Visions of Hell on Earth: Chatfield Story

Guest post from my cousins, Terry and Peg Chatfield-McCarty The flood of memories, the details of countless events recalled at late evening fireside, the myriad of horrid private images never shared with anyone—we can only begin to imagine how this original O’Dea Andersonville Lithograph worked the … [Read more...]

Teller of Tales

 Teller of Tales This tale is a history, a fable, a prayer of those gone before me, now gathered with care. The diaries and pictures and letters enclosed deciphered my kin and what they supposed. Those who are living—their stories intact, Those gone before us—who knows what was fact? I met … [Read more...]

Emily and Those Hoy Boys

As rivers cut canyons through Rockies to bays the Hoys traveled westward in pioneer days. They fought for the Union (Frank, wounded in battle), Then homesteaded Brown's Hole where they branded their cattle. They were ranchers and farmers and bull-whackers of yore, horse breeders, … [Read more...]


(Listen to Audio) I am. I am from Leinen and Nigon, from Chamberlin and Hoy. I am from Clemens and Chatfield, from Surdam, Sumner, Smith, Shade, Mastick, and Tomlinson too. From Matthew, Isaac, Finley, and Charles. From Barbara, Eliza, Emily, and Nellie. I am from soldiers who fought for the … [Read more...]

Bloodlines (original version)

This tale is a history, a fable, a prayer; of those gone before me, now gathered with care. Can’t start in the middle—too confusing, not clear, can’t start at the end—will be over I fear. So I’ll start from the first as far back as I can and nudge you along ’til you’ve met the whole clan. When … [Read more...]

Civil War Journal of Finley Chamberlin

Finley McLaren Chamberlin was my great-grandfather, the father of Nellie (Chamberlin) Chatfield, my mother's mother. Finley Chamberlin’s Civil War journal is composed in several “chapters,” begun on February 27, 1863, while in service at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It provides a picturesque account … [Read more...]

A Civil War Story

Isaac Willard Chatfield: 1836 - 1921 Ohio to California ~ 1836: Middlefield, Ohio Isaac Willard Chatfield was born in 1836, the first of four children of Levi Tomlinson Chatfield and Lovina Mastick. Isaac married the elegant Eliza Ann Harrington May 20, 1858, and over the next five decades he and … [Read more...]

Toss of the Cosmic Dice

Why bother? I mean really? They’re dead. Who cares about the past, and what difference does it make? But here’s the deal, sometimes we do something for its own sake, or sometimes simply because we want to. There was a five-year period from when I finished writing a family memoir until I published … [Read more...]

Disturbing the Dead, Annoying the Living

What calls us to find the ancestors? It goes beyond a simple curiosity. We are taken over, compelled, as if possessed by something bigger than us, begging to be revealed. There is one of us in almost every family called to be the scribe. I am but one of many in our clan’s long line of storytellers. … [Read more...]

Sevenau Line: Sideways and Down

With more than their share of scandal and drama, the Sevenau line was definitely not boring to research or write about. There are not many with this name, and within the last month with the passing of brothers Steve and Mike Sevenau, sadly became two less. The verse is about Lou Sevenau (their … [Read more...]

The Chatfield Story

Dec 26, 1894, Fruita, Mesa County, Colorado: In a ceremony in her parents' home, my grandmother, twenty-one year old Nellie Chamberlin, married Charles Henry Chatfield, a ranching man of twenty-four. Nellie was a no-nonsense Catholic girl and exceedingly religious, but she also had a mind of her own … [Read more...]

Lord Love a Duck

There once were three brothers, from England did flee Sailed on the St. John in good company. Our line comes off George, ten progeny past, Begetting the Chatfields of which I am cast. They're an interesting bunch, left their mark in the world With a wide path to follow—a history … [Read more...]


Though I knew not the uncles who slept in gold dust, I've been told whom they hated and whom they could trust. I read which ones fiddled, who sang and who danced; I hear they worked hard—wonder if they romanced. I've met not the aunts, the women of kind, but can guess of their hopes and where … [Read more...]