Why create a genealogy website?
All genealogists researching an uncommon family name should make use of modern communication medium and display their research on a public website. This is our emphatic conclusion two-plus years after publishing the Amdur family website in 2007. As a direct result of publishing, our genealogical knowledge has grown exponentially, and we have demolished brick walls that probably would never have collapsed by other means. In many ways, the website functions like a family history book, but one that can reach an unlimited number of people free of charge, can be updated and improved continually and, like a family itself and unlike a book, is never finished.
Genealogists researching an uncommon family name over a long period of time usually accumulate a number of individual names and small family branches that they cannot connect to the bigger picture. Conventional wisdom advises researchers to not discard unconnected names and “mini” trees in the hope and belief that relationships eventually will become clear. Eventually the data collected grows to a size that gives it meaning, yet there is no way of sharing that data with the wider community.
Such was the case with our Amdur family. One of us (Sack-Pikus) had been researching Amdurs for nearly 30 years, while the other (Ross) had been researching his Amdur line for more than 15 years. Along the way, we two authors “met” via the Internet and determined that we must be related, although we could not demonstrate exactly how. Matters came to a head more than two years ago when Sack-Pikus visited Perth, Australia, where we finally met in person. We decided to create an Amdur website and to include every scrap of information and every Amdur tree we had discovered in our work. This information would include some Amdur families whose exact relationship to us we did not know and, in some cases, even when we were fairly certain that we were not related but shared a common family name. All known variant names also were included. The fruits of our labors may be viewed at .
What is genealogy? In general, genealogy may be viewed as an account or history of the descent of a person or family from an ancestor generally considered to be the Earliest Common Ancestor (ECA). Whereas a few families can trace their ECA back to someone who lived perhaps 1000 years ago (the British Royal family?), most ordinary families cannot, and the majority of Jewish families would struggle to get ECA evidence dating earlier than about 1500 CE. Modern (Jewish) genealogy, therefore, becomes a long slow process of collecting whatever data comes to light and then analyzing that data to see how it may fit in with what is already known.
How Is Data Collection Undertaken?
The following section is not only for those who have never attempted genealogy reseach; it is also aimed at those who may have been collecting data for some time and might be missing some obvious sources that have skipped their attention.
Start with your own knowledge base. Compile what you already know—parents, siblings, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Speak to family members—the first and best place to start. Interview older family members first; they may have been there when…and they won’t be here forever. Ask everyone you know in your extended family to provide a list of their family members—parents, children, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. Ask for maiden names, Hebrew names, whom they were named after, where they were born, when married, died, buried, and divorced.
Search the Internet. Many names will appear in a search using a favorite search engine. Follow up on the results with e-mails. Search databases such as JewishGen, the Avotaynu Consolidated Jewish Surname Index, the Yad Vashem Database of Names, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch (the Mormons), Steve morse.com, Hamburg Emigration Index censuses, and vital statistics lists. Do not assume that names have always been the same. Search for variations. Advertise online that you are seeking family; use the JewishGen Discussion Groups, Special Interest Groups (SIGS), newsgroups, Lost Cousins, and others.
Register with and search the JewishGen Family Finder and Family Tree of the Jewish People for individuals who are researching the same names or locations. Write to all contacts; be open and specific about what you are seeking.
Most importantly: collect everything; discard nothing. Never assume that you have found everything that exists. Another generation is always further back in history. For each generation further back that you can illuminate, new branches wait to be brought up to the present generation. The further apart the generations are, the more important family history becomes. Record it as you go along. Share what you have. When asking others—generally strangers—to share their family histories, be willing to share yours.
Collate and Enter Data
- Data may be stored in a number of ways. Whichever way one wishes to store it, thought must be given as to how it might be analyzed at a later date. The following enumerates some of the major storage options followed by our evaluation of them.
- Shoebox—the old-fashioned method. The primary issue here is that one needs perfect memory and recall to make this system work. Even if such qualities existed, the method makes effective sharing of information next to impossible.
- Database programs work well, are excellent as a storage medium, and allow almost unlimited analysis, but they require in-depth knowledge about how to create a relational database and the use of SQL (Structured Query Language), a language that allows a set of data to be queried directly by the user. A further disadvantage to using a database is the difficulty in designing a method of printing out a family tree. A database and SQL are definitely not for those who have limited database skills.
