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 Rodney.

Rodney Long became a WikiTreer in January of 2018.  In between working on his family lines, he focuses on cleaning up Data Doctor suggestions, specifically profiles that have “USA” too early in the birth and death date fields.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

The surnames I am researching are Long, Eshleman, Warble, Kyger, Michael, Hetrick, Garrett, Baker, Showalter, Diehl, Steinbach, Herr, Enderlein and Parrett. These lines get me back in time to my 3rd and 4th great-grandparents.

What are some of the locations you are researching?

The counties of Augusta and Rockingham in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and the counties of Lancaster, Lebanon, and Dauphin of Central Pennsylvania.

Back in the early 1900’s, my paternal Long great-grandparents, who were born in Virginia, left Virginia and moved here to Pennsylvania.

My maternal Eshleman great-grandparents were from Central Pennsylvania.

Both of these locations are rich in United States history, and much has been written on them and available for research.

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

First, World and United States history were my favorite subjects in school.

Second, my paternal great-grandmother Long, having been born 11 years after the Civil War ended, lived until she was 93, and died when I was a senior in high-school, was a source of many stories and family names and events from Virginia. Her telling stories, like one of her grandfather’s houses being used as  a hospital for the wounded during the Civil War, and one of my 6th great-grandfathers having 7 sons and all of them serving in the Revolutionary War, captured my young mind.

Third, my mother, when she was 13 years old, lost a brother who was killed in Italy during WWII. I was born 7 years after WWII ended, and her family was fresh with WWII stories, and all the family members involved with that event.

So, I originally started researching all these family veterans from the different conflicts, what units they were in, and what their participation consisted of. Eventually I matured into realizing these veterans also had families that contributed to the whole story.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

My favorite ancestor is the one I am working on at the time. Right now I am doing some research and reading on my 8th great-grandfather Hans Herr.

Hans Herr was a Mennonite Bishop who was instrumental in bringing people from Europe trying to escape religious persecution. This would have been during the time period of William Penn founded Pennsylvania, I understand there are a homestead and museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that I intend on visiting this summer. There is also a lot of reading on line concerning his congregation.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

My maternal grandmother is a challenge that I am slowly gaining ground on. Her mother died when my grandmother was 12 years old. My grandmother then went to live with a distant relative. My grandmother’s father somehow ended up in Massachusetts, remarried, and had a family there. So in simple terms, this broken family line has caused some sources and records to be a challenge to put in a logical order. I recently came across some old obituaries that are helping to put the puzzle together.

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

Rather than one specific person, I think it would be interesting to be a descendant of one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Then follow the line back to the Mother Country and see where it goes. The name would not be important, but it would be very interesting historically.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

If it is above 45 degrees F, and the sun is shining, you will find be outside. I enjoy doing yard work, general maintenance around the house, and gardening. My garden usually consists of corn, potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes and all the rest of the common vegetables.  I have some strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes and a grape vine. Pennsylvania is a great state for hunting and fishing, and during the open seasons a rabbit, squirrel, or a couple of fresh trout taste good for supper.

During the winter months, you will find me in my den with my computer, television, and books. I have always been an avid reader. I have about 70 feet worth of book shelves in my den, and they are completely full of history and political books. Sometimes for diversion I read a good James Patterson novel.

How long have you been on WikiTree and what do you spend the most time doing? If you’re involved in a project(s), tell us about how you participate in it.

I have been on WikiTree one year. Other than building family lines and developing profiles, I work on suggestions. I am not a member of any specific project, but several months ago I started working on suggestions 603 (USA used too early in birth date) and 633 (USA used too early in death date) for the state of Pennsylvania. I noticed those two suggestions had over 14,000 hits at the time, and that is where I decided I would start. Right now I am cleaning up those at the rate of between 1000-2000 per month.

What brought you to WikiTree? (In other words, how did you find us?)

I was planning a trip to Virginia, and I was researching one of my great-great-grandfathers. I knew he had been wounded in the Civil War, but I was not sure exactly which unit he served in, or which battle he was wounded in. Through a Google search, I found his name was on WikiTree. A very capable profile manager already had several profiles of family surnames I was interested in from Virginia built up on the site. I was immediately hooked. She even let me adopt and be the profile manager on my great-grandfather she had listed.

What is your favorite thing about WikiTree, or which feature(s) do you like the most?

I think the G2G feature helps me the most. I have time set aside every day just to read the questions and answers. I do not think there is a day goes by that I do not learn something. In addition, members are very willing to help and give guidance when they are asked.

