I’ve been involved in genealogical research nearly 60 years. In the early days of my research, mostly the only others interested were little old ladies doing research to get into the DAR. But the Bicentennial, the Roots mini-series and personal computers changed all that.
I started out researching my various family lines and was fortunate that relatives born in the 1860’s and 1870’s were still living to provide information not available elsewhere. Eventually, I concentrated on only my two Goff lines and for over 50 years was the unofficial historian of the WV Goff family. Later, I specialized in reconstructing the records of Preston County, WV as the courthouse and records burned in 1869, destroying 50 years of history. In 1968 I self-published “The Wade Family”, in 1973 “The Springston Family” and in 1974 “The Goff Family.” In 1998 I published “Preston County WV (then VA) Records 1853-1860” In 2003 Phillip Goff and I co-wrote “The Four Goff Brothers of Western Virginia.” This book won a national award in 2005 for excellence in genealogy.
During the course of my research, I purchased an expensive SLR camera and taught myself how to copy old family pictures. I visited hundreds of relatives and photographed several thousand old family pictures, some of which no longer exist. I’m in the process of posting the best of these on WikiTree profiles. I’ve always been generous in sharing my information and pictures with others and can find many of the pictures I photographed that are now on Ancesry.com family trees and Find A Grave memorials. WikiTree has the right approach to posting pictures by requiring that the source be given.
In spite of serious, life-threatening health issues, I was able to complete my goal of creating WikiTree profiles through the great grandchildren of the four Goff brothers, their spouses (if married) and the spouses’ parents (if known). This is my legacy. I chose not to use the recommended format of showing locations; such as, Salem, Meigs, Ohio, USA as this would leave the reader wondering if Salem was a city, a town, a township, a district or a precinct and would require further research on the reader's part to make the determination. To not show complete locations is, in my opinion, sloppy genealogy. In retrospect, I should have shown locations historically rather than using standard postal abbreviations for States. However, it has always been my preference to show dates historically; that is, how they actually appear in documents and official records; such as, August 23, 1845, rather than modernizing them by converting to a military-style format; such as, 23 Aug 1845. I chose to use brevity in providing citations as I didn’t want to deprive researchers the satisfaction of finding information on their own; however, contributors need to be aware when altering established profiles that not everything found on the Internet is correct and needs to be further verified before accepting as fact.
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