I am always looking, and grateful, for any input that anyone has on this website and on any of the families included here. Please feel free to contribute anything at any time. I am especially seeking help to identify many unidentified photographs of Dibbles (from both Minnesota and Indiana), Conleys, Alhers, Chapmans, and members of related families. Please check these out and let me know if you can help.
That being said, at any given time I am working on particular aspects of the family history. This page will keep you up to date on what I'm working on at the moment.
January 10, 2024 - Comprehensive review of the entire website with minor error and typo corrections, and some new details added, to all pages.
April 1, 2023 - Added a note acknowledging that the "Current Affairs" page is out of date, and formalizing my policy not to publish any more information about living people without permission. Some new information about the Morud family was added at the request of a member of that family, and I've added the date of Gladys Ruth Johnson Dibble's death.
March 31, 2023 - Major additions and significant error corrections to "The Scandinavian Connection", along with several new images. I have now pushed the Halden, Kvern, and Morud families back to the late 18th century, and I've uncovered a lot of new details on how and where those family members lived.
September 12, 2022 - New information on two daughters of Jonathan Dibble of Cannon Falls, MN, both named Ann E Dibble, and on Jonathan's second wife, Sarah C Smith, with photos of Sarah, Ann E, and Jonathan's first wife Ann Eliza, along with the date of their marriage, plus a new story about Alice M. Dibble as a teenager, and a few other new details, were added to "War and the Great White North". A photograph of Dick Dibble's first wife, Ella Coplin, and a wedding photo of Dick and his second wife, Bertha Kowitz, were added to "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie".
August 27, 2022 - I've added a new feature, the Family Historical Events Calendar. Initially it only includes events from the month of August, so I could get it up before the end of the month. I will continue to add events from the other months of the year. Also, I've reversed the order of the notes on this page to put the most recent at the top.
July 16, 2022 - I added a page of over 130 Unidentified Photographs of Dibbles (both Indiana and Minnesota), Conleys, Ahlers, Chapmans, and members of other related families. This page is temporary and will remain up only until all of you have had a good long time to look at them and respond with any information you may have. Thanks for helping!
June 5, 2022 - At long last, I've added a completely revised version of "Between Two Wars" to this website. Representing an effort of more than two years, the new page is very much longer than the previous version. It corrects many serious errors (including, most notably, the story of Archie Dibble's service in World War I), and adds a huge amount of new material--some of it rather shocking--about all of our families, including:
In addition, the page contains over 90 images never previously published on this website.
May 1, 2022 - Additional information on Hattie Bell Coplin, sister of Ella Coplin, and her second marriage, added to "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie".
January 23, 2022 - Correction and new footnote on when Casimir, son of Steve Orzechowski, may have changed his name to Flak, added to "From Russia (or Poland?) with Love".
January 16, 2022 - Additional details on the family of Charles Albert Johnson, uncle of Clarence Casper Johnson, added to "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie".
April 25, 2021 - Additional information on George Kowitz, son of Ferdinand Kowitz, Jr, and his family, including his meat market business in Zumbrota and his move to La Crosse, Wisconsin, added to "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie".
March 28, 2021 - Additions of a great deal of new information, and some corrections, concerning families and events covered in the "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairies" page. Much of this takes the form of inumerable little details about the lives of many of our characters, gleaned from exhaustive searches of late 19th and early 20th century newspaper archives. I have, for example, advanced a theory about what happened to Minnesota "Minnie" Dibble's husband, Harvin C. Penney, after Minnie died; added a deep analysis of the property owned by Richard "Dick" Dibble of Cannon Falls (in a long footnote) and learned more about his business partners; collected a little more on Dick's brother Nathan; added a lot more information on the Ahlers family (relatives of Alonzo's first wife, Louisa Ahlers); provided a new footnote about Cannon Falls baseball; added more information, including a footnote on Polish origins, on the Cichy (formerly referred to here as "Chiecke") family from which came Rosa Cichy, the mother of Clarence Casper Johnson, and more on the Johnson family's landholdings; and much much more. I've also added a large number of new images, mostly photographs of family members provided by Sarah Fayas, a descendant of Sarah Dibble Conley, a daughter of Alonzo Dibble of Cannon Falls, MN. A couple of images were replaced with better options as a result, but the total number of images on this page was increased by about 15. As preparation for finally getting started in earnest on revising the next page, I've set a firm end date of December 31, 1913 for events recorded on the "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie" page, and as a result some material from after that date was removed. (Well, almost firm; there is one image on the page that got past the deadline. I just didn't have a better option to replace it.) I've also added new images to other pages ("War and the Great White North" now has a photo of Alonzo Dibble's first wife, Louisa Ahlers, and the photo of Lewis Conley in later life that was there was replaced with a photo of his house in Kossuth, IA. There's also a great corroded old tintype photo of Alonzo Dibble, age 24, and a photo of Alonzo's mother, Mary Howe Dibble, on the "Westward, Ho!" page.
