It’s All About Me

knight In the back pages of many books there is usually found a one-page section titled "About the Author" that presents some biographical information on the book’s author. I thought it best that I provide these details up front because in one sense this is "all about me". Along with my two brothers, one sister, and our descendents no one else can claim a complete affinity with all of the family branches presented here. Also I think that it would be a disservice to the reader for me not the reveal who I am and what my connection is to the material presented here.

My name is David Michael DeBacker and I am, by profession, a software engineer, and with that, I spend my days writing computer programs or trying to figure out how to use programs written by others. By night and on the weekends, when my schedule and other parts of my life allow, I can usually be found either researching my family’s history, studying history in general, or writing about what I have read or discovered. As the reader will probably soon learn, I have no formal training as a historian, a genealogist, or as a writer. For the most part, genealogy is a hobby, history is a passion, and writing is a form of therapy for me. Having said that, I do not want it to be inferred that I am making excuses for any mistakes, omissions, errors in spelling or grammar that are bound to pervade this book. In fact, I expect that this book may go through a number of revisions before it and I are finally laid to rest.

I was born in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C in 1955. My father, David DeBacker, was attending Georgetown University when he met my mother, Dorothy Patricia Dobbs, a crypto-clerk for the U.S. State Department. They met in the fall of 1953, were married in June of 1954, and I was born in July of 1955. After my father graduated from the university, we moved to St Louis, Missouri sometime before the end of 1955 where my father completed a six-month Masters Degree program in hospital administration. By late 1956, we were living in Fort Worth, Texas where my father began his career as a hospital administrator and my brother, Patrick, was born. In 1960, my father took a job at a hospital in Wharton, Texas and it was here that my sister Amy and my brother Gregory were born. By 1963, we were living in Houston, Texas and we remained in this city until a few years after I graduated from high school. In late 1976, we moved to south Florida and it was here that I joined the army.

Both of my parents had grown up during the Great Depression and World War II, but they did come from different backgrounds. My father grew up in Nebraska, leading the life of Andy Hardy as the son of a small town doctor. My mother grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, went to high school in Nashville, Tennessee, and spent her childhood summers with relatives in Tampa, Florida. Both of their families were politically Democratic and religiously Roman Catholic.

My paternal grandfather (father’s father) was of Belgian and French descent. My father’s mother was as Irish as O’Hanlon’s breech - to steal an Irish expression. While the family of my maternal grandmother hailed from Ulster (Northern Ireland) on one side and from southern Germany on the other. My maternal grandfather’s ancestors on one side were of British stock - predominately Welsh and Scotch/Irish - and were early (colonial) settlers in America. His mother’s ancestors were of east-central German (Saxon) descent.