1288125478

This work began simply enough. Spurred by the birth of my daughter, I began looking through the meager information I had to try and establish some family history and have something to present to her when she's older, something that will help her understand her family's origins. What I had was meager indeed - a basic pedigree-style family tree chart, four decades old, for my paternal grandfather (Floyd Thomas Jr.), and a genealogy booklet assembled by cousins of my paternal grandmother (Kathryn Claire Stonebraker) that included her descendants. What started as simply a desire to establish a family line has turned into a much broader compilation of information for me, my wife, and all our children.

Methodology

My goal in approaching this work has been substantiation as much as, if not more than, completion; there are endless numbers of published genealogies (online and in print) that simply do not cite their sources or describe the process of their research. While I'm sure many of these documents are valid and accurate, I've discovered many that conflict or have known or suspected erroneous information. As such, I've tried to be as thorough as possible in my own records searches and validations, reviewing the original records when possible and not relying completely on indexed records and transcriptions. If you review a person's record here and see no sources cited or information (such as dates or locations) missing or incomplete, there's a good chance that the entry was copied from someone else's published work and hasn't yet been validated by me.

It's also common in a great deal of the published work (especially online) to make educated guesses to bridge the gaps between the generations. This is often presented without any distinguishing note or text to indicate that an assumption has been made without adequate proof, or if the assumption is told it may be done minimally with a bit of hand-waving to lessen the notice of the guesswork. Making these guesses can be necessary, but they should be presented as such with details of the strengths and weaknesses of those guesses sitting right there alongside the material. This allows anyone who follows my work to assess for themselves the likelihood of my guess being correct, with the ability to judge my sources and references accordingly.

With few exceptions, everyone listed in this compilation is either (a) an ancestor of the children in my household, or (b) a fellow descendant of one of those ancestors, or (c) a spouse of one of those descendants. There are a few cases of adopted or step-children who are biologically connected to few or none of the bulk of this list, or side-branches that are expanded to include information provided by other genealogists, but if you find your name in this database, chances are you're part of the very large family assembled here.

I'd previously presented a list of family surnames and lines here along with short descriptions of their origins, but that list had grown too extensive and was still far from a complete list of the areas in which I'm spending time and attention.

Privacy; Contributions and submissions

Living persons and those whose deaths occurred within the last twenty years are marked "private" in the database and have only their names published. If you are related to any of these lines and you have pictures, documents, or other memorabilia, please contact me about getting copies of such items. Likewise, please contact me with any corrections or completions for the information I have, particularly for those in the recent generations. The more information and photos are contributed, the richer this material is for everyone. If you would like your line filled out more completely and accurately, feel free to contact me, as this initial work has focussed mostly on the lines relevant to my immediate household and has only recently begun to branch out.

Acknowledgements

I am deeply indebted to a great deal of work done by others whose efforts have come well before mine; some of them close family, some of them not as much. All of them have contributed significantly to the information you see here. For the largest portion of my work I owe a great deal to Jane Anne Thomas, sister to my paternal grandfather; her meticulous and thorough work forms either the basis or the reinforcement for my own research, though she performed hers without the aid of the resources I have available to me.

Many others have also contributed, directly or indirectly. I would like to thank:

Contact and information requests

There will be dedicated efforts toward updating the site toward the end of each month as long as active research is ongoing. For more information, including GEDCOM files, contact Scott Thomas, scott@plainofsharon.org .