Cyndi Howells the Creator of Cyndi’s List and Family History Hero
July 2008 by Robert
When you go online and investigate the largest, most popular genealogy Web sites, you will find familiar names like: FamilySearch, RootsWeb, and Ancestry.
However, there is another site at the very top of the list that is not run a large company or organization.
Behind the scenes, you will find an individual who has done something amazing for the genealogy world. She is Cyndi Howells, author, speaker, creator of Cyndi’s List, and Family History Hero.
The comprehensive “Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet” has been going strong since 1996, and now has over 264,400 links for family history.
It is amazing what Cyndi has accomplished over the years and the help she has given to genealogy researchers all over the world. As Cyndi says on her site…
“Cyndi’s List is maintained from my home in Edgewood, Washington. It is not run by a large company, or by a large staff of people.”
In the FAQ section of Cyndi’s List one of the questions she answers is: How many people work on your web site?
Here, she gives some background about how she has kept things going with part-time help from her husband, Mark, her sister-in-law, Michele, and from time-to-time, a few friends.
In 1997, Cyndi was kind enough to do an interview for my Treasure Maps Genealogy newsletter and shared how she spends 8 to 12 hour each day keeping one of the Internet’s greatest genealogical treasures current and accurate.
You can read that interview here:
In the past, I’ve affectionately referred to Cyndi as the “Sweetheart of the Genealogy Rodeo.” From those of you who are not from “down South,” this is a huge compliment. Now I’d like to add “Family History Hero” to her list of titles.
Here are Two Quotes from the Classic Interview
that Reveal the Kind of Person Cyndi is:
“The main reason I work on this list and actively participate in the Society is that I believe genealogy should be a sharing and cooperative hobby. If we all work together voluntarily we can make the Internet a very easy community to exchange our personal research information in. There should be a feeling of ‘giving back to the community’ in what we do.”
When I asked Cyndi how long she planned to keep this project going. She said, “Until every genealogy Web site on the planet is categorized!”