Hi Folks – I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Brad, and I’m not a Montanan. But my mother is. And most of her family lived there at one time. And their family. And even some of my dad’s family. It’s one of the places to which all roads seem to lead. This blog constitutes my acceptance of the Ancestry.com 52 Ancestors challenge – though I’m a bit late getting to it. It may end up being a 50 Ancestor challenge… or I may end up losing count. Time will tell.

There will definitely be Montana stories here – stories go with the territory.  But I will also feature  New Englanders and Iowans, people from Wisconsin and California… all of whom, I feel, confronted their sometimes challenging lives with a certain brand of courage and bull-headedness I like to call MONTANATUDE.


  1. I am Alonzo Dow’s Great Grandson. My Grandma and Grandpa were Robert and Ruby. I live in Spokane and found your page by accident. I live in Spokane, where I was born. My mom and dad still live here as well. Gladys’ and Rowland’s son Larry, my dad’s cousin, lives here as well.

    Would like to here from you.


  2. Hi Brad-
    I’m really interested in the research you’ve done. I found common ancestors here on your site-my grandmother was a Leibel, and my great-great grandparents were Michael Leibel (1843-1917) and Frances Butzler (Franziska Putzler), 1845-1907.

  3. Hi Brad — just saw your HOO-FREAKIN-RAY post, with photos of my grandfather (Walter Dongan Wood) and uncle (Peter Wood). If you’re interested in learning more about the fam, let me know.

    • Hi Pamela! Thanks for the note! I’m not sure there’s much more about your end of the tree that I need to know, but I’ll drop a line if I think of something. I’m still batting zero in my search for solid info on the early 1800s Woods – my 3rd and 4th great-grandfathers, though.

      For what it’s worth, I worked this week on taking the Dongan and associated lines back to King Henry V, through Eleanor of Aquitaine, William the Conqueror, and all the way back to Charlemagne. It’s not a purely Dongan line – it jumps around a lot – but it IS a steady, unbroken lineal kinship! LOVE those royal families!

  4. Hi Brad,

    I came across your profile by chance and think we may perhaps be distantly related based off some of the research you’ve already done. I would love to get in touch to see if there’s any overlap!

  5. Hi all,

    beautiful work that you’ve done here! I am a German citizen from Schönsee (village just next to Plöss / Wenzelsdorf) and interested in ancestry. I also run the Schönsee community archive, but struggle a bit with deciphering some of the old writing. In case you need anything translated or have any other questions, feel free to write. By the way, the surname “Leibl” is pretty common in our rural area, so you should find many other connections! 🙂

    Greetings, Josef

  6. Hallo Josef! Vielen Dank for the note and the kind offer of assistance! I’ll be emailing you soon, I’m sure – I have so many questions about the Schönsee-Plöss region! Lately I’ve been back in the Bohemian church records looking for my Kraus and Süss families. I find a lot of the former, a few of the latter, but never the right ones! The hunt continues.
    Bis bald!

  7. Hello, I too have family, grandparents from this area. Oma (Meier) from Plöss and Opa ( Dünne) from Wenzelsdorf. Can you tell me exactly where these two towns are? My Oma and Opa both moved over to Selb Germany before WWII.

    • Hi Tina – Plöss and Wenzelsdorf were directly adjacent to one another – Plöss was the larger of the two. And they sat just on the Czech side of the border, kind of opposite the Bavarian town of Schönsee. South of Selb, following the border. If it appears on maps today (as it does if you search Google maps for Schönsee), it’s spelled Ples – not that there’s anything there. I’ve run into some Meier/Maiers in my research – but no Dünnes.

  8. Hello Brad, I am a Leibl from WI. My grandfather and grandmother plus great Grandfather Brix came from the area in the Czech Republic to which you refer. In tracing the family roots it is a dead end. As there are a number of Leibl’s and Brix is also a challenge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s