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1.3. introduction ...
by Cornelis van Wessel, B.Sc. (Edin.), BA (Hons., Open)

My interest in van Wessel family research started in the 1970's (probably after some gathering or other), but it was greatly boosted when my brother Jan started collecting data from 'serious' sources, building up a good body of quality material. With our move to Scotland (1980) there was little we could do and during the 1980's Jan's work also came to a halt. However, some progress was made when he came in contact with Marja who had researched the 'Huizen cluster'. In the mid-1990's I began searching the Internet, but there was little material available. Over the last seven years the increasing quality and quantity of sources has made online research more feasable, although the serious work for our early roots can only be done in the various archives. Recently I have come in contact with Henry (the husband of a 6th cousin once removed), who helped clear up the history of the 'Didam cluster' researched by his brother-in-law. Jan is also active again and working on the Didam material, his pedigree and many loose ends. So this is as good a time and place as any to build our tree.

With this website I hope to create a quality source of information and an on-line centre for the exchange of information about the van Wessel family. It is of little use to keep this work to ourselves, as with any research, there comes a point where the information has to brought out in the open. This is as good a place as any to try and do that. We hope, however, that our guests will not just take away snippets of information, but also give something back. The least thing we ask for is to give in return some information about yourselves and your direct family (children, spouse, parents and grandparents or more if you like). We will than try to link you in and update out on-line date, so that others can benefit. We also hope that the mailinglist and chat area (only available to approved members) will be used for discussions about the family.

Currently we are working in two directions, Jan is concentrating on the origins of the family while I hope to link living van Wessels to the 'main tree', as I am convinced that all van Wessels are related, except those families that have addopted the name. I am also interested in the world wide distribution of van Wessels and early 'migration patterns' from what we believe must be the source, the hamlet of Wessel near Barneveld in Gelderland (NL). I hope to make as much material available on-line as possible, although I have to respect peoples privacy. I will therefor only make use of information that is in the public domain. Personal notes of living family members will not be compromised (see our guidelines for what we will and will not place on-line).

I am currently entering Jan's database into a comprehenive genealogy package (Legacy 4.0 Family Tree Deluxe). It will make it easier to keep track of the many names (over 1,200 entered so far) and the way they are related. Legacy also helps with searches, creating 'on-demand' custom reports and GEDCOM files for easy exchange of data and publication of such material on-line.
Read more on our reasearch in detail (Part-1 , Part-2 , Part-3 ) or read about the hamlet of Wessel, the van Wessel Coat of Arms or go home.

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