Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to our  fourteenth installment of “Meet our Members”! It’s time to get to know another awesome person who is part of our outstanding community. Meet Darlene:

Darlene is one of our newer WikiTree Leaders!  Among other things, she co-leads our European Aristocrat Project and is active in our G2G Forum.

Surnames you are researching: About 1,500 of them!

Locations you are researching: Ireland, Scotland, England, northeastern U.S.

Verlie (Snell) Athey

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

I started working on my genealogy about 30 years ago. I had great aunts on both sides that had written a very short family history, and my paternal grandmother was always doing research and going around to meet distant cousins. She wrote what she knew of her father’s family and knew little of her mother’s family, which she regretted. When I broke through the brick wall and traced her mother’s line back to the Nantucket Barnards, I was so excited and knew how happy she would have been. I think I inherited the genealogy bug from her (Verlie Snell Athey).

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

I really don’t have a favorite. Although I idolized my paternal grandfather, Justin McInaney, and have such fond memories of him. He lived with us up until his death. He was a ‘black Irishman’ (actually was ¾ Irish and ¼ Scottish) who was an early pilot and was inducted posthumously into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame. He was such a generous, loving, smart, funny person who lived a really interesting life!

Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down.

The biggest one would be to find out about the family of my mom’s grandfather. We have his name only.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love the outdoors and hiking, canoeing, ATVing, and sailing. I spent twenty years racing sailboats. In 2006, my husband and I purchased a 50’ catamaran and sailed over to Europe, then sailed back a couple years later. Since then, we spend about six months each year sailing through various islands on it.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I came across WikiTree in January 2014 and have been extremely active ever since. I am very involved in the EuroAristo project as well as helping with the Magna Carta project. My genealogical research over the past several years has been focused almost exclusively on medieval genealogy, and I’ve gathered massive amounts of information. I try to improve as many profiles as I can, be it through adding biographical information or cleaning up profiles.

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I like how it seems to be developing and am happy to be a part of it. I think one of my least favorite things about it is that searches for names are case sensitive as well as spelling sensitive. A better search would be by Soundex. With the limitations on searches, you end up with lots of duplicate people.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

It depends on their level of experience. If they are starting out to share their information and have spent years researching, I’d suggest they get involved in one of the projects. If it’s someone that is just starting to research their family, I would tell them to be VERY careful about what the find on WikiTree and to only ‘copy’ information that is sourced beyond ancestry.com. There are too many profiles on WikiTree with no sources or none other than ancestry.com.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Talk to your family members (parents, grandparents, etc.) and record memories while they’re alive. Write full names and dates on photos. Genealogists SO love to find photos of their ancestors.

Post by Eowyn the Forest Elf

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  One Response to “Meet our Members ~ Darlene Athey Hill”

  1. Hallo,
    you have written that Floris “the Black”, Count of Holland is the father of Matthew de Holland. That can not be right. Possibly Floris III. Count of Holland (1138-1190) is the father of Matthew de Holland.
    best regards
    Heiner Bruchwitz, Germany, Lower Saxony

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