Notes to Family Members

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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

I hope that you find this record of our family interesting, whether you are a Smith, a Staebell, a Voegele, a Mesker, or all of the above, or none of the above. Many people have put a lot of effort into accumulating this information, in many cases over the course of decades. In the immediate family, the most energetic researchers are my mother Alice, my father Bill, my Uncle Jim, Mom's cousin Evelyn, and my sister Kathryn. We are also very fortunate to have the contributions of distant cousins whom we have never met in person, but whose extensive research into their own family tree has yielded a treasure trove of information for branches that we are fortunate enough to share in common. Prominent among these cousins are G. Russell Bussiere and his wife Nancy Staebell Bussiere, Herb Stabell, Rita Staebell Rosauer, Jacqueline MacPherson, and Dr. Donald Nuwer. Last but not least, there are my many brothers, sisters, and cousins and other more distant relatives who have responded to my requests for information. I wish to thank all of these people for their efforts, which are much appreciated.

If you believe that you have contributed information to this site but that your contribution has not been properly acknowledged, please let me know. It was probably an oversight, which I will correct promptly.


What If You Find an Error in Your Personal Information?

When you discovered this genealogy website, the first thing you probably did was to locate and read your own entry, and then read the entries for your children, parents, and siblings. I hope that you found the information to be accurate. If not, or if there is anything there that is not to your satisfaction, please let me know. You can contact me by e-mail. I am also very interested in any additional information that you would like to provide.


Adding Your Family's Photograph to This Website

I would like to build a photo album for our extended family and put it on this website. Some of us have not met for years, and some of us have never met at all. The internet seems to be a great way for all of us to share our family pictures.

So please send me a photo of you and your family! You can send me an electronic photo by e-mail or a regular photo by mail. Both ways work equally well.

I think that a picture of your entire family, rather than of one or two individuals, would be the most interesting to the relatives who visit this site.

To see what photographs are available, refer to the "Photos" section of the site map. Also, within the people pages, if a person has a photo, you will find a link to it in his or her record.

I am also very interested in old photos, and other people are interested too. When cousins have written to me about the photos on this site, they say that they especially enjoy the old ones. So please send or let me know about any photos you have that is older than, say, 1950.

When you send a photo I will try to add it to this website promptly. However, putting up pages with photos is a little bit time consuming, and right now I'm working on a couple of large collections. Please forgive me if you send a photo and it doesn't appear here for awhile.


The Advantages of an Internet-Based Family Record

Publishing the family history on the internet has many advantages. It is immediately available to everyone in the family. You don't have to wait for me or some other relative to make a photocopy of it. You don't have to worry about losing your copy of the history or about it becoming outdated. Future updates (and I hope to make them frequent and timely) will become immediately available to the entire family. The hyperlink feature of web pages makes it easy for the author to organize and cross-reference the information, and for the reader to step through the generations and locate interesting facts.

One of the most appealing benefits for the family historian is that, because the history is on the internet, distant unknown relatives may discover it and contact us. They might provide us with pieces to the ancestry puzzle that we lack. Since I began putting genealogy on the internet in August 2000, I have been contacted by over a dozen previously unknown distant cousins.


Protecting Your Privacy

The most serious concern people have about an internet-based family history is protecting privacy. Therefore, I have taken steps to protect the privacy of our family. In particular, I have removed the birth dates and addresses of people who are still living, unless they have explicitly asked me to add them. Although I have collected personal information about our family, I maintain it in a separate document that will not be available on the internet. I would be less concerned if this were a traditional hard-copy family history, run off on a photocopy machine for distribution to a small circle of relatives. An internet genealogy, however, is visible to the whole world, and so we must be careful about what information is presented.

For more information about privacy, please refer to my notes on "Privacy for the Living." If you see anything about yourself in these pages that you believe discloses too much, please let me know. You might also want to review and comment upon the "private information" document that I am maintaining off-line, separate from the website. I plan to make the private document available to family members who request it, unless of course I have reason to believe that it might be misused. Of course, some of you might be less concerned about having your birth date or other information visible on this site. I would be happy to add more information about you, if you don't mind or if your prefer it.


More Information Is Always Welcome

I will always be on the lookout for more material, such as interesting facts and stories about you or your family, and photographs. Please pass along anything you have, and we will share it with the whole family!


--- Brian J. Smith