About Me

Robert D. Anderson

As a photojournalist, genealogist, and researcher, I love the word “serendipity.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.”

That one word sums up my entire life. As far back as I can remember, I have always stumbled upon “valuable or agreeable things” when I was either not looking for them or least expecting them. That’s how I got started in genealogy 30-some years ago. I was cleaning out the attic and came across an old blue metal box I’ve had since I was a kid and had forgotten about. Inside I found a short hand-written family history my grandmother Anderson gave me when I was seven. I began my quest in earnest and now have around 3,000 ancestors and current family members in my files. I ended up publishing and editing a genealogy magazine for a number of years.

As it’s been several years since I’ve freelanced and I’m rekindling my writing career, I started this blog for mainly three reasons: 1) to showcase my portfolio for editors (and others) to see what I’ve done; 2) to share our “excellent adventures” throughout the U.S.; and 3) to write my thoughts on many topics.


My second love (Carol’s first) is genealogy. In the near future I’ll be adding many, many blogs on this subject. So far you can see how to begin tracing your family tree in this category.

My Portfolio

I’ve been writing a long time.  At age 14 I was editor of the newsletter at church camp, publishing it with typewriter stencil sheets and the ol’ mimeograph machine (remember those?) I was co-editor of my high school’s yearbook; I’ve written and published newsletters for business clients; In the late 1970s I was a beat writer for a weekly newspaper. In the ’90s I was a contributing writer for Omaha Magazine, writing primarily on the history of Omaha, Nebraska, and the surrounding area. I also began freelancing and sold articles to several periodicals. You can read them by clicking on “My Portfolio.”

Spotlight on U.S. Places

(We like to call it Bob & Carol’s Excellent Adventures)

Wife Carol and I are property catastrophe insurance adjusters and for the last 15 years we’ve traveled around the U.S. to “work” hurricanes and hail storms. Our assignments usually last 3 to 6 months and when we finish we stay around for a few days and “find valuable AND agreeable things not sought for.” Some of our adventures are not work related but simply pleasure trips. So I invite you to check out this section where I highlight what we’ve found.

We’ve been extremely busy with work the last year or so and I haven’t blogged for some time. What’s the use of having a blog if you don’t blog? Well, we are now what I call “sorta, kinda, almost retired.” So now I will begin frequent blogs and hope you will stop by from time to time. You can also sign up to receive an email notice of my new blogs. A while back I added two blogs in a new category entitled “Pet-Peeve Corner.” Bet you have several you’d like to share with us. 

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.



  1. Bob,

    Great to read your blog! The Jones side must have had the writing gene!! LOL

    We are doing well in Iowa and if you ever work on another flood and you’re out this way, stop in for another excellent adventure with Tom and I!!! (You don’t have to wait for a catastrophe!!!)

    I don’t if you heard, but my father, Earl V. Paasch passed away November 24. It was sad to say goodbye to one of the kindest, best men I have ever met! But what a superb life he lived and 88 was a great long time in our family!

    Keep in touch! Anymore Jones family history???

  2. Vera Johnson says:

    It sounds interesting. Will be fun to see what I can learn.

    I have snow. What else is new???????Doing ok otherwise.

    Hi to both of you Bob and Carol


  3. Harvey Andersen says:

    Hi Bob, Am eagerly looking forward to your Blog. Neither Carol nor I have a website, but her son in Austin Texas does. His name is J. R. Crosby and he has a creative graphic design business named PTARMAK. He and his fiance, Nancy Rogers, are being married in Austin March 20. Carol and daughter, Jamie, and I are excited about being there for several days for the occasion. Jamie is a grad. of Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and has worked at Jones New York several years. Carol has a position with National Student Nurses Assn. headquartered in Brooklyn. She has finished doctoral work at Columbia University Teachers College and currently struggling with completing her dissertation. She will earn an EdD in Organizational Leadership and Nurse Executive field. I remain retired at 77 1/2 years of age. We are all healthy and currently taking ballroom dancing lessons at Fred Astaire Studio in Staten Island in preparation for dancing at the Austin wedding. (I never succeeded learning to dance in the past and Carol signed us up without telling me!) We reside in Bayonne, NJ. We are located just below Jersey City and across the Bayonne Bridge from Staten Island, NY. Give our love to your Carol. Will write more soon…….Cousin Harvey