If you could improve one thing about WikiTree, what would it be?

Only being on WikiTree for one year, I am not sure I am using all the features and functions available, or how I would improve them. I do see many profiles that are started where only a name has been entered with no dates or locations listed, causing suggestions. I wonder if some improved programming in that area would be beneficial.

I do know the staff, administrators, and those folks performing specific functions on the site do a fantastic job of keeping the train on the tracks and running on time. Job well done.   

What is an example of how WikiTree has helped you with your genealogy or how you’ve helped genealogy with WikiTree?

I have gotten the most help learning about and developing sources. It has made me feel more comfortable and satisfied with what I am doing. Somewhere I read genealogy without sources is just a good story.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Keep your work manageable and do not become burnt out. Be patient. Decide how much time you have to dedicate to genealogy each week, and then develop goals to help you accomplish what you view to be your end result. Your watchlist is your to-do list. As your watchlist grows, take one profile a week and try to improve it, adding parents, children, good sources etc. If you feel yourself becoming stressed and anxious, shut your computer down and take a walk. Your, great, great, great grandparents will still be there when you get back. They are not going anywhere.


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  11 Responses to “Meet our Members: Rodney Long”

  1. Hi Mr. Rodney Long,

    I’m Paula Ann, nice to meet you. Thank you for your military service!

    Respectfully,
    Paula Ann
    WikiTree ID: [[Hawkins-9192]]

  2. Here’s what I have for Rev. William Walton birth and death: Rev. William Walton, First Minister at Marblehead

    Rev. William Walton was born about 1598 (NEHGR, 113:320). Certain records suggest he came from near Wimborne St. Giles, Dorset, England, about 25 miles northeast of Dorchester, England (NEHGR, 113:319). More confirmation of this origin is found in NEHGR, 114:235. He earned his B.A. from Emmanuel College, England, 1621 and his M.A. in 1625 at the same school (NEHGR, 113:319). He served as Deacon among the Dorset clergy, September , 1621. He was licensed 31 Mar. 1628 as “Master William Walton, Curate in Charge of Seaton and Beere, Devon” (NEHGR, 113:319). He emigrated in 1635 (NEHGR, 1:289) with the colonists who came from Hingham, Norfolkshire, and was one of the proprietors at the town of Hingham, New England the same year. He was among those who drew house-lots on 18 Sept. 1635 from the “Cove on the north side of the road to Fort Hill” (NEHGR, 2:250). He was Freeman, 3 Mar. 1635-6 (NEHGR, 3:94). He was at Marblehead, 1638, and began his missionary work of thirty years there. He had 60 acres of land allotted to him at Lynn, 1638 (“Annals of Lynn”, p. 171, quotes the files of the Quarterly Court at Salem), although nothing further is found on record for him at Lynn after that. At Marblehead, he eventually lived in the house, no longer in existence, of the former Governor Cradock, which had been conveyed to him, 6 June 1650, for fifteen pounds by Rebecca (_______)(Cradock) Glover, widow of Governor Cradock and wife of (2) Richard Glover, merchant adventurer of London. It was located near Little Harbor, on the southeast side of and about half way down Doak Lane. The house and land became the homestead of his son, Samuel Walton of Marblehead, mariner (“History of Salem”). Rev. Walton died at Marblehead Oct., 1668 (vrs), and was buried 9 Nov. 1668 (NEHGR, 34:299), but the exact place of his burial is unknown, although presumed to be at Old Burial Hill, the location of his church. No stones exist at Old Burial Hill dated prior to 1681. An inventory of his estate was taken 23 Nov. 1668 (Savage). A second inventory of his estate was taken 25 June 1669 by John Peach, Senior, and Samuel Ward. A third inventory was taken 29 June 1669 by Moses Maverick and Samuel Ward. (Collections of the Essex Institute). He married Elizabeth Cooke, 10 April 1627 at Holy Trinity, Dorchester, Dorset, England. She was born probably about 1602 at Seaton, Devon, England (NEHGR, 142:368), daughter of William and Martha (White * ).

  3. What a colorful and interesting family history you have! I envy your proximity to the seat of early American history.

  4. I like http://www.bookmaker.com for trading books. I find I can get what I want instead of pot luck at a used book outlet.

  5. Thank you very much for your service in the world’s best fraternity. My husband (67-75 2 tours in Nam) and son (2000-2004 Iraq) were Marines.
    Thank you for being mindful of wiki. You give this program some integrity.

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