Check out John's Personal Site , which contains information on his family and his other ancestral lines. (Opens in a new browser window)
Check out Tom's Personal Site , which contains information on his family. (Opens in a new browser window)
People have asked how this family project started...so here it is...John's version...
After researching Harned descendants in several different areas of the country, I discovered that some of those family groups had already been researched by family members, with the information having very limited distribution. To avoid reinventing the wheel with each family group, I decided to contact as many Harned descendants as possible to collect what information was available.
In May 1992, still unable to identify most descendants of Harned daughters, I sent a letter to all listed Harned surname households in the US (about 750) asking for their assistance by providing information. I only got about a 10% response, but it was a start which has snowballed since then.
The first person to respond to my letter was Tom Harned, who picked up the phone and called me. I could immediately tell he was from Oklahoma...not my childhood state of New Jersey. He said he had done a lot of research on the Kentucky branch of the family, and would I be willing to collaborate on the Harned project. My folks didn't raise a complete fool...so there was no hesitation in saying YES!.
We discovered that we had both done a lot of genealogical research on the Harned Family over many years. Each of us had focused on our own branch. As a descendant of Jonathan's son Nathaniel, I had focused on the Northeast branch, while Tom, a descendant of Jonathan's son Edward, had focused on the Kentucky branch. These are the two major branches of the family, so it was a match made in Harned heaven!
It took four years of collaboration between Oklahoma and Arizona to gather the material for the first edition of "The Harneds of North America" and get it printed and distributed. Since that time we have never stopped researching and gathering information. Tom and Judy have retired and live near their son John and his family in Overland Park, KS. Diane and I are still rooted here in Tucson, Arizona.
Our roles in the Harned Family project have shifted somewhat, particularly in recent years. I have found that establishing and maintaining resources on the Internet can be a very time consuming process. As I established the Harned Mailing List, Harned Genforum Forum, Harneds of North America Web Site, and the Harned Genconnect Forum, time for active research in libraries seemed to evaporate.
With his retirement, Tom has had more time available for work on further research on the family, and over time has taken on the bulk of the research and correspondence with other family members about members of their family groups. He and Judy have also taken over all the entry of family data.
Since 1992 we have made a number of discoveries...
Discovery #1 - Through the Harned family we're seventh cousins...and through the Glasscock family we're seventh cousins. My mother was Elva Kathryn "Kay" Glasscock and Tom's paternal grandmother was Leila Daniel Glasscock.
Discovery #2 - We could come incredibly close to driving our spouses over the edge. Actually, Tom's wife Judy has been a team player from the start, as our proofreader, index expert, and all-around support. My wife, Diane, has absolutely no interest, but has been kind enough to patiently listen to hours of Nathaniel this, Edward that, and Jonathan the other.
Discovery #3 - We could generate some of the biggest long-distance phone bills imagineable...even though AZ and OK aren't that far apart.
Discovery #4 - Printing companies can really goof BIGTIME! In 1996 fully half of the pre-ordered books were assembled and packed for shipment when we discovered that the pages were badly mis-collated. Maybe not catching it sooner was a goof too...
Discovery #5 - Tom still has an incredible memory (must come from years of remembering those student's names), and I have the world's worst memory for names, dates and places...makes me a great researcher... I was good at scutwork like struggling through microfilms of census records looking for that last Harned and supporting and writing material for the web site.
Discovery #6 - Many people have assumed that Tom and I are brothers, but the distance between Oklahoma and Arizona was just about perfect. We truly appreciate our friendship and collaboration...but we'd probably agree that if we lived in the same house together as brothers...the place would be rubble.
Discovery #7 - It took all of seven years to reach critical mass, where the word really gets out to those descendants of Harned daughters. The HNA web site and referrals by other descendants have helped tremendously, and at this point we are receiving a lot of new data. We continue to actively seek new contacts with descendants with surnames other than Harned.
Discovery #8 - There are some truly amazing and wonderful people in the Harned Family, and we have had a chance to talk and correspond with many. Unfortunately, we have lost some of those who were in their 70's, 80's and 90's when we talked with them early in our collaboration. Lots of newly found Harned descendants continue to support the cause with additional data on their families.