- Spreadsheets are similar to databases, but they make it easier to see what data you have, up to a point. They are, however, more difficult to use for analysis of family data. Again one needs more than basic knowledge to obtain useable results, and, like databases, they are not designed for ease in printing out a family tree. In summary, it is not recommended to use either databases or spreadsheets where ease of genealogical data analysis is required.
- Off-the-shelf genealogical programs. Off-the-shelf programs are packages purchased from software supply businesses and installed onto your computer. The data remains on one’s computer and not in a cloud-based storage unit. These programs are excellent for storage, analysis, and printout; they are not expensive, and a number of good ones exist. Among these are Family Tree Maker, Brother’s Keeper, Legacy, Roots Magic, and Ancestral Question amongst many others. It is advisable, before purchasing any genealogy package, to inquire with local genealogy clubs and/or friends as to which program they use and what they recommend.
- Online genealogy programs. Online genealogy programs offer the ability to create a family website without having to purchase any specific software. The program is supplied by the online site itself. One example is Geni.com, a well-thought-through program designed in a family hierarchy format. Another such example is Family Tree Explorer. On close analysis, however, such programs have some clear limitations and disadvantages. For example, they only allow a limited number of separate trees to be created (normally about two) and will only show a limited depth of relationships. Furthermore, these sites are reported to be social networking sites and may not be the correct forum for your family information. For those requiring further clarification Wikipedia offers an intersting commentary on Geni.com at .
Recording of the Source of Information.
- When entering any genealogical data relating to names, dates, and events into any type of data storage system, remember to make a note somewhere, normally within the program, detailing the source of that information. All good programs allow the entry of data source. This information source might include the informant’s name and his/her e-mail address, the name of the book, newspaper, or magazine, as well as the author, date and place of publication, and the publisher. If the information was found on the Internet, always include the web address and the date you found it. All this information will be extremely helpful when a separate branch of the same family appears with similar but different versions of the family history. Ensure that you maintain the same style of entry, irrespective of whatever type of program you are using to record your information. The reason for this is that when you are trying to draw out patterns of dates, a confused style will lead to confused information. Above all, enter everything you acquire, even if it has no obvious validity. Over time you may be surprised how useful it will become.
Presentation of Data: The Amdur Website
- The program used and method of storing data will dictate to a degree how it is presented. If you have used an online program, you will find that your tree always is presented in a superb fashion. On the other hand, large trees are difficult to view or print out and the large number of individuals within can be difficult to seach for and identify. com does incorporate a GEDCOM feature that converts data into a form that all genealogy programs can understand. GEDCOM is a format that most, if not all, genealogy databases are able to open and to read, irrespective of the program used to create it in the first place. The GEDCOM format allows files to be shared and transported, i.e., e-mailed to others around the world. Off-the-shelf programs also suffer from some of the same drawbacks, such as how to view large files, how to get a useable printout, and how to search for individuals once they are presented online.
- Off-the-shelf programs though do offer many options including alternate ways to present data in terms of number of generations, ancestors, and descendants. They also offer different methods of generating genealogy history and kinship reports. These reports may be printed out or copied into other reports. Some programs, such as Family Tree Maker, offer a bookmaking feature that allows all the notes to be printed, along with whichever other features you would like to include, such as trees, among other options mentioned elsewhere in this article. It would be worthwhile to research the options available in the various off-the-shelf products to see which options would best suit your purposes for presenting your family on line.
- To create a personalized website, such as the Amdur family one, requires some technical ability in the use of a website editor, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe DreamWeaver. These programs are not difficult to use at the basic level, and a more-than-basic website can be produced rather quickly. Many useful tutorial sites are accessible on the Internet that, in only a few hours, can give a user enough background to attempt a website that will work.
- The current Amdur Name website (Version 2) was created using Adobe DreamWeaver CS3 in less than two hours. Adding the individual trees and links and personalizing each page took a bit longer. The Amdur Name website (Version 1) was created and published online in 2007. Using the web editing software on hand at the time (Dreamweaver MX), the site was our first foray into sharing the Amdur knowledge that we had collected. It offered access to the existing knowledge base among those with connection to the Amdur surname. We emphasized the sharing of genealogy knowledge while still trying to follow basic page design rules.
