If you are a first-time or infrequent visitor, I encourage you to find your own part of the tree and fill in the blanks. All members are encouraged to also provide details about the families of spouses. Photos are always appreciated and the process for uploading and identifying the people in them is getting easier all the time. Stories are fun to read and they give you the ability to describe specific events or other memories.
The naming convention is to use ALL CAPS for the last name and normal capitalization for all other names. The birth name is used in all cases (never the married last name for women), so a woman born Jane Bertha DOE will be identified in the tree that way, even after she marries and takes the last name of her husband and becomes Jane Bertha SMITH.
Please contact me if you have any difficulties making entries and I will be glad to help or to make the entries for you. Send me an email at email@example.com if you have data for members of the tree that are outside your immediate family and I will make the entries. The more people who participate in entering and correcting information, the better the website will represent the family (in all its branches and connectors). Also by having the families of siblings and spouses the tree will intersect with many other trees being kept by other webmasters.
Now for a little background about the nuclear family.
I had to pick a known couple as the starting place when I began the tree almost twenty years ago, so I selected Robert Charters MILLS II (1856-1948) and his wife Esther HUNTER (1855-1943). I have located and added many parents, siblings, spouses and spouse's families from that time and before, but this couple is at the epicenter of my efforts. Members have supplied information for other generations as well and I welcome whatever you have if you can shed additional light on the earlier ancestors.
Many of the early families had roots in Ireland, England, and Scotland. The entry points to North America from Europe were both Canada and the United States. When the US Government created the Homestead Act of 1862, it opened a way for young men and women with guts and determination to participate in the American Dream.
By working from sun-up until last light, our ancestors tended the farm animals, sowed the seeds, reaped the harvest and created a life for their families. As soon as they were old enough, everybody worked. There was so much to do that each child had daily tasks that not only serviced the family, it helped mold them into people who understood the value of work and giving it everything they had. The family roots starting with Robert and Esther reaches out from around Park River, North Dakota. Many of the relatives still live there.
For the most part, we are and have always been a hard-working lot and many in the family are the pioneer spirit, salt-of-the-earth kind of individuals who make good neighbors. You will see repeatedly a willingness on their part to take the risk, to leave the comfort of the nest and strike out for new opportunities and a new life. Many of our ancestors endured extremely difficult and lonely times while starting their families and proving their land.
Esther HUNTER said, “If I didn’t have hymns to sing, I’d go crazy listening to the wind.” Grandma Mary Eliza MILLS (1890-1986) was crocheting and the hook flipped up into her eye and her husband James Edward MILLER (1879-1947) had to take the hook out and hold her eye for a day because there was no doctor within fifty miles. When the pain subsided, Mary went back to work baking, cooking and caring for her family and never saw from that eye again.
Each member has the option to receive a monthly newsletter that lists every birthday and anniversary in the family. A new feature under People/Stories is the ability to add snippets of life about anybody and link it to their name. This gives us the ability to share the lives of every member of the family with fun, easy to create and great to read stories that are completely free-form. I hope you give it a try.
Richard Small - Webmaster - Portland, OR 503-330-2260 firstname.lastname@example.org