Frequently Asked Questions

  I can't find anything on the new site. Help!

The site has been reorganized to make it easier for people to navigate. Some things have been added, also, to make people aware that the page they are looking at is from the SHIFLET FAMILY GENEALOGY website and our info is copyright protected. (Lots of times, people don't know where they are on the internet.) You can always check the Site Index if you feel really lost. The sections of the new site are:

PS - documents, deeds, wills, vital records, etc.
FC - Shiflet family charts
RFC - related families and their documents
HHI - Historical and Human Interest section, which includes our cultural & human interest entries
COL - large submissions that are of general interest to historians (also listed in their regular category)
REF - maps, books, other sources. We will also have LINKS page in this section.
Obits - we have so many obits, they get their own section
Gallery - photos sent in by all of you that don't go on family charts
War - documents and info on wars Shiflets have fought in
Search - our search page
Name - debates, reunions, statistics about our name, FAQ -- all those things that don't fit into the other categories.

Each section will have it's own index page -- so if you go to url:

you will find a listing of everything in our Primary Sources section.

  A Note About Our Family Charts -- PLEASE READ

Family charts that have been submitted to this website are not “writ in stone”. Do not assume they are error-free. Submitters on a chart have given their best efforts to present a family's information accurately. But everyone can make mistakes or interpret data or an oral history incorrectly. One purpose of the charts is to encourage you to submit your information on your line. If you have information that differs from a chart, please contact both me ( and the submitter(s), so we can work together to find the truth.

  How do I submit information to the Shiflet Web Site?

You may submit your family chart via e-mail to with SHIFLET in the subject line. I do not accept Gedcoms, PAF's or FTM files for family charts, except under exceptional circumstances, because I have had major problems with them in the past. Include your first and last name somewhere in the e-mail and also in the attachment (if you send one). Clearly number your generations and please don't forget your sources at the end. If you use a word processing program, you can save your file as an RTF, TXT or TEXT file and attach it to your e-mail. I also accept information for Family Charts via regular mail, but because all the information has to be typed in (by me) preference is given to Family Charts received via e-mail.

I also accept transcripts or copies of primary source documents. I've been successful in scanning in grayscale photocopies of photos that submitters have sent in also. If you want your photos returned, please include a SASE for me to mail them back to you. If you snail-mail your information to me, please remember to include your e-mail address also! My mailing address is:

Julia Crosswell
9008 Mahan Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76116

  I know my ancestor was a Shiflett, but they're not on your pages. Why not?

Answer submitted by Talmadge Shifflett:

The first time I visited this wonderful family web site, I asked myself the same question. The answer came to me. No one has submitted any information on my line. That thought is what started me into researching my own family line. I sent a few queries to the right people, asked a few questions of my relatives, sent off requests for the right documents from the appropriate agencies and the next thing I knew I had connected my family to a line listed in the site. Just as soon as I was able to put this information into the appropriate usable form, I e-mailed it to Julia for inclusion on the site. Now I am able to go into the site and see information that I had submitted and how it fits into this large interesting family.

  You sent me information about my line, but I can't find it anywhere on the website Why not?

Answer submitted by Talmadge Shifflett:

No one in your line has sent it in. Who better than you or someone in your line can gather the personal information that made that ancestor the person they were? Names and dates are great, but special little tidbits of information about the individual shows that they once had a real life. That old picture, the little note you found in the family bible and the stories you heard when you were a child. Remember, The only reason you are able to see the information that is here now, is because someone like you submitted it. Information you submit may fill in a gap for one of the people whose information you are now using freely.

  I sent my information to you 2 months ago and you said you'd put it up, but I haven't heard from you. What's going on?

There are several reasons your information may not have been posted yet. I get hundreds of e-mails every week and your's may be lost or someone at my house accidentally deleted it. So please e-mail me again! I really don't get upset when people remind me about things they've sent me. I talk to at least a dozen different Shiflet researchers every week and I can't remember who everyone is and which line belongs to who, so if you do e-mail me again, please at least give me a clue! Rarely, someone sends me something that is such a mess, I can't quite figure out what to do with it, so it keeps getting shoved down to the bottom of the pile. See the related question below: "Do you get paid for this?"

  What type of proof do I need to substantiate my family line? I only have birth certificates for myself, my father and my grandfather.

For this website, you should submit information that (to the best of your knowledge) is true. We do not post any info on living people--that means you can't appear in your family chart, even if you want to be there! Any of the family charts already posted would be good examples to follow. You should list your sources at the end of your e-mail, even if it's only oral history from within your own family, or the L.D.S. Family History Center. If you wish to post information (esp. prior to the 1800's) that is controversial, currently under debate, or not generally proven, be prepared to back it up with primary source citations: wills, deeds, marriage certificates, baptismal or bible records, etc. and be prepared to provide a copy of the document if necessary. For a few of the areas currently under debate, visit the Debates page. To see some of the progress we've made in documenting the Shiflets bef. 1850, visit the Early Shiflets Project

You are welcome to make guesses and presumptions in your family charts if you have circumstantial evidence to back up your guesses. You will find the words POSSIBLY, PROBABLY, and BELIEVED TO BE used on several of the family charts. Official groups, like the D.A.R., require a much higher degree of documentation to substantiate your line of descent.