- The main point to remember when creating a personal website is to keep it simple and to make sure that the pages do not look “busy.” The purpose is to present family data easily and clearly and not to try for an award at the web equivalent of the Cannes Film Festival!
- The Amdur Name website offers only whole tree views, so that viewers can see at a glance who is on the tree and where they are placed vertically (hierarchically). This vertical view indicates the degree of generations going either forward or backward.
- The Amdur website also enables viewers to see more than 20 separate family trees at the click of a mouse and to peruse the names found within those trees. It allows the web editor to input articles on topics such as the family name’s history, tour the family DNA project, or whatever else is deemed to be important. These features represent an improvement over the online programs discussed above as these do not allow a vast collection of disjointed family trees to be compared or viewed so easily, if at all.
- A current acknowledged weakness in the present Amdur website is its method of searching for names. One of the main problems we had to solve is that of spelling and name changes. Jewish names from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries are Yiddish names, and, as such, they are transliterated into a multitude of Anglicized spellings. For whatever reason, people tended to change their names quite often, so seeking a family name is not necessarily a matter of typing in a name and doing a search. In one instance, an Amdur linked family of Lieberman has evolved over time to become Lee, Berman, and Lee-Berman. To overcome this issue in a timely manner, we decided to list all surnames alphabetically, followed by first names, and to place them adjacent to the name of the tree on which they appear. This would allow the researcher to take into account first name variations and also to be able to see on which trees the names appear. A further issue is the repetition of first names. There are numerous instances of the same first names occurring from generation to generation. In Figure 1, for example, four Elizabeth Amdurs can be found on three trees.
- This method of searching for names may not be a perfect solution but certainly is practical. (The web editor is currently working on developing a better system.) For example, a man may have the birth name Yeruchmiel, a family nickname of Rachmiel, and the name that he took, or was given, when he emigrated to the United Kingdom or the United States (maybe Richard). A researcher can work through all variations of the name. Although I am a strong believer in using technology where possible, sometimes situations require a human approach to analysis rather than a computerized one. We believe that our offering of indexed names with adjacent related family trees allows Amdur researchers to locate individuals with minimal struggle by reviewing all the possible permutations of the name.
Where to Publish the Site
- Genealogists must find a place to host their website. Internet users usually pay monthly subscriptions to a local Internet business for access to the Internet. These businesses are known as Internet Service Providers, or ISPs. In addition to providing access to the Internet and offering e-mail accounts, ISPs also allot an amount of space, normally measured in megabytes, into which the user can upload and publish their web pages. At the last count, the amount of space used by the Amdur website is approximately 40 megabytes. These allocated spaces each have a unique web address. It is recommended that the reader contact their ISP to ascertain what their Internet web address would be if they were to decide to publish their own genealogy site. The current Internet address of the Amdur Name website, for example, is <www. amnet.net.au/~fourkidz>.
- Given that you have an ISP and that you have been made aware of the address allocated to you, how do you then publish your website? Web editing packages such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver have built-in software called a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that permits files to be uploaded to your Internet address easily and quickly from your computer. Less sophisticated web editors still allow the use of FTP. Service providers normally have help desks which will happily explain the settings required within the program to permit this publishing and give suggestions on how to achieve this with the web editor being used.
Analysis of Data
- Knowing who your relations are appears to be rather simple when you are dealing just with your immediate family, say from your grandparents down. That certainty of how people are related to you becomes less sure the further back you travel along your family tree. There will come a point in time when researching your tree appears to hit a brick wall, a time when you cannot see how to go further back or how to connect to another tree that appears to be related to yours. You have collected all this data, you have some dates, you have some names of villages, maybe a picture or two dating to the late 19th century or early 20th century yet something still is missing. That something is the link between the trees. Analysis of that data now comes into play.
Both for those just starting their research as well as veteran researchers, we present the following schematic view of our layman’s genealogy research analysis process.
Genealogy software assists with analysis. A genealogy program, such as Family Tree Maker, for example, enables researchers to search efficiently and rapidly for names, towns, dates, and/or occupations across the numerous family trees located within the one database. Each search allows for an analysis that would be extremely difficult if done manually given the variability of Jewish names. The Family Tree program does not, however, actually do the analysis. What it does is search for whatever you type. The researcher then proceeds to recognize and analyze the patterns that may appear. The type of search available depends on the data entered. Again, using Family Tree Maker, one can search for a surname using the Index of Individuals or search for a first name using the “find” option within the index window. If the data required is not related to a person’s name but rather a town, then the search could utilize the Edit > Find and Replace function which searches all fields within the database, including the notes that can be entered against each name. The program’s Notes section serves as a repository of copies of e-mails from Amdur contributors.
