12 Sep

THW CORRESPONDENCE - My First Cousin, Cindy Steinmann, granddaughter of Thomas Howard Wickenden and daughter of Mary Dee Wickenden Schmonsees, visited Flagstaff this Summer.  While staying with Beth and me, she organized the letters our Grandfather, Thomas H. Wickenden, had kept in his leather family history suitcase, and she suggested we scan and add them to his section of the website.  I am still in the process of scanning hundreds of letters and categorizing them by correspondent and by decade.  Following the advice of Ken Watson and Beth Wickenden, I am checking with all living relatives before posting any correspondence that involves them and I am redacting any specific financial or other personal information.  Because this material is so voluminous, I have used one of the additional "free" websites provided by SITE123 to upload these letters, and that website has then been attached to the THW section of the THW Families page of this TRW Families website. 

VIDEO, FILM AND PICTURES - As work proceeded on the Correspondence website, I realized that a separate website would also be a good way to include visual materials in a manner that would not overwhelm the few special pictures in the families section of the main website.  Therefore I have begun to develop a new website for visuals and attached it to the THWII section of the THW Families page of the main site.  This new site only has picture albums at present, but I will be adding a few family videos to it soon.  I encourage all participants who sign on to SITE123 and receive a free website, to utilize that site to add similar materials to the appropriate section of their own families page.

DNA RELATIVES - Cindy Steinmann also ordered the 23&Me DNA ancestry kit and submitted it.  The DNA Relatives feature now shows that she and I are first cousins.  However, we are the only two Wickenden relatives in the entire database!  We each have over a thousand other less direct DNA relatives, but none have indicated that the Wickendens are among their ancestors.  So we want to encourage all Wickenden readers to participate in this relatively inexpensive DNA ancestry analysis project.  You do not need to view or share any of your health-related information if you wish, and you can keep all or most of your information private.  However, it is a unique tool for exploring other relatives who share Wickenden DNA.

ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS  TO THE SITE - Cindy and I spoke with Ruth Wickenden Abel by phone and my wife, Beth Wickenden, and I met with Ruth for lunch recently.  As a result, we have improved the headings of our content pages by including the word "Families" only in the site name and in the pages that describe the eight Thomas R. Wickenden Families and their descendants.  I also received some pictures of Thomas Clinton and Jean Dunn Wickenden and family from Kevin and Elizabeth Wickenden McMahon, which have been added to the TCW section of the THW page.  I also decided to replace the placeholders for each of the original eight members of the TRW Family with pictures, although I only had a few good photos from my grandfather's files.  I cropped the others out from the group photo in 1932, but as a result they are not particularly attractive.   Finally, I have added some additional information about the 25 "Den" names on record and about the Kingdom of Hwicce to the Wickenden History section of the site.  It is clear that even by submitting (to me for uploading) a few good photos of each of the original family members and their descendants, the quality of our web site will be greatly improved.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS -  There are a number of significant questions, historical, biographical, and geneological, that are raised by the information published on this site.  I added a few of these earlier in a comment I submitted to try out that function.  However, some of these questions have now been described in a FAQ page at the end of the site.  So look for this list along with related suggestions for research.  As always comments, answers to these questions, and additional questions are always welcome!

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