I’ve been interested in genealogy for as long as I can remember.

When I was growing up, my family had this rudimentary family tree. It was a big piece of brown cardboard covered with names written in pencil. It only went back a few generations, but it seemed to me like it went back forever. I’d study it, ask questions about it, learn stories about the people on it.

I loved those stories, and I always wanted to learn more.

When I was older and visiting relatives in Kansas City with my parents, we decided on a whim to try to do some research into our family tree. We went to libraries, we walked cemeteries, and we began finding clues.

In Ohio, we had our first big breakthrough.

We ran into one clue, then another, and pretty soon we had a line of the family stretching back over three hundred years. We had names, dates, relationships, and tons of new stories to share. It was exhilarating! I was so eager to share these new stories that I immediately wrote them up and handed them out to anybody who expressed even the slightest interest.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve assembled a large family tree filled with hundreds of new people and hundreds more stories to share. The problem is, right now, it’s all in my head. I get hit by a train tomorrow, and it’s all gone.

I started Jonesylvania so I could preserve and share these stories. If I can give a little insight into how I found them, even better. I had a hell of a good time researching them. I hope you have just as much fun discovering them.