Connecting Family Trees
- Connecting family trees has been another major activity since the first version of the website was posted online, some two years ago. This is one of the most important aspects of running a family name website. Not everyone who carries a particular name is related to everyone else who carries that name, and sometimes close relations end up with different names. For example, the name Amdur has morphed over time into Amdour, Amdurer, Amdursky, Amdury, Emdur, Gumdur, Indur, Omdur, and possibly Indursky. It is a well-known fact that two brothers leaving from the same port may end up at their destinations with similar but different surnames. A case in point is that of Michael and Nathan Amdur. Both brothers left England as Amdurs, but one arrived in the United States as an Amdur and the other arrived in Australia as an Emdur. Because we decided to include all Amdur family trees whether or not we knew of relationships to any other known family trees, and because numerous previously unknown Amdurs have found our website and sent us their data, we have ended up with numerous non-related family trees with no obvious connection.
- Not only names can change. Stories from grandparents may become increasingly blurred the further back in time the story goes. Yet the collection of these stories may ultimately permit researchers to make connections. Some months ago, such a connection was made when reviewing a set of stories that came from two totally separate sources. One source tells of its 19th-century Amdur family from Mogilev that was told by its rabbi to walk to Palestine, where the wife would then be able to have children. They walked, they arrived, and she bore two sons. They went on to run the famous Amdursky Hotel in Jerusalem. This story was known by those who emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. The second story tells of a family from Mogilev that went, with the same two sons, to live in Palestine, where they opened a hotel in Jerusalem that carried the family name. Although both families initially saw these stories as being those of separate families, it has become obvious that, although we might never know the exact sequence of events, the two stories describe the same people and, therefore, a shared family history and tree.
- Sometimes the connections are obvious; at other times, they take on a more complex character. An example at hand is the tree on the Amdur Name website we call the Peretz Amdur tree (located on the main Amdur trunk page). This Peretz has meaning to the Amdur collective for a number of reasons. We know that Peretz is a highly unusual name within the Amdur names database, unusual to the point that we have only two records with this name in a database of more than 2,500 Amdur descendants. One Peretz appears as a son of Azik Shimon (Amdur) and Basia who are found on the Amdur main trunk. The only knowledge we have of this Peretz (from an 1845 Russian census) is that he was born in 1839 and had, at least, a sister, Roche (born in 1833), and a brother, Yuda (born in 1835). According to the census, Peretz’s father, Azik, was 42 years old when Peretz was born.
- The second Peretz (according to his granddaughter who still lived in Braslav in 1983) appears as the progenitor of his own line, and since we know that he had a son, Mendel, born about 1879, we may assume that the second Peretz may have been born some 30 to 40 years earlier, possibly in the 1830s. (It must be remembered that the dates of birth that have come down to us from the 19th century are notoriously inaccurate. Sack, in numerous correspondences, has argued quite convincingly that ages were often falsified so sons would not have to be forced into joining the Russian army for 25 years.) We also note that the second Peretz named subsequent children Simon and Basia—the same names as the parents of the first Peretz. Thus, we may have a link between these two trees based on the fact that a rare first name only appears twice, one a generation or so after the first and that two other given first names appear in both families.
- We also know of a third Peretz, but he does not appear in the names database—only in a family story. (This story may be added to the website over the next few months, time permitting.) Anecdotal tales concerning Gedalyia Wolf Amdur’s family tell of a Peretz who may have been a brother of Gedalyia’s father, Zalke. Given a birth date for Gedalyia of 1869, it is more than possible that Peretz, the father of Mendel, was also the uncle of Gedalyia, therefore, making Gedalyia’s father, Zalke, a brother to Peretz. If the anecdotal Peretz were, in fact, the same Peretz as the son of Azik Shimon, then the whole Zalke Amdur line would link to the main Amdur branch along with the second Peretz line. When analyzing genealogical data where paper evidence no longer exists, it does get this complicated, but when one sits down and draws the circles and the lines linking the possibilities, relationships suddenly become obvious.
