About myself and this project:

Hi, my name is Matt Vonada and I'm a Systems Engineer in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. I have degrees in Computer and Cognitive Sciences and and working on one in Applied Physics.

My journey in genealogy began only a few months ago with a family tree I received but found hard to read. I downloaded Family Tree Legends and started entering the 50 or so names in the tree I started with. Later that day, I had entered several hundred names, and was hooked.

After I got a few thousand names in my database, I upgraded to Family Tree Maker 2010, which is purchased software. Generally, it's much nicer.

This website came into being for several reasons:

  1. I believe that (most) information should be accessible (with regards to privacy, of course)
  2. I don't think that proprietary software is necessary for this kind of work.
  3. I don't understand why, in this day and age, thousands of people have separate, and different, copies of the same database.
  4. I like challenges (if you're interested in how this process went down, follow this link (may get nerdy!))
Major Contributors:

I have not done the majority of the 'ground work' for this project - I am the beneficiary of people who have done much more than myself, or just happened to have some documents I needed. Some of them are as follows:

Justin Kirk Houser:

  • Centre Co., PA. A holder of a wealth of information I used, primarily on the Vonada family descendants. A respected genealogy researcher.

Jason Wilson:

  • Blair Co., PA. A holder of information on the Walters and Grove families.

Jean Vonada:

  • Centre Co., PA. Provided documents on the Walker, Rachau, and Stine genealogies.

Nathan Vonada:

  • Ohio. Provided a document on the von Nida, Vonada, etc. histories that was very helpful.

Bernie Jacobson, Nathan Avers, and Stephen Skentzos (Team Mongoose):

  • Schoolmates that worked on a PHP/MySQL web site for a college course. Some of that code was reused here (primarily Nate's).