Bring out the streamers and noise makers. The Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy, History, and Heritage website, YourIslandRoutes.com turned 14 in September. Yeah, September. Okay, so it’s sort of a belated anniversary celebration. It has been kind of hectic here and I’d forgotten all about it.
Who would have thought after 14 years that the website and blog would still be around and I’d have anything left to say? Not me, that’s for sure!
I started the website when the AOL Golden Gate Genealogy Forum faded away and the internet was the new playground. Having my own website was a way for me to help people research their Portuguese Hawaiian roots. In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think that it would go on for so many years. I didn’t even think there were that many Portuguese Hawaiian genealogists out there to sustain it. I sure was wrong!
I couldn’t remember what the website looked like that first year, so I used the WaybackMachine to get an image. At that time, it was called IslandRoutes.com and it was hosted through a now defunct website called Webseed. I don’t even recognize it.
I started the website the week before the 9/11 Terrorist Attack. That was such a surreal time. I almost threw in the towel because it all seemed pointless. Seems somewhat poignant posting about this today after the terrorist attack on Paris.
As you can see, I didn’t give in to that feeling. Instead, I grew it. Webseed has been long gone, but the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website is still here!
These are some of the things I’ve done since September 2001…
- Posted several hundred articles
- Written two how-to ebooks
- Indexed the Azorean Passports to Hawaii book by Robert DeMello
- Oversaw the project to index Portuguese Hawaiian Memories by J.F. Freitas (thanks to 3 volunteers we got this one finished!)
- Started an online forum that didn’t survive. It evolved into the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy Group on Facebook which is now over 2000 members.
- Started this blog, the Genealogy Research Journal, which works in conjunction with the website
- Hosted the Maui Girl blog and hosted guest content by other Portuguese Hawaiian genealogists
And, other things I can’t remember 😉
What does the future hold?
You can be sure that there will plenty more articles. You’d be surprised at how much I still have to learn about the Portuguese in Hawaii. As records get digitized, there will be opportunities to research and write about those future finds. So many records weren’t easily accessible in 2001 when this website was started.
YourIslandRoutes is currently in transition to make it mobile friendly. The web and the way we access it has changed since 2001. The current website is no longer conducive to the needs of the modern web surfer. A project is underway to fix every page, but it will take time. It’s not easy changing 700+ pages!
It’s been a great ride, a lot of fun, and a learning experience. I thank everyone who visits the website and the blog, everyone who shares their stories, everyone who has inspired me (because seeing genealogists do research makes me want to research mine), and all those who freely offer their knowledge. A special thanks to people like Susanna who have helped me work through my programming gaffes over the years.
Thank you everyone! Here’s to many more years!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com