Patrick & Dulcena Trainer c. 1861

“I was once again struck by the key to genealogy: stick-to-itiveness. Yes, it takes creative thinking and knowledge of available resources, etc., but basically it takes a willingness to just keep at it and never give up. Being an optimistic idiot helps.”  Buzzy Jackson–Shaking the Family Tree

This project attempts to document the genealogical story of Patrick & Donna Birdsall-Thrush. Much of it follows the adventures of the Thrush/Traynor and Birdsall/Danzi branches as those families grew in the Ohio/Illinois/Michigan and New England/New York regions, and later spread across the country.  The genealogical data shown is the result of many years of research. This will always remain a work in progress!

We look forward to having family members help Journeys in Genealogy add to the story–and use it for their own research purposes. It is fairly comprehensive–but needs your help!  All of the trees, charts, and downloadable GEDCOM files are freely available for your personal research and collection. Everyone is encouraged to use the “Contact Us” form to advise of suggestions, and changes–and to offer contributions to the data.

This project is an adventure for everyone in the family to learn their heritage!  Enjoy your visit, and check for updates…

Select Family Statistics

THIS section highlights a number of family statistics.  Some results are shown with a ‘plus’ mark, as members have been added offline to RootsMagic 8 &, but not yet uploaded to this website.  These numbers will periodically update!  We strive to be as accurate as possible with all records, but errors can occur.  If you spot one, contact us and let us know!  Also read our Disclaimer Statement for more details.

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Featured Roots

FINDING family helps us learn more about our ancestors–and  seeing images of them lets us look into the past–and learn how we may carry on a resemblance or family trait!  Those featured below have had their portraits made–in some cases they are the sole surviving photograph left to speak for them them.

David Noble Thrush

David was a coal miner & farmer born 1828 in Ohio, and for many years lived in Beetown, Grant County, Wisconsin. He eventually settled near Peoria, Illinois with his sons William & Alexander--and began the Hanna City family story.

James L. Rice

James had been a farmer in Kentucky, and after moving to Lick, Ohio worked again as a farmer and a successful coal mine operator. He married Sarah Hiatt, and fathered 6 children. He died in 1892, having lived to the age of 67.

Rev. Charles Leonard Deming

Charles was born in Morris, NY sometime in September, 1827. A Presbyterian minister and father-in-law to Wilburn Birdsall, he survived his spouse Hannah Stenson by 15 years.

Emilio Civita

Emilio graduated the Musical Conservatory of Naples, Italy and emigrated to the US in 1907. He later spent 50 years as concertmaster of the Pittsburg Municipal Band in California, beginning in 1916.

Anthony Danzi

Anthony was born 1875 in a suburb of Naples, Italy and immigrated to the U.S. in 1902. He brought his bride Donata Civita and her sister with him, eventually settling in Oneonta, NY and fathered 9 children.

Charles Albert Birdsall

'Al' served in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the Pacific Theater of action. After the war, he married Mary Concetta Danzi, and became a commercial electrical contractor. Together they had 4 children. He died in 1993.

Oakley Orville Traynor

Oakley was just 18 when he shipped out with the 28th Infantry Machine Gun Company, U.S. Army First Division in the first American battle of WWI at Cantigny, France on May 28, 1918. He was an early casualty in that battle. The VFW Post in Flint, MI is named in his honor.

Dulcena Humphreys-Trainer

Wife of Patrick Trainer, Irish immigrant and family scion of our Trainer/Traynor family Ohio branch . Married in 1853, she birthed 9 children, and died in 1875 at Franklin Township, Jackson, Ohio--the same year her husband Patrick died of his Civil War injuries. Shown with her first child Dennis.

Journeys Project Development Partners

IT IS SAID that nothing and no one stands alone–everything is built on the efforts of that which came before us. The same rubric applies to the practice of genealogy and the tools we use to discover our heritage. I would like to give credit and recommendation to the resources listed below. 

A special shout-out is due to Bruce Buzbee the developer of RootsMagic desktop software, and Darrin Lithgoe, author of the TNG website genealogy platform.  Without them, our family research and the Journeys in Genealogy website would not be possible!

Then there are those now-passed family genealogists that had to work hard to find paper records–a daunting task before the modern internet.  Special thanks go to Opel Traynor-Danner and Markine Traynor-Ostling and their families.