10 Feb 2022

All family researchers are faced with Brick Walls, those places where we just can’t find an ancestor or a confirmation. (Yet!) We are always trying to break down these walls. Fellow researchers, on-location research and DNA are tools leading to hints that may assist in tearing down that wall. No hint is insignificant.

However, will a hint lead to verification? Show me the documentation!

Here are some of my Bricks and where I currently stand in my attempt to expand and confirm my family tree and its history. History reports summarizing my research and findings can be found on the pages of FAMILY CHRONICLES.


Surname Brockmann represents my paternal grandmother. Recent discoveries in Germany have led to my 4X great grandfather. German records, which are very precise, indicate my Grandmother Dora had a daughter in 1902. What happened to her? Also, where did Dora meet my grandfather with whom she had my father William in 1913? Where was my grandmother between her arrival into the U.S. in December 1911 and the birth of my father in July 1913? Where was Edward Bunyard, the man she married in 1913, during this same time?


I feel as certain as I can that my paternal grandfather was a Loncar. My grandfather could be either of two siblings – both are good candidates. At the present time, I lean toward John who was in the vicinity of my grandmother in 1912; he actually lived in the same house listed on my father’s 1913 birth certificate. (DNA has linked me and my siblings to his brother’s descendants.) Still, I would like Y-DNA to further confirm this relationship. John had no children as far as I know. I am working on the details of his history.


My maternal grandmother was Flora Schlundt. Her christening records at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in La Porte County, Indiana, before God and her father John Schlundt and her aunt Maria Pöhl, records  “Schlundt, Flora, 7 Jan 1888 to Christ Sark, allegedly, and Maria Schlundt.” No Christ Sark can be found but a Christian Stark is a member of the church and his family live in the vicinity of the Schlundts and Pöhls. No DNA has come forward and this twig on the family tree is still pretty leafless.


This is the surname of my maternal grandfather. This family branch is probably the best researched. It was known that John Shinabarger, my 4X great grandfather, married a Mehetable. When it was learned she was a Murdock there was cause for celebration. Visiting her grave in Ohio was a highlight of my 2018. Alas, joy was short-lived. Mehetable was a second wife and not the mother of John’s children. DNA has confirmed this. DNA also seems to confirm that 5X great grandparents are a Shinaberry/Lyndon couple. Family research has always thought this a possibility. So, who is my maternal 4X great grandmother? DNA has provided countless hints and seems to be leading me back to the area of the Shinaberrys and their roots in Virginia/West Virginia. Brothers married sisters, they stuck to their own small community, and the early settlers were German immigrants who supported each other. A variety of surnames are possible: Barnes, Life, See, Yoakum….Or a Paxton, a Murdock, Huff. This research and that into the links of the similar Shinabarger surname spellings continue.

June 2023 – I researched family history in Frederick County Virginia, Berkeley Co. West Virginia, Frederick Co. Maryland and York and Lancaster Pennsylvania. I concentrated on the surname Shinaberry and those allied families who married into our earliest generations. As previously learned, the Shinaberry, Shinabarger and Shanabarger families share a common ancestor. Searches pointed toward northern VA as a place to continue my search. This resulted in a “bingo” moment when John Shinabarger was found!

This research is a work in progress. New discoveries continue to be made that may confirm or change this family history. As of today, this is where our story stands. Read Latest on Patriarch for detailed research and information.

NOTE: I have tried to be as factual and document as much as possible. Sometimes logic just stares me in the face that an entry is not factual. We all want to be connected to royalty or patriots but wishing doesn’t make it true. Even though the names in my own Family Tree represent decades of research, beginning with my mother in the 1960s, there are bound to be errors. When found and proven I rejoice in responsibly correcting them. However, it is up to others to also confirm and not just copy. Mistakes from my mother’s research of 50 years ago, since corrected and verified, are still circulating.