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The History of the Wampler/Wampfler Genealogy Site
A Personal Note from the Administrator

ii.a Site History

Last update: 09/23/2011


I expect many of us get interested in Genealogy when our parents and close relatives pass on. After my father died, I had only a smattering of information about my ancestors. He and mother had compiled some family trees covering about four of five recent generations. The rest of the information was from conversations where I had taken very few notes. Base on this limited material, I thought that the family was of German descent, that my great-great grandfather's family were "Dunkards" and that the center of that family was in Knob Noster, Missouri. Except for the "German" part, much of this turned out to be correct.

With this information in hand and being a computer geek, my first attempt to find out more was by going on-line. I compiled a list of e-mail addresses of all of the Wampler's that I could find and sent them a letter requesting information on my great-great grandfather's family history. In the meantime I found a copy of one of Fred Wampler's books in Dad's effects and did some research in the University Library where I first became aware of The Brethren Encyclopedia, a wonderful three volume work put out by the Church of the Brethren, and the library's very nice stock of genealogical reference books.

The response from the initial e-mails was overwhelming and after combing through the data that so many folks had generously sent, I started this project.

Not being a genealogist myself, I had no background, time or resources to verify the information. Still, as the amount of material grew, much of it was consistent between sources. All of it was very useful and the feeling grew that the internet could be used to make such material even more broadly accessible. So the web site was started and announced by e-mail to the growing list of correspondents. The first newsletter (linked here) was posted, following the example of Barbara S. Wampler and her very helpful newsletters of the late 1970's.

The initial idea was to build on the list of correspondents and keep sending out the combined information in the form of newsletters. The web site was to be an archives of the material. This approach lasted for a few years, but keeping up an e-mail list became time consuming and, as e-mail inboxes filled up with spam, it seemed prudent to stop sending out the newsletters. So the focus became the site itself.

Other members of my family were already looking at the genealogy of mother's family, so the center of attention here was on Dad's line, in particular on tracing back the Wampler surname as far as possible. The idea developed to keep it patrilineal. The sequential character of this approach allowed a narrower focus both in record keeping and organization than a more family-tree oriented approach with some obvious shortcomings ( see here). Still it turned out to be relatively easy to convert the data into the more conventional GEDCOM type data sets (for an example, click here).

Over the years analysis and correlation has become the main effort with some small contributions of my own to the data set. Still none of this would be possible without a great deal of generously given help from many other people. The Bibliography Page gives a small measure of credit to them. Some more details on their contributions can be found in the newsletters themselves.

My Thanks to ALL.. John E. Wampler

This material is not for commercial use or sale.

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