My earliest interest in our family's history goes back to when I was a fairly small child. I can recall family reunions up on Mount View, and some of my fondest memories occurred on the days before the reunion. As a child, this was the "free time" and allowed for exploration of the various roads and gas well paths that intersected the top of the mountain. However, it was a place very near the reunion site that often was of most interested to us kids: Mount View Cemetery.
Even in my younger years, with very little knowledge of my ancestry or the full grasp of what I was seeing, the cemetery was incredibly interesting to me. I can recall hearing my parents and grandparents discussing various people, how they fit into the family tree, and stories about their lives.
As I grew older, my teenage years resulted in fewer family reunions but an increased interest in our family history. However, it wasn't until my early 20's that I became hooked. I can recall the specific moment well; after not having the opportunity to travel to West Virginia in quite a few years, my family traveled to Mount View to spend a sunny October weekend with a few other family members. On that trip, a cousin took us down the side of the hill to an old cemetery that had long been abandoned. I don't know what it was about that trip - the beauty of the woods on that fall day, the secluded nature of the cemetery, or the sheer magnitude of seeing graves that old and of people I had heard so much about - but from that point on, I wanted to know as much as I possibly could about my family tree and the individuals that brought me to where I am now.
Over the past decade or so, I have conducted quite a bit of research on various aspects of the Male family history. During the journey, I had the privilege of talking with many members of the family that have conducted much of the research I relied in in my journey, such as Bob Mayle and Bernard Victor Mayhle. I constantly find myself in awe of their work; not only was their work conducted in the days before the internet, when a trip to a courthouse was often the only way of obtaining information, but the volume of their work is simply massive. Despite having all the advantages of the modern internet, my work is but a drop in the bucket compared to theirs and I have so much gratitude for all the work they performed.
My goals for this website are many. Primarily, my goal is to organize and share the information I have obtained with our family members around the globe.
Genealogy is a very imperfect science. Our family settled into parts of the country that were virtually unsettled when the arrived to them, meaning that standard parish and court documents that are available to other genealogists are not as readily available in our family's story. When creating this website, I've tried to commit myself to providing citations for facts whenever possible. In places where educated guesses must be made, I have tried to always disclose this. Undocumented family history is cited as a last resort, not due to any lack of faith in the information, but rather in an attempt to make the research as "credible" as possible to an outside reader.
When this website is completed, it will contain thousands of individuals. No genealogy research is perfect, and there will be errors. If you find something erroneous, please contact me.
I hope you find this website enjoyable. Genealogy is a tedious process at times, but it is immensely rewarding, and I am excited to share what I've learned with others who might find it interesting as well. Finally, please don't be a stranger! Send me a message and introduce yourself. I look forward to hearing from you!