My main goal in providing this website is to bring our family closer together. As the family has spread across the country, various branches have lost touch with each other. Much of the family history is poorly known, and I would like this to change. Those that have gone before us should not be forgotten. I think most of us would like to be remembered when we depart this life, and I hope this site helps insure that these memories are not lost.
The last thing I want to do is upset or offend any members of the family. I understand that many people are concerned about their privacy, and that the Internet itself has generated some controversy over privacy issues. Indeed, the Internet has made it possible for me to gather a large amount of information about others that would have been much harder to obtain in the past. I have put a great deal of effort into this, not to mention expense. I hope everyone in the family will understand my goal is not to ruin anyone's privacy, but bring family together. I grew up in Alaska, and had no idea what an interesting and far-flung family I was a part of before I began this research. I think younger family members, in particular, will enjoy seeing their family roots. Everyone who has contacted me so far has been very enthusiastic and supportive.
Most of the information I have is public information. Birth certificates, newspaper birth announcements, marriage certificates, obituaries, land records, census data, and more are all public information that can be researched legitimately by anyone. The Internet has made it easier to locate and collect this information, by cooperating with others. Most of the information I have was collected from other family members, and I have simply put it all together to get the "big picture". Most family members are tracing their ancestry, while I am tracing Herschbach descendents. I have also made extensive use of public data sources.
Much of the information I have, although in public records, is considered private by many people. I have chosen to be very conservative with living family members. I will only display actual family relationships in the family tree, in other words, where family members fit into the tree. I will not display birth dates, marriage dates, or other information on living persons. I hope even this minimal level of information does not offend someone. If so, please contact me! Tell me if I have unwittingly crossed a line I should not have crossed. There are a couple people who have asked not to be represented on the website in any way, and I have abided by all such requests.
A suggestion I have for protecting your privacy is to avoid the poor practice of using you mother's maiden name as a password to your bank or credit card account. It is a common practice, and basically keeps honest people honest. But if I were to fish in a garbage can and find a charge slip of yours, I would have your name and credit card number. It is not difficult to find your mother's maiden name in public records (marriage certificate) if I want to take the trouble. So use any name you want; make one up, but don't use your mother's maiden name! The banks truly don't care what your mother's name was, they are trying to use something you will remember.
Finally, there will be mistakes on this site. If you note any inaccurate information on the site, please correct me. I apologize in advance for any errors. I have found many contradictions in some records, and have simply made best guesses on some points.
I hope you enjoy this site. Please contact me with comments or corrections at the link below.
Sincerely, Steve Herschbach
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