Hello, the name is Bill and I'm old enough to know better and way too old to care!!
I'm so glad you stopped by to visit the site. I hope you discovered information here about someone you may be researching in the family. If you haven't then I at least hope you found my site both informative and interesting.
I became involved in genealogy and tracing my family roots some 9-10 years ago. I realized how little I actually knew and quite frankly, never even thought about.
So I began this journey, never thinking that I would still be involved with what turned out to be a long term endeavor -- but, an endeavor which I have enjoyed, over and over.
First, I began with my father's family and upon finding my grandparents in the 1930 I then went back 10 years to 1920 and found them again. They had only been married about a year and had a son. Well, these finds were the beginning of what became almost, no - it actually did become an obsession and I started finding all the families, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, great grandparents and on and on. My searches took me back to the 1800 census records, where I discovered my 4th great grandfather, John Barnhill and 3 sons, James, Alexander and John. His wife was included and so was a daughter, but unfortuneately, names of individuals were not given in the earliest census records. Only the head of house' name was stated. It was only later that I was able to determine the names of the 3 sons.
Thoughts have raced about in my mind trying to picture their lives and what they were like as individuals. In some ways, I have gotten peeks here and there, but of course no real insight other than they were primarily farmers and as such, their daily lives were most likely difficult. They had very large families making for many many mouths to feed and many bodies to clothe. Just the necessities of life had to be a struggle for some.
I have discovered many infants and young children died early and many women lost their lives bringing new life into the world. Sometimes the baby lived and sometimes it died along with the mother, leaving a husband alone and in many cases, other children without their mother. It's sad to think about, but it was a fact of life. Medicine was not then what it is today, and many of these families were not in a position to obtain medical services due to lack of funds or the distance one had to travel to obtain medical care. Just to get to see a general doctor was a chore in itself.
In any case, it has been a journey back into time and and one I am glad I decided to take. Things turn up all the time, when you least expect it. You just never know when a missing piece of the puzzle might be revealed.
It has been fascinating to learn my heritage and especially how many of the local families' lives are entwined with each other. My mother often joked, "that all of the folks in this area are related to each other, one way or another and that she (being from New York) was not blood related to anyone here, except her children.
Other than the pursuit of genealogy, I enjoy taking photos and my newest "craze" - rollerblading!! It is quite a bit of fun and provides terrific exercise. My favorite place to skate is along the waterfront out past the Verazzano Bridge. I usually walk from home to the bridge (about 50 minutes or so) and then put on the blades and skate back and forth from the bridge to the 65th Street Pier. At the pier one can see NY harbor to the West, with the bridge being to the East. All in all, the walk to and from the bridge plus several hours of skating provides a good workout for the heart and old bones!
Another fun thing I enjoy is my attempts at creating webpages and such. I find it relaxing and it allows me somewhat of an outlet to express a little creativity. The only drawback is that I tend to forget the time and it just gets away from me. I could actually spend hours upon hours at this.
I've also enjoyed my attempts at oil painting, although I haven't painted in quite a long time. You can have a peek at them if you choose by clicking on the available link.
Being a grandfather is fun too! The picture below shows me and my two grandchildren, Liana and Sam. Sam was approximately 20 days old when the photo was taken October 17, 2008. The 2nd photo is of my 2nd granddaughter, Rayna Michelle, taken at Halloween 2010.
During the last week of March 2011, I relocated to Tucson, Arizona and I love it here. The weather suits me just fine. No more cold weather with lots of snow and rain. No more humid days like I endured in NY for the past 45+ years.
So - there you have a bit of insight into my life and how I got started with this "genealogy stuff". If you have a few thoughts on my site you would like to share, please feel free to send an email and stop by again sometime to see if something new has been added.
Liana & Sam