I have a very uncommon family name and since my childhood I have always had a curiosity about the origin of the name and the connection I might have to others with the same name. From time to time, I would make a new acquaintance who would ask me if I was related to someone they knew that also had the same family name. This sparked my interest in genealogy and gave me the desire to learn about how everyone with this family name might be related.
Like many others, I began my research by using the large genealogy data providers. While this approach provided a lot of data for me to analyze, it also presented two problems. The first was that while I might only need a record or two from a dataset there always seemed to be one more subscription that I needed to purchase to access that dataset. The second is that while those companies provide lots of data, it was just that, data. There was never a good way to organize and see the relationships between the records in the various datasets. Several years ago, I ran into many dead ends searching for the family of one of my great-grandmothers who I had heard lived out of state. If there had been an easy way to search all the records just in our town during that time period, it would have been easy to learn that they actually lived down the street.
To overcome these problems, I created Genealogy Wiki. With Genealogy Wiki, data can be accessed without a paid subscription and more importantly the website is designed to give more context to that data in ways such as location and time. Have you ever wasted time tracking down county birth records for a person only to realize that you were searching in the wrong county because their birthplace was in a different county at the time of their birth? This is the type of problem we are striving to solve with Genealogy Wiki.
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