Wayne Simmons - Website Author
Wayne has over thirty years of experience in the Information Technology industry, in a number of diversified positions including: IT Management, Client Management and Negotiations, Project Management, Project Management Consulting, Software Design and Development, Software Product administration, Computer Operations, Infrastructure Upgrades, and Banking Operations Management. With over seventeen years of experience as a Project Manager/Project Executive and as a Systems Business Analyst. Mr. Simmons is retired and has made researching his family history for the past seven years a major priority in his life.
How I became interested in our family history. It really started when I was about 10 years of age while visiting my grandmother (mother’s side) during the summer. My brothers and I visited grandmother every couple of years for a 2 week stay and always enjoyed this visit. During this summer our grandmother felt she needed to show us some old photo albums and tell some family stories. Over the 2 week period she told us many family stories and explained some of her family artifacts. One item in particular caught my interest was her German Family Bible. It was big and heavy with a hand carved wooden cover, very impressive. Grandma opened it up to show us the recordings of family births, marriages and deaths then explained how it was handed down through her father’s family line. Her message to us was “my first grandchild that learns to read, speak and write the German language would inherit this bible”. Although that bible left an impression on me and family history stories were interesting, I did not have the desire to retain that information for many years after that summer visit. So, I did not earn the inheritance of this family artifact which resulted in my disappointment later in life.
The next instance of family history interest came when I was about 28 years of age while at work in Michigan. I had hired two individuals of the Mormon faith (not known at time of hire) who explained to me their values concerning genealogy. Over the next year and a half I became very interested in my family history and started a “folder of interest” at home to accumulate various items. A couple of years later I received a newsletter titled “Simmons Kinfolk” with the authors introducing themselves and asking for help in research the Simmons family line in Michigan. Again, although I was interested I simply filed it away in my “folder of interest” and a couple more years past. One day while visiting with my parents I told them about this newsletter then they provided me will some further details about the Simmons family line. However, work and family was consuming my time and I did not try to parse out any amount of time to spend on the family history. Now fast forward a couple more years and I am now working in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here I did find time to consider the family history when shocking news was received. My brother Ron called to tell me that Dad had died that was in 1987. What a blow to my being! While in Michigan for his memorial services I spend much time talking to my Mother and siblings about researching our family history. Everyone was on board and wanted to help. This was great news to me!
When I returned to work in Little Rock I visited the local offices of the LDS and they were quite generous in helping me get started. That is, they gave me the necessary genealogy forms with instructions and also gave me a copy of their PAF software for my PC.
Now it appears that I was really getting serious with my family history. I sent letters off to my mother asking her for specific information. To my great surprise, she sent me some information but not much. At that time another turn in my career got me transferred to Los Angeles California, the time is now about 1988. Genealogy did not occupy any of my time until about November 1991, the time of my Mother’s death. Another blow to my being! At this time I received promises from my siblings to help me with the family research, although I received no responses from them at this time. Fast forward again to 1995, I have transferred to Cleveland, Ohio and we settled in an area just east of Cleveland, where we now reside. Life’s activities in a new environment consumed my time until about 2004. Now I finally found the time to spend on my family history! I started building on what little family information that I had while reading and studying the “How To’s” of Genealogy online and at the local library.
From that date until now my focus has been sifting through the files left behind by my parents, organizing that information with the help of the Legacy Genealogy software and began building my first genealogy website to make collaboration with others easier. At about this point my older brother began helping me search through some old files left behind by our parents. Via this website I have collaborated with “cousins”, some of my siblings and others from all around the United States. Their aid has been most helpful and I will recognize all of them publicly. It should be known that those I have collaborated with are both professional genealogists and amateurs like me. There are many that just contacted me to compliment me on my website and its content (food for motivation!).
Over the years collaboration with others has prompted me to update my website to be more organized and be capable to document and track multiple related family lines. So, my current website was updated with the generous help of Alan Craxford of England and my two sons. I am always open to new ideas to better organize and manage the family information that has been accumulated and information that will be accumulated.
I am excited about the past collaboration with my contributors and am extremely excited about the collaboration that is yet to come with the help of my New Look website and possibly with the help of Genealogy DNA testing.
Wayne Simmons, Author of Simmons and Related Families Histories