It all started about 40 years ago when my father handed me a pile of papers and said “See if you can do something with this”. The pile consisted of some notes from my father’s aunt and other research that my father had done in New Haven, CT, where his family had settled upon immigrating to the US. I began piecing our family history together and got hooked. This was all pre-computer age and so I spend a lot of time pouring over archives and mailing many, many letters hoping for replies.
Over the years I have been able to get extensive information on all of my paternal and maternal lines as well as some of my husband’s (and children’s) lines. I’ve been able to connect with other researchers and distant family members all over the world. For some lines, like my “Kieft” family, a group of us researchers worked together via email, resulting in major breakthroughs for that family history.
As I became more computer proficient and also became a web designer, I decided that I wanted to put as much of my information online as possible. I’ve still got a lot of photos to add to the gallery, but I have almost all of my family lines represented on this site to some degree.
I stopped updating the actual family trees awhile ago, but I leave enough online so that if someone is researching their name, they can find my site and contact me. This has been extremely successful over the years. I get new emails all the time from people just starting their research. That is one of the most fulfilling aspects of running this site. I have a message in my sidebar explaining that the info on the site is not necessarily up to date.
I am also able to use the site as a way to share some special items such as a history of the farm that my Rundle ancestors lived in for over a century. A modern day owner had done some incredible research on Hole Farm in St. Neot, Cornwall and he expressed with me the desire to share his work with others. At that time his research was all hard copy. He sent me a copy and I scanned the entire project and posted the pdf for download on my site.
Recently, I started adding more and more “research tips” and research stories to help those who are doing their own genealogy research. Hopefully I can help others avoid those brick walls or learn a new way to look at data. I also like posting interesting tidbits that I find amusing as I do my research.
I hope that all genealogy researchers, as well as members of my connected family can find something to enjoy on this site.
I have never and will never suggest that my research is flawless or complete. I’ve already stated that the info posted on the site is neither up to date or complete. I always welcome corrections and additions.
While I do not do “One Name Studies” , I do not research lines from female descendants (unless they are from my line) and thoroughly as I do the male lines that carry the surname. It would just be too much work. There are also some lines that move to countries that I do not have access to as many records for as I do for other countries. Those lines will be less complete than others.
Bottom line, please contact me at mpitkin (at) live.com if you have some additional information or corrections. I may already have it in my database, and if I don’t, I’ll be happy to update if you have legit sources.
I’m also happy to share register style reports for your family, so that you can see what I do and do not have. I just ask that any “stories” or “anecdotes” that are in my own words not be posted on sites like Ancestry if you post your tree. If you do share that type of content, please put in parenthesis and credit me. I’ve seen a lot of my anecdotal stories posted on Ancestry with no mention of where it came from. ( I do see a lot of trees that credit me..and I appreciate that!! )
~ Mary Stanford Pitkin