This entry was originally posted HERE on April 11, 2005
In 1996, I was visiting my father for Christmas. He showed me some pages printed from a genealogy program that had been sent to him by my cousin Russell. Russell had taken the time to contact all our cousins, descendents of my grandparents, Charles and Rowene (Fife) Atkinson, and he had entered everything he collected into a program that printed out that nice chart. Russell had also entered some of the information from a family genealogy done by a cousin of my grandfather's that took our Atkinson family back to our immigrant ancestor, John Atkinson, who had come to Ohio County, VA (now WV) in the 1700s. My dad saw how interested I was in the chart and he let me take it home with me.
I had at about that time just gotten interested in the Internet, and I had the "crazy" idea to look to see what I could find to help me learn how to "do" genealogy. One of the first sites I found was the US GenWeb Project, which has links to every US state and every county in each state. I worked my way to Ohio County, WV, and started reading queries people had left about their own families. I was shocked when I came across a person who was researching my very same Atkinson family, someone I had never heard of before. I was hooked for sure then!
I started seeing websites with family information around the web, and that made me want to try to create one, too. It has changed a lot over the years, but you can see it's current look here: Cherie's Genealogy
I want this journal to be a mix of old and new, a record of how I have done things in the past and what I am working on currently, as well as my plans for the future and my conjectures about where my research might take me. I hope my experiences, and my many mistakes, will help others become interested in their family history!