Hi folks! I have been doing genealogy research full steam since 1974, and had the benefit of working with my grandmother who was keeping records before it was even popular, from a project the schools started with the sixth graders when she was a child and the Civil War era people were aging and starting to die off. They sent the kids around to get oral histories and vital dates and connections and she had kept it up and saved newspaper clippings and Bible entries the rest of her life. I dedicate my extensive volume of work and any more that I will accomplish in the future to Hazel Pearl Taylor McKinney, my heart.
In the early days of this site, when we created pages and then passed them on to someone who was more closely related, the name of the manager just changed and it didn't state the original creator. So there are many pages that I have either created or that were passed to me to work on, and then I entrusted them into someone else's care, that don't have my name on them. I spend almost every day doing corrections and updates to correct the changes being made, so that the integrity of the historical data on this site is something you can believe in.
I introduced most of the Missouri Boones and their descendants who migrated to Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, California, etc. to this site in those days. Jim and the gang had made THE Daniel, under "famous people" and a few more contributors had done a spattering - mostly eastern ones. I even got to create Daniel's ancestors that came to America. I have so much information on them now, from researching even the ones that "weren't" so I could sort them out, that I am always happy to help those families out, too.
YOU MUST IDENTIFY YOURSELF AND WHO YOU ARE RESEARCHING ENOUGH WHEN YOU WRITE ME SO THAT I KNOW YOUR EMAIL IS NOT SPAM, OR IT WILL BE DELETED.
I was lucky enough to have also made most of the first pages for my dad's line, Hugh Cole of Plymouth and his descendants. I had copies of the antique genealogy books and church and town records that all of those early genealogy records have always been based on.
Lately I have seen pages disappear and new ones be created by people who wanted to connect them to different parentage or just own the page. I have seen contributors change the information on pages that they originally created as "unknowns", and change them into duplicates of pages that someone had already done the work on, and because their page appeared to have an earlier date, get the other page deleted. I have seen new members who weren't skilled at research use the auto-edit function to change information on pages that had been accepted history for decades. Many of us have screen prints of how the pages used to look...
I advise everyone who cares about collecting their family lines for their future generations to make their own family records based on good source evidence and enjoy this wonderful site for the generous work that all the thousands of volunteers spent so much time and effort putting together for you, and the wonderful digital preservation of old gravestones that would otherwise maybe never have been found.
Just don't take user added dates, names, or family connections as fact until you check out the records for yourself. (To save time on both sides, I myself may send a quick edit, but most of the people I interact with, know my background and that I wouldn't make a change without source information that I am happy to send them by email if they want it for their records.)
I answer all of my mail as long as you identify what ancestor we are speaking of, by Findagrave number or vital dates or something! ...understanding that I have hundreds of emails to answer with much duplication of ancestor names. No question is too insignificant if you need help - I am happy to.
And remember to thank the longtime members who were the ones who actually put in the hours and legwork and their own money to make this fun pastime available to you. And welcome the new contributors and their excitement and energy! They have found so many burials that I have waited years to know where were! I usually use this space to teach little "good-to-know" tidbits that people have found helpful, but it has reached a point that I think this message is more important right now.