- For the Peretz stories to make sense, Zalke and Yuda had to be the same person. The following is part of an e-mail that helped in the final analysis.
In fairness, I need to say that what follows must be considered “preponderance of evidence” (although I am convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt”).
- I believe that in the 19th century the name Simon appears only four times in all of this database—always on this branch.
- I think that my father made a mistake when he said that Gedalyia’s brother, Simon, was named after Zalke, and I think I know how the error was made. Keep in mind the genealogist’s axiom that there is a “kernel of truth” in all the bubbe meises. The challenge is to winnow out the kernel.
- The second name Simon should be removed from Zalke’s name. We have no evidence that he had this double name—and good reason to think that he did not.
- The above train of thought allowed us to stop looking for a Simon Zalke and allowed us to concentrate on a Zalke Amdur. The problem, however, still lingered with the name Zalke. A further e-mail about two weeks later, after discussions with a genealogist of note, finally laid to rest the Peretz enigma.
On his application for U.S. citizenship, taken out just before he died, my grandfather, Gedalyia, wrote his name as Yidel Wolf Amdur. When I first saw that (in about 1990), I didn’t know what to make of Yidel.
Recently, reviewing all my known facts, I was thinking Yuda is Yehuda. Then I thought, “Idel is also Yehuda.” (Don’t know why that came to mind) and on the heels of that I realized that Yidel was Idel and that my grandfather had listed his patronymic on his application for U.S. citizenship! By now, of course, I know that most Jewish men had double names, so my great-grandfather was Zalke Yuda or Solomon Yehuda.
It all revolved around my realizing that my great-great-grandfather must have been named Simon (i.e., Aizik Shimon) and that Zalke must have had a brother Peretz. When I found that family in the 1845 reviskie skazki (revision lists), it was all clear. The fact that the name Peretz only appears four times in all my records and always with Simon as the father is a key clue.
- This analysis allowed this Amdur branch to join with the main Amdur trunk. Welcome to the wonderful world of Jewish genealogy!
- Sometimes genealogy analysis requires less analytical analysis and more of a long-term memory along with a good data retrieval system. Some years ago, I successfully reunited a family based on information While sitting at Heathrow Airport waiting to board an airplane when immigrating to Australia in 1980, my mother, Esther Amdur Ross, struck up a conversation with a woman sitting nearby. They eventually introduced themselves, and my mother was surprised to discover that the woman’s married name was my mother’s maiden name, Amdur.
- The Amdur surname is uncommon, and from my mother’s point of view all Amdurs are related, so her new acquaintance’s (ex) spouse must be related. Further discussions drew out the facts that this woman’s ex-husband had gone to Israel to bury his father in 1974 and that when he had flown out from Tel Aviv a few days later, his plane had crashed. This was obviously a very sad time for the family involved. My mother related this story to me when she arrived in Sydney, and I filed it in the only database I had at the time, my brain.
- When I started my genealogical research in the early 1990s, Sallyann gave me the name of an Amdur whom she believed lived in Hong Kong. I managed to track this Amdur down, and with the information I received, was able to link this person and the Amdur who had died in the 1974 plane crash: it was his father. Unfortunately, his family information was very limited, and I could not link him to any of the Amdur families I had on file.
- About 10 years later, I received an e-mail from a woman living on the east coast of Australia who wanted to learn a bit about her Amdur heritage. Part of the story she told was that her father had perished in a plane crash in 1974 when she was very young. This story rang a strong bell. After checking my files, I replied to the writer that not only could I place her on a tree, but I was also able to introduce her to a brother whose existence she had never known.
- This story did not finish there but continued in an unexpected way when we posted the first version of our Amdur website in 2007. We keep an Amdur e-mail list so that we can inform as many family members as possible of news and events, such as the publishing of our website. Having received my e-mail that we now had a website, the Amdur lady from the Australian east coast visited the site and then contacted me asking who the seated bearded man was on the front page of the website. In her late father’s photograph album, there was a picture of the same seated, bearded man. The person in question was Reuben Amdur, my mother’s maternal grandfather, and my mother’s father’s great-uncle and father-in-law. (Both of my maternal grandparents were Amdurs.) Given the fact that the cost of photography in the early part of the 20th century was not cheap, people usually only sent photographs such as the one in question to family members. Thus, I conclude that our two lines must be closely linked, but we still do not know how.
Using DNA Testing as a Research Tool.
