About

Shirley Ann

Hi, and welcome to my blog. I am a native Californian whose roots are in Missouri and Pennsylvania. My interest in genealogy began when I was very young. While most of my grammar school classmates were born outside the US or were children of immigrant parents, I had no idea who my immigrant ancestors were or how they came to America. I also had no idea how to do the research so it took me a long time to get started.

The breakthrough came in 1996 when we got our first internet connection at home. One afternoon I discovered people were writing about genealogy online and sharing family information. The “how-to” information was the most valuable. This was what I needed. That first day I responded to an on-line query and the contact turned out to be a previously unknown second cousin. I started visiting my local Family History Center on a weekly basis.

In 1998 I happened to be in Washington DC and was able spend half a day at the National Archives. That was the day that I found my Welsh gg-grandparents and their four children on a 1895 passenger list and I finally had my own immigrant story.

I wanted to be able to share my discoveries so I began taking classes in web design and computer graphics. The Rankin Family History Project website began as the final project in my first HTML class. Technology has changed a lot from those early days. The last updates to the site were in 2005 and it looks very dated. Rather than a complete overhaul, I’ve decided to move to a blog format. This will allow me to easily update the old information, and quickly post new discoveries.

This is a work in progress, so corrections and additions are always welcome.

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