Yet Another Website
I posted my first website on the Internet September 5, 1997. I used the free "Netscape Gold" as my web-authoring software. The site was about all about my Vredenburgh family history. Over the years that site: http://vredenburgh.org has continued to grow and morph. So why yet another website. I don't know, blogs seem all the rage - my daughter has (or had) one. Does anyone read them? Well, just today I ran into a second cousin of my wife (Stephanie (Snair)) via a blog. I had been wanting to connect with that family - I have loads of photos that I would like to share with them, and that branch of the family had been disconnected from the Kansas branch for quite some time.
After nurturing my Vredenburgh family history site for 10 years in 2007, I subscribed to Ancestry.com. Suddenly I my genealogical brick walls came tumbling down. What a vibrant experience it has been connecting with lots of cousins and fellow researchers. But it literally comes with a price. The annual fee is currently $155. There is a free guest membership available, but it comes with lots of limitations, as you would expect.
But the other price is that my research is no longer available to the public at large. You need to be a subscriber, and then I still have a hard time finding specific family trees. (Is that just my problem?)
Sure I can download my tree then upload it to my website, but Ancestry has another feature that I really like. Unless you are a guest to my tree you can not view living individuals. I used to use a program to hopefully strip out living individuals from the tree I posted online. But it didn't work too well.
A Genealogical Rescue Site
So why another website? I am hoping that with this google blog I might attract a broader audience. At least for starters I hope to highlight some amazing finds that are not related to my family. I had the thought of a Genealogical Rescue Site. I am certain that every community has a cat or dog rescue facility (here in Tehachapi we have also have a donkey rescue). I have in my possession two family Bibles, and who knows how many identified as well as unidentified photos. I will share these here, outside the protective fire wall of Ancestry.com, and hopefully someone will find something that they, in there wildest dreams couldn't imagine existed.
Last Summer's Genealogy Adventure
Last Summer (2011) Steph and I drove out to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Nashville. On our way we participated in two family reunions (in Flagstaff, AZ and Moline, KS), vistited Jean Belzer, a 3rd cousin, that lives in the Phoenix area and has been a long time correspondant. In St. Charles, MO we visited Suzanne Birks (a 2nd cousin) and scanned photos, in Nebraska we visited Linda VanBoskirk (the wife of a 4th cousin) with whom I had corresponded with for many years. Also in Nebraska we met Joan Gowen and Phyllis Clement and scanned loads of photos. Dick Gowen, Joan's late husband, and a 1st cousin, 1x removed, collected zillions of photos. This was my second visit to scan photos.
I hope to post some of my finds from the haul of photos and documents last summer, as well as other sources.