Pivotal Moments

Coming up to the five year anniversary of our project and looking back, there were a number of points that were pivotal moments that greatly affected the growth of our Family Forest project of digitally connecting the dots of recorded history. From some point in the future, others that may have already occurred will appear obvious. Some that we now know of were:

February 1995, Bethany Beach, DE: We began using Family Tree Maker 2.0 as the core filing system of our Delaware real estate research.

May 1995, Georgetown, DE: Local officials could not decide whether or not to grant commercial zoning to the property we wanted to turn into a high-tech learning center, even though it was in a 20,000 vehicle-per-day location sitting on an already highly commercialized four-lane highway. This made us realize that we needed and wanted a work-from-anywhere project that did not require bureaucratic permission, so we decided to develop our Family Forest project instead.

June 1996, Baltimore, MD: At the Tiber Bookstore, we found and bought the un-indexed 1911 Register of The Order of Founders and Patriots of America. This became the starting point and central hub of our third title, the Founders & Patriots Family Forest.

August 1996, Kamuela, HI: At the local library, we discovered the Third Edition of The Facts About Presidents, and realized we should start our fourth title, the Presidential Family Forest.

November 1996, Washington, DC: At the Library of Congress gift shop we bought the poster showing “The Descent of George Washington from King John and Nine of the Twenty-Five Barons Sureties of the Magna Carta”. This became our beginning framework for lineage-linking Americans to their European ancestors.

January 1997, I-95, South GA: Almost at the Florida line, we made a sudden decision to swerve onto the exit to spend a few hours exploring a place neither of us had been, Jekyll Island. We stayed for a week, and two important events happened. First, we bought many boxes of genealogical and historical books from a small book store in the historical section there. Second, we found a wealth of valuable connecting material at the St. Simon’s Public Library.

January 1997, Plano, TX: At GENTECH’97 we met Bob Thomas and Pierre Cloutier, the amazingly creative and talented folks of Progeny Software. Today, their Family Explorer software brings our Family Forest databases alive in a way that no other software can yet match.

February 1997, Scottsdale, AZ: A very helpful bookstore owner directed Kristine to “Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe”.

March 1997, Salt Lake City, UT: We bought many boxes of key genealogical and historical books from the Sam Weller Bookstore.