This website was built many moons ago with the intention of sharing the contributions the Irish Walsh/Welsh family of Bakerton and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia made to history.
As seems to happen with many of my projects, my original intention morphed into something bigger, greater, and different; the goal became to tell the forgotten stories and history of the area through the perspectives of our family's line and help other researchers discover their own area family.
It was my hope that more families would be able to uncover their roots here and the incredible, true, life stories of the hard-working folks who built and transformed this little slice of heaven into such an influential and paramount hub of industry.
The Eastern portion of Jefferson County, West Virginia has a phenomenal, rich and immersive history -- far past the civil war battles and skirmishes which took place here -- which is too often overlooked and left untold. Throughout the years, with the help of many collaborators, I have collected, researched, transcribed, and catalogued many forgotten pieces of area history and the families who lived here.
Looking at my website search terms, this website organically draws many folks looking for different genealogical families from the Harpers Ferry area. Many of you have reached out to me. I am incredibly thankful for all of your encouraging and kind emails. I feel very blessed that I have touched so many family historians' lives, and that I have been able to assist in the discovery and recounting of your ancestors' stories so that their lives and contributions may not be forgotten. I never dreamed that this humble little website would reach so many.
The other group of individuals that this website draws is historians. Over the period of this website, I have been very fortunate to meet so many knowledgeable and kind historians who have pointed me in many directions, course corrected, helped me to theorize direction through many research problems, and have been willing to collaborate with me. I am extremely thankful for you and your willingness to step outside of the history books and preconceived ideas to help discover and share the real, raw history behind this area and its many industries.
Since this website was built, technology has changed at an incredible speed. These advancements, and our only periodic updates, has rendered much of our codebase obsolete. Because of this, we've dealt with multiple hacking attempts, significantly increased hosting costs, and many broken features and errors on our public facing website.
To be honest, I've heavily considered removing and scrapping this website entirely. Unfortunately, during this season of my life I am just not in a position where I have the time necessary to upgrade the website quickly enough to keep it functional and transcribe, research, and publish material.
I am truly grateful that this website has been helpful to many in finding the stories of the "little folks" that walked before us and made significant and untold contributions to history. I hope that in the future, this humble little website will save many more from being forgotten and erased from the history books.
Behind the scenes, I will be upgrading software, re-writing code, and likely working to make the website much more user-friendly.
That said, we'll be offline for quite a while. I do not know when I will be able to make the material available. My goal is to make the cataloging system available as soon as it is usable. I apologize for the downtime, and if you are here, I hope you understand.
In the meantime, if you need to contact me for any reason, please do not hesitate to reach out -- I will still periodically be checking emails. Simply use the contact form included on this page.
I appreciate you, your ancestors, and your research -- and I truly hope that we will be back sooner rather than later.