  4. Harvey Andersen says:

    Harvey here again–Just read your post “We Love New York” and learned that you were visiting the Big Apple just last week! We took in the fabulous Mary Poppins musical last July along with Burt and Mary Blom and three sons. Mary is a daughter of my late sister Kathryn Hansen who passed away on Feb. 16 one year ago. You are correct with your assessment of the show. Glad you also saw Phantom of the Opera. Needless to say, we have to get together on your next visit……Cousin Harvey

  5. Shirley Kaestner says:

    Good Morning!
    Hi to you and your wonderful family. Tom and I are spending 6 weeks in Orange Beach, Alabama. Can’t say we miss the cold and snow back in Nebraska. You and Carol would be truly amazed at the restoration to this region since you were here working so hard after the hurricanes several years ago. It offered them an opportunity to rebuild with better building codes so hopefully less damage in future storms. You can only imagine how hyped everyone is with New Orleans in the Super Bowl along with Mardi Gras in full swing.
    Note to Sharon: So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was truly a special guy and has left you with many special memories.
    Take care, Shirley

  6. Hi Bob,
    sounds and looks like a good idea. Just hope you stick around the area for a while. We need to get together once in a while and you are the highlight at our family reunions and have missed you several years while you were out running around fixing the world. You HAVE been a lot busier writing than I realize. I remember the genealogy magazines and they were well done. Will have to go back now and do some more reading of the things posted along the side of your introductory remarks. I guess they are available with a click?? Will try anyway. Keep me on your list.

    Sharon, Your dad’s funeral was a real fun/sad time. You have a great family and friends and with all the crazy things life has sent your way there was a lot to laugh about even at a funeral. Earl would have enjoyed it (May have!).

  7. Joyce Peterson Ritz says:

    Greetings, Robert!!!! I was going through all my old emails to delete them. I came across your blog msg sent out by the Keys. What an interesting life you have led. How wonderful you found something that you loved to do, that helped your fellow man & the perfect woman to do it all with as well. I am dandy…still living in MN…still loving life & growing old gracefully, I think?! Hope to see you at our 50th. Maybe the Nishnabotna River will flood again so we can watch you two at work. The Class of ’61 could be become the “Class that Cares” as we clean the mud & debris out of homes, feed them our reunion dinneer & breakfast & give them the clothes off our backs. Do you remember working when we had the flood? I can still remember the smell!! You guys probably don’t even register that on your olfactory scale. Hugs…Petey

  8. Bertha Schroeter says:

    Enjoy hearing from you, we are in Alamo, TX now for the winter.

    Take care.

  9. Harvey and Carol Andersen says:

    Update from Harvey and Carol Andersen. On May 1, 2011, we moved to a town about twice the size of Atlantic called Palestine in East Texas. Carol accepted a position as Assistant Professor and Director of the Nursing Program at the Palestine Campus of the Universtiy of Texas At Tyler. We are about 3 1/2 hours northeast of Austin. That is where Carol’s son, J.R. and wife Nancy, and our new grandson (first grandchild), John Radcliffe Crosby, reside. “Little Rad” is 7 months old today (July 30) and a happy thiving well behaved youngster who recently learned how to laugh!. We enjoyed their visit just last weekend and needless to say, we are the proudest Grandma and Grandpa! Carol’s daughter, Jamie, lives in Manhattan and is still employed with Jones New York Fashion firm.

  10. Hello Robert Anderson.
    Some years ago I had email contact to a Robert Anderson about genealogy. Could it be you?
    Flemming Haugaard

  11. Aaron H. Jones says:

    Hi Bob,
    have not been a very faithful cousin in checking out your blog. Looking forward to your mother’s 90th birthday party in Atlantic. Hoping for a great turn out. It has been a long time since we have had a good Jones family reunion, so maybe this will help fill in the gap for this year. We had better do a better job of planning for NEXT year. All my young cousins are gettin old somehow. Don’t know how that happened. Just know that while I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention I have arrived at 73 and realize that the old 80 year olds are only 7 years ahead of me now. Ha. Maybe I can keep this blog address handy so that It will show up somewhere and remind me it is here so I can keep up with your or else drive a few blocks and have a cup of coffee with you face to face. Seems strange we can live so close together, yet not see each other more often!!!

    Keep up the good work!!

    Aaron Jones, cousin, Son of Harvey and Lillie Jones

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  13. Stunning story there. What happened after?
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