|Genealogical research - or the knowledge of one's family - holds a
special and unique fascination for the average person, for within the
printed pages we seem to make the personal acquaintance of kindred long
dead to this world, and are, made to feel the continuity of life in a
way that strengthens faith and immortality. The qualities that were best
in our ancestors we recognize as best today and forevermore, and, while
casting a mantle of forgiveness over all shortcomings, we dwell with
pleasure and pride upon ancestral, courage, patriotism, and fidelity to
all that was pure.
For the author of these pages, interest in genealogy began during a ski trip to Salt Lake City, Utah in April of 1992. Between days of skiing he and his wife did the typical touristy things. While walking the streets of downtown Salt Lake City they happened into the Family History Library Building. There he learned about soundex cards and micro-fiche viewers. After a few hours he emerged with a 1880 Carroll County, Maryland census sheet for a John T. Stocksdale and wondered if he were somehow related to this farmer.
After this trip to Utah, he began questioning his immediate family for as much information as they could recall about his family heritage. It wasn't until 12 years later, through the power of the internet, that he was able to search, browse and download census pages to learn more about his family's heritage, than was documented or remembered by his immediate family.