Successfully compiling and writing a family history rests upon not only facts that can be obtained through research, but also personal and compelling details that can only come from oral history. In compiling my family history I have been fortunate, as I have been provided much help by many. Their remembering and sharing what they know and/or what photographs they have has insured not only success in compiling this history, but also that those of whom this history is about are not forgotten.

The following family members have provided a tremendous amount of help: William G. Kernan, Margaret (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton, Irene (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006), William C. Kernan, Carolyn (Hamilton) Kernan, Goldie (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006), Mark Hamilton, Del (Kernan) Kreisman, Robert Kreisman, Jacqueline (Lapham) Shindler, John Shindler, Ima (Balla) Creech (1911-1998), E.J. Hamilton, Aline (Balla) Goetz (1924-2017), Mark Goetz, Shirley (Balla) Loftin, Barbara (Balla) Murphy, Amy (Thompson) LeBlanc, and Forest Riggs.

Extensive help has also been provided (directly or indirectly) by several family historians and researchers, many of whom are distant relatives: Molly Kernan, a Kernan family historian; Michael McTiernan, a McTiernan family historian; Ann Blake Hill, a Stearns and related families historian; Jacquelyn Ruttinger, a Davis and related families historian; Sharon Welch, a Rains family historian; Rod Bigelow, a Bigelow family historian; Phyllis Kitson (1924-2012), a Lapham family historian and author/editor of the newsletter, The Lapham Leader; Carol Freeman Davies, a Lapham family historian; Hugh Watkins, a Lapham family historian; Robert Leishman (1933-2015), a Leishman family historian; Connie Barnum, an Agee family historian; Ralph Turner, a Thornton family historian; Dolores (Graber) Shirts, a Graber family historian; Mary Jane (Harding) Draeger (1919-2008), a Reynolds family historian; Donald Gradeless, a Worthington family historian; John Richard Cope Jr., a Lightcap and related families historian; and Sharon and David Roddick, Balla family historians.

Additional help was provided by the “acts of genealogical kindness” of several contributors and volunteers on websites like and Find-A-Grave. The assistance of volunteer researchers Judy Baouab and Bo Johansson on were particularly helpful in finding and interpreting Swedish records. Similar assistance from contributors Diana Greb, Shirley Gaunt Lindley, E. Robert Malone, and Nancy Ann Mull Buchanan on Find-A-Grave were also extremely helpful.


Published 06/25/2017. Last Updated 06/02/2019.