I have had an interest in family history for a long time. My paternal grandmother was born into a large Mormon family and when I was a teenager we received a book in the mail from someone we didn’t know. It was the register of every descendant of my Swedish great-great-grandfather who came to America and walked to Utah from New York to be one of the earliest settlers of the Utah territory. We had cousins that lived only a few miles away that we had never met. I was hooked.
My maternal ancestors were a mystery to me for a long time, but I eventually found them in Scott County, Virginia. Through the internet.
I live in a small town outside of the city of San Diego, California. I have never been to Scott County, but feel a deep connections to the families that lived there and still do.
In the late 1990’s I bought a CDrom (remember those?) of the scanned images of the 1850 Scott County Federal census. There were no images of the census pages online way back then and there was a project underway to transcribe the census records and put them online. I drove in, and along with the help of a few special people, seven months later I had finished the transcription. At that time my last name was Drake.
During the process of transcribing the records I began to feel like I knew these people. I could see who their neighbors were and how they were all connected to each other. It was one of the most gratifying things I had ever done.
I don’t even remember how I got stared posting the photographs. I originally started this site at rootsweb around 2001 but the process of hand coding each page was time consuming and I burned out. Several years later I discovered WordPress, the platform this site is built on, and moved all the photos here from rootsweb. It gave me the ability to allow comments and add new items more easily.
I love this site and the connections that have happened because of it. It’s truly wonderful to see a comment or get an email from someone who has found a photo of ancestor. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Patty ~once a Drake, once a Simmons, always a Jones