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Family History Project

Frank da Cruz
A global collaboration!

Most recent update: 2024-Mar-27 20:59:23 New York time

The family history...

The history of my family, my ex-wife Judy Scott's family, and the family of my once-and-future partner Pam Ives, written mainly for my kids as a monolithic web page with images and hyperlinks. It might also be of interest to Vietnam-era US Army veterans, 1950s-60s Army brats, people of Norwegian, Portuguese, or German/Swiss descent, World War II buffs, people interested in postwar Northern Virginia or postwar Germany, etc.

As of December 2023 the monolithic family history HTML file is over a megabyte on disk (main page only, not counting images and external supplements); 20,000 lines of non-markup text with over 1000 embedded images. It would be about 350 pages long if printed. Even on the fastest computer and connection it can take up to five minutes to load from a network web server, and even longer from a local disk or other device, at least using early 21st-Century techology. Therefore I have also exported most of the chapters into standalone web pages for different audiences: my cousins Danny and Lina, my Portuguese relatives, the Lund family, school classmates, Army buddies, etc; these load much faster. Aside from the extracted chapters, here are the two main pieces:

Extracted Chapters

These too were converted to UTF-8 16 October 2019. Also all of them were were re-generated in March 2021 so that internal links to other chapters now go to the appropriate extracted chapter, rather than to the monolithic history, for quicker access. Page counts are approximate. Page counts and dates are updated automatically by a Kermit script, updindex, which calls upon a second script, countpages. You can sort the table by number of pages or by last update; click once on the heading to list in ascending order, click again to list in descending order. To "unsort" the table, reload this page.

Title / Topic Pages Last update Topics
My mother Vivian 28 2024 / 03 / 02 Norwegian immigration, WWII, Navy WAVES
My father Frank Sr. 15 2022 / 06 / 30 Navy, WWII, CIA
My grandmother Gus 26 2024 / 01 / 31 German/Swiss immigration, nursing WWI-WWII
My Grandfather Daniel da Cruz 19 2022 / 12 / 24 Portuguese immigration, academia, books
My Uncle Pete (Daniel da Cruz II) 20 2024 / 01 / 31 Marines, WWII, Lebanon, books
My brother Dennis 4 2024 / 01 / 08 Music, a short life
Chesterbrook Virginia 1947-56 17 2024 / 01 / 08 Postwar rural Virginia
Arlington Virginia, 1956-59,61-62 15 2024 / 01 / 11 Suburban Virginia
Frankfurt Germany 1959-61 56 2024 / 03 / 27 Postwar Germany Army base
The CIA, 1962 2 2021 / 04 / 12 Summer job after high school
The University of Virginia 1962 4 2024 / 03 / 08 A one-semester disaster
In the Army 1963-66 43 2024 / 03 / 15 Germany again: Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart
After the Army 1966 3 2023 / 10 / 02 NYC and Washington DC
New York City 1966-present 19 2024 / 01 / 06 Fifty-some years in Manhattan and the Bronx
Columbia University 1966-2011 14 2023 / 12 / 14 Education, 1968 student uprising, and career
The Scotts 17 2024 / 03 / 05 My ex-wife's extended family
Pam Ives 13 2024 / 03 / 05 My first and (60 years later) last love
Monolithic family history 354 2024 / 03 / 27 From which the chapters are extracted
Note: The "Monolithic" total includes material that has not been extracted into chapters — introduction, etc.

Other resources on this site...

Family tree: next section.
* Translations from Portuguese to English by me; corrections appreciated.

The family tree...

Current status: 1340 people in the tree spanning 49 generations going back to 540 AD.
Click the image below to visit the "live" family tree:
Family tree

Authors (so far): Frank da Cruz (Bronx NY), Raimundo Narciso (Lisbon Portugal), Helena Mascarenhas (Lisbon), Luzia Machado (Lisbon), Fátima Santos (Lisbon), Danny da Cruz and Rula al-Chorbachi da Cruz (Bahrain), Rifa'at Kamal Haffar (Wien Österreich), Lina da Cruz Lamirande (Berkeley California), Christine J. Scott-Deutsch (Dobbs Ferry NY), Sandy (Lund) Stout (California), Pam Ives (New Mexico), Stephen Moore (my 2nd cousin on the Lund side, once removed) in Calfornia (I think) and Carole Pfisterer (4th cousin from the Rager line), and most recently Mercedes (Nobre da Costa) Jatel (Canada). Initiated by me October 30, 2017, at familyecho.com, this tree quickly grew so large that it can't be viewed all at once. Clicking on certain key family members shows different parts of the tree. So to see any one of the main parts of the tree, click on one of the names in the first column:

Person (click) Relation to me Authors Nationality or region
Daniel da Cruz Narciso Paternal grandfather Raimundo, Luzia, Mercedes, and me (and others) Family in Portugal plus descendents of Daniel and his brothers and sisters in the USA, Canada, the Mideast, and elsewhere.
Vivian Maxine Lund Mother me and Sandy (Lund) Stout Norwegians who emigrated to upper-midwest USA in the mid-to-late 1800s.
Lenore Susan Maria Rager Paternal grandmother me Germans and Swiss who emigrated to Frederick County, Maryland, in the 1700s.
Leila Shaheen Paternal aunt Danny and Lina Lebanese and Palestinians
Rula Al‑Chorbachi Paternal first cousin-in-law Danny and Rula Iraqis (to be filled in)
Judith Maria Scott Ex-wife Christine Scott-Deutsch and me African American, West Indian, Dutch, Native American
Pamela Ives Partner Pam and me German, Swiss, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Cornish, Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusan, ....
Francis (Frank) da Cruz Jr.:    Me, 50% Norwegian, 25% German/Swiss/Alsatian, 24% Portuguese, 1% North African.

How to navigate the tree

Tail Best viewed on a very wide screen!  How it works:  § One node (person) is always "in focus", indicated by a thick black border (Daniel da Cruz Narciso in the example shown); the tree shows only that person's relatives.  § You can change the focus by clicking a different node (person). This causes a new tree to be displayed.  § Information about the person in focus is shown in the sidebar at left: dates, names, partners, birthplace, whatever has been entered, including biographical info that you can see by clicking the Partners and Biographical tabs.  § If a node has a little "tail" (dotted line, circled in green in the image) it means the person has relatives that are not shown. If you click the box you'll see the hidden relatives.  § Most trees (and definitely this one) are too big to fit on the computer screen. To move the tree so you can see parts that are off the screen, place the cursor over the white background and hold down the the mouse button and drag in the desired direction.

The tree sidebar

The grey sidebar on the left side of the family tree screen shows information about the person in focus (me, in this example). Photo, if any, shown at the top. Then there are four tabs that let you see different classes of information: Personal (Name, gender, birth and death dates), Partners, Contact information, and Biographical information. Click on the tabs to see the contents of each one.

The Tree menu

Tree menu

Tree-viewing options
Option Description
Hide sidebar The sidebar (on left, grey background) shows information about the currently selected person. Use this option to suppress it (leaving more space for the tree itself) or to bring it back.
Show key Explains the meaning of the colors, lines, font weight, etc.
Back to... Changes focus to the root of the tree (me, in the case of this tree).
Find Searches for someone in the tree. Enter text into the box; a list of matches appears, click on the desired person or click outside the list to cancel the search.
plusminus.jpg Zoom buttons: Zoom out (show more people on the screen by reducing the image and font sizes) or zoom in (magnify and show fewer people on the screen).
Show Displays a menu that lets you decide what information is shown for each person; should be self-explanatory.
Parents How many generations to show above the person in focus, 15 max. You can still see persons higher up by clicking on any person in the top row.
Children Like parents, but below and down rather than higher and up. You can see more by clicking on anybody in bottom row, but you can't see more rows than Parents + Children + 1 (no more than 31).
Others Like Parents and children but pertains to persons not in the direct line of descent such as cousins.

Suggested viewing options for this tree:


A dialog appears to the left where you can choose various format options. If multiple pages are required the tree stretches automatically with overlapping page edges. The dialog includes a Print Preview button and a Download PDF button, which downloads a PDF file. Printing and downloading apply only to the active part of tree, meaning the part rooted in the person in focus with the selected number of generations above and below (see Parents, Children, Others below). The maximum number of generations to show is 15, so I don't think there is any way to print (or save as PDF) a whole tree unless it is a very small tree. Meanwhile, besides the built-in Print function, you can also try to fit the desired part of the tree into the visible screen (possibly changing the display size using the zoom buttons), and then use whatever screen capture capability your computer has to save an image of the screen, which you can then print. On the other hand, the Save as PDF option can be handy if you want to select a certain portion of the tree, i.e. a certain person with their antecedents and descendants, if the result isn't too tall.

Family tree links...

Note that among the ancestors of Lenore Rager (my grandmother) there was at least one cousin-cousin marriage and that causes trouble. The Family Echo software that we're presently using handles the situation by duplicating a piece of the tree, which you can see two generations above Catherine Blessing.

To learn about cousin and "removed" relationships click here.

How to link to a particular part of the tree

If you want to send someone a link to a specific part of the tree, go to the tree, find and click on the desired person, and then copy the link from your browser's address bar and paste it into your email or Facebook or whatever. The link will look something like this:


Familyecho.com will disappear eventually, and so will my identity at Columbia University, where the online version of this history is stored. To preserve the family tree, download a copy of the latest backup from here:
For some years to come, it should be importable into any other family-tree software, but eventually everything that this history depends on — the Internet, HTML, UTF-8, GEDCOM — will be "deprecated" and discontinued. Preservation of this and any other kind of digital information will require each generation to convert it to whatever the new "standard" might be, which usually won't happen. Unfortunately GEDCOM makes no provision for images, but all the tree images are also stored separately here.