Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Cindy.

Cindy Lesure has been a member of our community since December of 2014.  She is remarkably friendly and cheerful which serves her well since she participates as a Greeter, Data Doctor and Messenger.

Surnames you are researching?

Lesure, Maust, Nieman, Talkington, Whitecotton, Williams.

Locations you are researching?

Pennsylvania, West Virginia for now.

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

I have been interested for the past 20 years, but never really did anything until AFTER my Mother died and I got this massive amount of paper records from her maternal line of Nieman.  My Aunt Helen had worked with various people through her church, browsing the newspapers & going to all the family reunions and gathering information from folks to create a document that contained about 3500 names.  On New Years Eve 2014 I started entering the information on WikiTree and the rest, they say, is history!  Been an addict to WikiTree ever since.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Wow that is hard, but I believe it would be my paternal grandmother Jennie Whitecotton Williams who died from childbirth complications in 1916.  The records for her are extremely sketchy and the actual information I have on her profile I am not remotely sure of because there is so little information and there were never any photographs taken of her during her lifetime that I can find.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

The brick wall that was broken down for me by going to G2G Forum and asking the question about my Dad’s brother, Willard ‘Bill’ Williams who went to Pearl Harbor in 1942 for the clean up and never came back.  His siblings all believed he died there because they never heard from him.  Doug Lockwood, WikiTreer hero of mine, found out that Uncle Bill not only did not die way back then, but thrived in Hawaii (who wouldn’t?) and did not die until 1999, seven years after my Dad died.  My Dad never got to know that his brother was alive & enjoying the Hawaiian breezes!  Uncle Bill actually married a Japanese lady and that is all I know…so far.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

Amelia Earhart and I am not really sure why except she was always a hero of mine growing up.  I always thought it was eerie how she disappeared.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Hmm, is there life outside genealogy?  Actually, I love gardening, photography, my two cats & my dear husband, but not in that order!  This is sort of outside genealogy, but every day I go to the WikiTree Family News email and post on Facebook who was born that day & share their tree.  My cousins love it!

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

As I said, I started in 2014 and I must go to the website at least once a day!  I do volunteer as a Greeter and Messenger & am a Data Doctor.  It is something I absolutely love!

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

I do love the new tutorial for brand new people and actively encourage new folks to go through it because it is a wonderful tool to get them started!  I also love the new FamilySearch Matches—I used it for the first time last weekend & found 3 cousins I never knew existed and am corresponding with them now!  The only thing I do not like is profile managers who are inactive & seem to feel they ‘own’ the profiles they created & do not want to share.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Biggest tip is go slow (not like I did) and go through the tutorial.  Ask questions & become involved in the G2G Forum.  When I first started I was afraid to ask questions & truly suffered because of it.  The biggest thing about WikiTreers is their willingness to help!

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

Take notes, record the stories your ‘elders’ tell you and be open to all those cousins out there!


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  2 Responses to “Meet our Members: Cindy Lesure”

  1. Great to see this interview on a lovely lady who has left me hundreds of thank yous for adding info on any Williams people. Enjoyed learning a bit more about you. I hope you can find some living descendants of that Uncle and perhaps find out more about why he dropped out of sight from his family.

    See you around Wikitree,
    Carolyn Martin

  2. Thank you for sharing your interests, Cindy. You have achieved so much that I am awestruck.

    I have been researching for 50 years, from a base which contained minimal information. I have accumulated a mountain of notes, on paper or in various generations of computer software, all of which amount to an overwhelming burden at times. At last I found WikiTree and love the exactness, and the supervision etc of the site. I have only touched the surface of what is available in the way of help, and have really only added a skeleton on which to hang the rest. I do hope that observers will be patient about my errors (I am a very poor typist) and my failure to add all of the resources.

    I am in a hurry now to add as much as I can because my lovely niece has become very interested from a DNA angle, and of course you can make limited progress with that if you do not have the genealogy to work from/with. She is now adding to the data that I have already. It is a wonderful relationship.

    My excuse for having such a muddled collection of notes, for what it is worth, has always been my full time job. This is not a valid reason. The real reason was that many people thought that genealogy was a bit of a joke, or that my aim was to find somebody famous to boast about. Now, suddenly, I find that so many of the young people ARE really very interested.

    That is why I am now motivated to tidy my genealogical mess. It is partly because of my embarrassment when they come to visit and see the files in their present state, but mainly because they WANT TO KNOW. They have loved the pirate ancestor, been worried about the slave, somewhat horrified by the slave owner, amazed by the Jamaican element, and tolerant of a thirty degree connection to the Queen. Mostly though, they really want the ordinary connections which trail back into time.

    So, I plan to get the task completed to a skeleton state, and then to tidy the non-conventional presentation of the biography and sources.

    Thank you for motivating me to carry on.


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