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My passion for genealogy began in 1993 at a family reunion, where a distant relative gave me a giant scroll with a hand-written family tree listing all my "Alcorn" roots from Western Pennsylvania. Since then I have traced the Alcorns, Barbers, Spencers, Ketterings, Stauffers, and Halbsteins. among several other families.

Sadly, what I have learned has been of intolerance and prejudice,famine and poverty. The Stauffers were Swiss Mennonites who were chased from Switzerland and then Germany in the 18th century because of their religious beliefs; the same story is told about the Halbsteins and Hershoffs who escaped the pogroms of Russia during the early 20th century. - but what I have also learned is how rich this country's heritage has been - how this has truly been the land of opportunity. It is fascinating to me to learn of how and why these families took the dangerous journey to America, where they settled, where they migrated, and how they lived.

It is my pleasure to be a Find A Grave volunteer photographer; this gives me insight into the families who lived and died in my community before me. We recently moved to Rochester, NY, and FindAGrave is my introduction to the history of the fabric of this city.

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