Arizona USGenWeb
Click Here Palatine, German Migration of the 1700s
Click Here Ulster-Scot Migration of lthe 1700s
Click Here My GEDCOM file in GED2HTML format
Click Here the genealogy page of a friend, Ted Moody
Click Here USGenWeb