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July 8, 2001--

We finally got back to the beach today. But that's not the reason I've been spending little time on this web site lately. There has been a recent spurt of activity surrounding my genealogy site, so that's where I've been concentrating. Four previously unknown Schneiders (unknown to me that is) have surfaced and they have provided data that is a valuable addition to the family tree. One sent an email I received today providing two more generations of names! And this corroborated a note I received the day before but as I didn't recognize any names, I dismissed it as unrelated! How wrong was I!?!

The Schneider Ancestry web site had languished for a while. I had received no new information in probably a year or so. The data that I did have was primarily supplied to my dad by a cousin (I believe he's a cousin--once or twice removed) a few years ago. Richard L Schneider has done quite a bit of investigation into the Schneider line and had revealed a line extending back to a decedent born in 1749 in Germany (or Prussia as it was then known). Included in the documentation were photocopies of some old records, baptism and marriage and that sort, in Old German script and in Latin. Since I enjoy spending time making use of this computer I thought it would be fun to put this extensive information in a genealogy software package. After briefly looking at the options in the marketplace I chose the inexpensive Ultimate Family Tree (UFT). Costing about twenty dollars or so I found it was a pretty decent program for my purpose which was initially just to organize all this data. I thought in terms of "family tree" for output reports, but found that unless you can print poster size, a tree format wasn't practical. Plus there were quite a few stories in the notes my cousin Richard forwarded to dad. A Tree output wouldn't take advantage of these. But UFT had other reporting functions, the most popular was the Family Journal, which, when printed out, would read like a book.

Mom and dad's Golden Anniversary was then approaching. While debate ensued concerning the location it should be celebrated, an event which would include a family reunion, I thought it would be the perfect occasion to distribute this Family Journal. Few in the family had seen all of the information dad possessed, much less having it in compiled form. So, on the date of the anniversary, July 19, 1998, with our complete family gathered, including all the grandchildren, in the resort city of Traverse City in northern Michigan, I handed out the booklet. This report included sixteen pages of dad's father's history, fifteen pages of dad's mother's descendants, along with various documents and cover page, title page, and a two page introduction. Whether many people actually combed through all of this remains a mystery at this point, though my sister Marylou did say her son Troy used some of it in a school report. But I learned a good deal about the family from copying all of those notes into the UFT database and realized how powerful a reading the stories of my ancestors were. And after that also I learned how powerful the web page generating utility could be and what impact that would have on future data collection. In a little bit of time I used UFT to create the web page which became the basis of what you see today.

And it is growing greatly with the additional information provided by newly surfacing Schneiders. Thanks to genealogy web sites and their messageboards and the personal web pages which they host, I have met cousins I didn't know I had. They offered me content concerning descendants that had previously been a dead end. First it was Karen Dei (her mom is a Schneider) whom I met about a year ago. About that time I saw an email address of Steve Schneider while searching through and he responded to an email from me. They gave me names and dates to fill out some of their Schneider lines. Then things remained quiet for about a year. Until a few weeks ago when Terry Schneider saw some information of mine on and contacted me. On the same date, June 16th, a cousin of Terry's contacted Karen which she forwarded to me! Two new Schneiders revealed on the same date! Then the snowball grew more. Jackie Askren emailed me with new info and is related to us as well; and Cristel Mohrman emailed me with more information concerning the same branch that Terry belonged.

And just this morning I received an email from one Janice Schneider. Previously though unrelated, it now looks as her husband is descendant of the grandfather of Nickolaus Schneider! She had names and dates that went back two more generations than that of our "brick wall," Nickolaus, born in 1749. This information I hope can be corroborated as should be as Jan has seen church microfilm and may have copies. And indeed has already, since, oddly enough, I was an hour ago looking back at some recent emails and reread a note from Mary Franta, who had this same names and dates plus some! When I originally read the note I sadly dismissed it as not relating to my family since I didn't recognize the names. And then the very next day Jan wrote to me a strikingly similar email! What are the odds of that! So I now have the microfilm numbers that the LDS Church has made public and can order them through the local LDS Family History Center when they open Tuesday. I wish I could read Latin, that's the language they are in!

So with renewed excitement I am back at the computer inputting more data into the UFT program and rearranging the Schneider Ancestry web site. It is an exciting time for genealogy, especially when data rains and pours like this!

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