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The Researchers: Gary and Katherine Koch

Gary and Katherine Koch. This photo was taken during our 2005 research trip to Schwarzenfeld, Germany

It's probably fair to say that we both live double lives. By day, we're technogeeks. Gary is a network administrator for a General Motors plant in Ohio. Katherine is a freelance web developer and graphic designer, and has been as the webmaster of Bird Watcher's Digest.com for the past ten years. By night we're independent researchers—quite possibly the strangest breed of historians ever to have flipped through records in an archive. We stalk through graveyards and take digital snapshots of headstones to capture birth and death dates. We turn family vacations into research trips. Our most handy tools are a Google search bar, thumb drives, and a flatbed digital scanner. We have folders and bookshelves filled with reference material acquired through Ancestry.com and Amazon.com.

Katherine is also a freelance writer. Over the past ten years, she has been penning a historical fiction novel that conveys Father Viktor's travails in Nazi Germany. Tentatively titled The Sower of Black Field, the novel carries readers from the monastery confiscation in 1941 to the climactic events in 1945, when American forces arrive in Schwarzenfeld and issue a devastating ultimatum. Keep an eye on our News and Publications section for the latest details on the book's publication.

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