  A link I'm clicking on isn't working. I get the message from GeoCities that they can't find that page.

First try the link again. Sometimes the GeoCities main directory gets confused. I got someone's Wizard Web page one time when I tried to hit my site, and the address in my browser was mine! If the link still doesn't work, please e-mail me at: with SHIFLET in the Subject line. Tell me what page you were on, and which link didn't work. I try very hard to make sure all the links work, but this is a very large site, and sometimes I'll miss one. But I am ALWAYS happy to hear from someone who tells me something is not working. Then I can fix it!

  I have read a lot about a Shifflett Book... Can you tell me where I might find a copy?

Shiflett (and variant spellings) 1700 - 1900, by Larry Shifflett and Barbara Shifflett Hensley is reviewed on our References page. The book is no longer in stock, but the authors are working on a revision for 2003. You can contact them to make sure your info is included.

  My Shiflets are from Georgia. . . or Ohio. . . or Kentucky. . . or Iowa . . . where can I find information on them?

Several excellent charts have been posted on these families and yes, they did come from Virginia originally. Some family groups that we know about left VA before 1800; others before 1850 and ofcourse, I'm sure others left at other times. Chances are very good that if you have a Shiflet (or spelling variation thereof) they can be traced back to Virginia eventually. We are starting a new section in the next few weeks about Shiflets in Ohio. This is only possible because Ray Fannin took the time to send me some photos, family charts, census records and copies of primary source documents about a branch of Shiflets that migrated to Ohio before 1850. If you don't tell us your familiy is there, we don't know about you. Your ancestor is simply one of those marked on someone else's family chart as "NFI"--No Futher Information!

  I am very interested in learning more about my family history and building a tree that extends back to the arrival to the "new world". I just discovered your site and I haven't had a chance to explore it very much. What recommendations do you have regarding the task that I am taking on?

You ask where to begin in your search for your family tree? Start with what you know; collect information from your parents, your grandparents, that old great-aunt you see once a year at Christmas. Ask your parents and grandparents for copies of their birth and marriage certificates; it's amazing how those things "disappear" upon their deaths, and what a hassle it can be trying to obtain copies from the state.

If you knew how many people have told me how much they regret not asking their elderly relatives about their childhoods, where they lived, their REAL names--(not that southern nickname you've always heard), before they died, you'd be knocking on that great-aunt's door tomorrow morning with your tape or video recorder in hand.

Also, please understand that for every ancestor who was kind enough to leave numerous documents for their descendant's to follow, there were hundreds who didn't. Many records have been lost, especially in Virginia. Sometimes it is simply not possible to find that last document that will take you back to your immigrant ancestor.

  I remember seeing an article on your web site about marriage bonds. . . your timeline. . . the Revolutionary War. . . where is it?

We have a Site Index that you can link to from the Home. It contains a complete and up to date listing of everything on the site. If you can't find it there, please e-mail me.

  The only person left of my grandparents' generation is my great-aunt, but she won't tell me anything. She says the past is better left alone. What do I do now?

Sometimes older relatives do not want to talk about family; sometimes it is because there is some mysterious family secret they feel responsible for guarding or the past is simply too painful for them.

Elderly relatives are from a different time period than you and have a different "world view" on what constitues moral human behavior. For example, a woman having a child out of wedlock in 1998, is thought of and treated much differently than the same woman would have been at the beginning of this century. Try to assure your relative that you are not interested in uncovering family skeletons, but are just trying to find out the history of your family. Perhaps if your aunt comes to trust your judgment, she will reveal the secret to you. I have known other researchers that promised an elderly relative they would not disclose the information until all the parties involved were deceased.

Then there are instances where the older relative does not want to talk about the past because it is too painful for them. This situation arises when you are trying to "flesh out" your family tree by gathering family stories that will turn the names and dates on the genealogy chart into real people, not just chart numbers. This can be very hard, because you are, in essence, asking them to relive that pain.

In either case, if the information is important to you, I suggest you be kind, gentle and above all, persistent. When the relative dies, the information goes with them to the grave and you will NEVER be able to reconstruct the whole story on your own. Even with every known record available, you will have only the "vital" information, not the story that makes your family's heritage unique.

  Do you get paid for doing this?

If I did I'd be rich! This web site is a labor of love, and I do mean labor. It can take over 5 hours to code one family chart with HTML and index it--and that's when the submitter sends good, clear information. Sometimes I have to e-mail a submitter several times and then wait days for an answer to my question.

The whole purpose of the web site is the sharing of Shiflet information which in turn benefits ALL Shiflet researchers. Many people have e-mailed several of us personally and asked for help with their lines, and we've spent hours typing information into an e-mail for them, never to hear back--not even a "Thank you". They take the information and run, which is a shame. We all lose, because they don't submit their family data to add to our pool of knowledge and they've lost the chance to be a member of a wonderful online community -- our community of Shiflet researchers!


This page is part of the Shiflett Family Genealogy Website and is maintained by:
Robert Klein /Pasadena MD /
Webmaster: Julia Crosswell / Fort Worth, TX / 1998 - 2006
Webmaster: Robert Klein, Pasadena, MD / March 2008 - present