- With so many Amdur family lines whose relationships (if any) to us or to one another were unknown, the determination and clarification of relationships has been a major focus from the start. One approach has been our Y-DNA project undertaken to see which branches might be related. DNA testing is another, relatively new tool that can aid in linking seemingly disparate family trees with the same name. Accordingly, we asked males from different Amdur family trees to submit DNA samples to FamilyTree DNA in order to learn which (if any) had common remote ancestors. The genealogical information that DNA testing can supply is relatively simple. Either a genetic relationship exists between two people, or it does not. Sometimes, however, as our Amdur DNA project has demonstrated, situations exist in which DNA results do not reflect the family as a whole. We have learned that Amdur men whose ancestors lived in Braslav (what we call the “Main Trunk”) generally exhibit the J2 haplotype, whereas the Amdursky men (from Bialystok and later Pittsburgh) exhibit the E1b1b1 haplotype.
- Results to date substantiate known documentary and oral family history. Our 30-year research has revealed a cluster of Amdurs who lived in Braslav at the end of the 18th century, while a group of Amdurskys (some of whom later shortened their name to Amdur) today center around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and originally came from the Bialystok region. At this point, we have no reason to believe that the Amdurs from Braslav and the Amdurskys from Bialystok and Pittsburgh are related, although the progenitors of both groups probably lived in Indura (Amdur in Yiddish) in the mid-18th century.
- Y-DNA testing confirmed the non-relationship between the Braslav and the Bialystok Amdurs and Amdurskys. Currently, three Braslav Amdur trees have the same haplotype pattern, and three of the Amdursky trees have the same haplotype pattern. While the knowledge of how to link these trees to one another still remains elusive, the fact that they are related certainly helps increase the chance of making those links more possible, because the knowledge reduces the number of individuals one must consider when trying to connect trees.
- Results also highlighted an unexpected finding. The Kazriel Amdurs, one of the Braslav lines with known documentary connections to the Main Trunk back to the mid-18th century does not have the expected J2 haplotype. In other words, this family does not share a common remote ancestor with the other J2 haplotype Braslav Amdurs on the Main Trunk.
- Bennett Greenspan, founder and CEO of FamilyTree DNA, calls this circumstance “unrecorded paternity.” Archival documents show that the Kazriel Amdurs have been considered members of the Braslav Amdur family tree for 250 years. The question is when and how the “unrecorded paternity” entered this line. One possibility, of course, is that a woman conceived a child by someone other than her Amdur husband. Another more likely possibility is unrecorded adoption. This might have occurred if a young widow with one or more young sons remarried an Amdur man. Nineteenth-century Russian reviskie skazkie (revision lists) are grouped by households—the husband (head of household), his spouse, and others living in the home. Children are listed as “son” or “daughter” of head of household. We have never seen any individuals listed as “stepson” or “stepdaughter,” and the existence of formal adoption procedures at this time is not known.
- Conceivably, therefore, a young boy may have been listed as an Amdur even though his biological father had been someone else. The likelihood of such an occurrence may have been even greater prior to the time of mandated surname adoption in 1809. Thus, Y-DNA testing may demonstrate that two lines are related genetically, but the absence of such a demonstration does not necessarily mean that the lines are not related, especially when documents demonstrate otherwise. Currently we are pursuing additional Y-DNA testing within different sub-branches of the Kazriel line to see if we can learn more about when the unrecorded paternity may have occurred.
Our creation of a personal genealogy web page for all bearers of the relatively rare Amdur family name has yielded riches beyond those we might have imagined. It has enabled unknown Amdurs to find us and has generated the acquisition of vast new data. Most important of all, it has enabled us to organize, analyze, and synthesize masses of disparate data collected over a great number of years. Through a process of continuous comparison and analysis, what began as X different trees currently have been combined into Y trees—with additional merges in the offering. For the many reasons discussed above, we believe that the creation of a public website should be an indispensable tool for all genealogists researching an uncommon family name.
Mike Ross is a high school teacher living in Perth, Western Australia, and has been involved in amateur genealogical research since the late 1980s. He is actively involved in the Western Australian Historical and Genealogical Society where he has given talks on creating websites for family trees and the use of DNA in genealogical research. He also involves himself in teaching others how best to utilize the Internet when searching for family. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus is editor of AVOTAYNU.