September 26, 2020 - Corrections and additions to the descendants of Olive Dibble Hall (the Brown family) in the "Current Affairs" page (thanks very much to Tom Brown Jr).
June 7, 2019 - Complete rewrite of the "Abigail Reacher" footnote concerning George Dibble of East Hampton's second marriage to a woman named Abigail, based on a correction provided by Corey family researcher David A. Cory. Also, The "Early Origins" page was modified to show that the first Dibble reference in East Hampton was in 1697, not 1699.
May 5, 2019 - Complete revision of the "From Russia (or Poland?) with Love" page, including a wealth of new material that traces the Orzechowski/Flak family potentially back as far as 1800, as well as some new images. As a result, some previously existing material was moved: Information on the marriages and children of Stephan ("Steve") Orzechowski's kids was moved to the "Between Two Wars" page; notes on the deaths of Stephan and his wife Mary were moved to the "Current Affairs" page.
February 26, 2018 - Additions concerning the Ahlers and Aslakson families to the "War and the Great White North" page, as well as a new photo of the young children of Alonzo Dibble. Significant additions to "The Scandinavian Connection" concerning the Halden, Morud, Johnson and Kvern families. Major updates of the "Big Farms, Little Towns on the Prairie" page, with new images and much more information on the following families:
In addition, many errors were corrected and some "mysteries" were explained.
June 4, 2017 - Addition of information on the North, Smith and Eastman families (the latter two families contained ancestors of Ann Eliza Smith, wife of Jonathan Dibble of Minnesota) to the "Westward, Ho!" page, with an alleged photo of Ann's father Daniel Smith. Major updates to the "War and the Great White North" page, with more information on the following families:
There is much more information on Jonathan Dibble's military service and farm life, more on the history of Goodhue County, and more on Dell Nook. Several new images were also added.
January 22, 2017 - Based on information in the Howe Genealogies by Daniel Wait Howe, I've completely rewritten the "Howe Now?" and "Solving Sylvanus while Hunting for Harvey" footnotes referenced in "The Colonial Years", Westward, Ho!" and "Indiana Dibbles".
Although I do have some lingering issues with this book (which I've explained in the "Notes on Sources" page), I must concede that the Silas and Abigail Howe who are buried in Patriot cemetery in Switzerland County, Indiana, were probably the parents of Sarah Howe, the wife of John Dibble of Stamford, CT who came to Indiana in the 1830s. The story of that marriage involves a man in his twenties forming a relationship with a pre-teen girl who moved hundreds, and then a thousand, miles away from him, before returning to Stamford at least five years later to marry him, all this in a time long before railroads were invented, and when even ordinary dirt roads did not connect New England to upstate New York or to southeastern Indiana. That story still seems improbable to me, but there is other evidence to support it.
January 15, 2017 - Added this page and the link to it on the main page; added a link to the Indiana Dibbles in the Civil War page to the main page.
December 31, 2016 - Fixed typos and corrected minor errors in the following pages: "Early Origins", "The Colonial Years", "Westward, Ho!", "Indiana Dibbles", and "Indiana Dibbles in the Civil War", and to some of the related footnotes.
ONGOING PROJECTS JANUARY 2024
As usual, I make plans and then get sidetracked and do something else. I did begin some background research in preparation for updating the Indiana Dibbles page but dropped that when I received a lot of new material on the Norwegian branches of our family in the second half of 2022.
After finishing with that material in early spring of 2023, I heard from a Dibble in upstate New York concerning a branch of the family that is not closely related to us at all, but many of its members settled in Delaware and Broome Counties in New York--my "back yard"--so I got interested in tracking them down, including the owner of an 1860s-era Bible that I found in an antique shop in the early 1970s and gave to my brother as a gift. I spent much of my free time over several months digging into those lines. I still haven't come to any firm conclusions as to how they relate to our family but I have some pretty plausible theories. I'll eventually publish something on that project here.
I took a break for most of the fall of 2023, and, following my retirement I spent about a week and a half on a review of the site with error and typo corrections and the addition of some details.
I think now I may prioritize my plan to separate the "Current Affairs" into two pages--"The Post-War Years" and "The New Millenium", and then update the information on deceased family members as appropriate on both of those pages. I do already have quite a bit more info on what happened in the second half of the 20th. century, and I'll do more research to make that page as correct as I can.
After that I'll probably get back to updating the Indiana Dibbles, though I struggle with how to include a lot more information without making the pages too long and boring.
Still coming eventually:
An effort to identify the lines of other Dibbles who were in Minnesota contemporaneously with the brothers Jonathan and Alonzo. It's already clear that some of those folks are descended from the Dibbles of Delaware County, NY.
A separate page on German ancestors, including the Kowitz, Ahlers, and Granke families.
Lamb Binders Index
I've been working off and on (mostly off, lately) to produce an index of every single person's name that appears in the Van Buren Lamb binder pages that were scanned to PDF by George W. Dibble III. This is a huge project, but I'm pretty close to completing the index for the first binder. It may be that I won't be able to focus much on this project until after my retirement.