I first became interested in genealogy when I drove my great aunt, Ruth Berdine, to a "White Family Reunion" in the corner of West Virginia and Pennsylvania then on to the Mulkey Meeting House. Both of these places affected me deeply.
The first was a one-room log cabin with a sleeping loft where the parents raised 12 children...11 boys and one girl! While there we also looked for and found Ruth's great grandfather's house. We were looking for some remnant of an old grist (?) mill when I saw what looked like a water wheel in a barn. We stopped and asked about a mill and were informed that it was his house we were at, that he and his second wife were buried on a hilltop and we were able to walk up and see the headstones. The second one was the Mulkey Meeting House, which has a graveyard on the property. It was very humbling to find that I was related to nearly everyone buried there.
It wasn't until several years later, after both of my parents suffered strokes and I became their caregiver that I really became involved in genealogy. My aunt and mother had been working on the family genealogy for over 25 years, and they wanted my help to find our Howard immigrant ancestor, or to somehow prove that we were descended from the Dukes of Norfolk as they had been informed all their lives. I have still not been able to do that, but in the process they also asked me to take over The Howard Historian, which had been started by Curt Howard in Acworth, Georgia in, I believe, 1986. It was turned over to Barbara Howard and Kent Haldorson of Portland, Oregon in about 1994 and I took it over in 2000. Print publishing subscriptions fell off quickly and I took it online, mostly in the form of Howard DNA and mtDNA testing; though I still occasionally put out newsletters in PDF format for $6 each available at The Howard Historian website, though I have not yet been able to afford credit card availability at the site.
I discovered I loved doing Howard research and it didn't matter which line I researched, it was equally enthralling. Each year there is more and more information online, making it easier to find out what our ancestors were doing a hundred or more years ago. I recently did some non-Howard research and found a website for old newspapers. There were over 700 hits on the names I was researching. It was amazing how many times someone was mentioned as coming to town to purchase supplies and was seen shaking hands with his neighbors; but there were also small pieces about him visiting his uncle or brother or widowed sister-in-law so that I could start piecing the family together. We need to encourage and support these types of websites.
I am extremely excited about this site and the ability to have collaboration on the genealogy of our DNA participants; many of them still looking for answers to their questions of immigrant ancestors, let alone their ancestors in England or Ireland. We have over 100 participants, and most do not know who the immigrant ancestor was. I hope to set out the DNA and mtDNA Projects first with an article page which explains who is being research with links to each matching participant. It was taking too long to input the information with person/family pages so I am rewriting each family into a Family Tree Maker Gedcom and will be uploading them...soon I hope.
The Howard Historian is bringing a great new feature, WeRelate, to not only our DNA/mtDNA participants, but to everyone interested in Howard research. After I add names and links to the DNA/mtDNA results, ANYONE with information can add to those pages to make this the collaborative effort it was always meant to be.
If you would like to add dates, stories, pictures or any type of information to the site please do so, but please also add sources. If you do not have sources, it is still OK to add information because someone else may be able to source it, however, please list it as un-sourced.
Karen LaClergue, Howard DNA and mtDNA Projects, The Howard Historian Newsletter, The Harmon Howard Library
Visit The Howard Historian Website