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Over the past 15+ years, I have met countless relatives who have helped me with my research.  These are people that would otherwise have been strangers because we are so distantly connected.  I'm talking about 3rd, 4th, 5th, and even 6th cousins, with several generations of removals in some cases.  Each one of these folks were willing, and excited, to talk to me, which is something I'll always be grateful for.  I was able to meet some of them in person, while others were simple phone calls that turned into amazing connections.  It's always sad to hear when someone passes away and in most cases, their spouses and children didn't even know me, so I use this page as a way to say, "Thank you," to these relatives and honor their contributions to my research.  



I found Donna in 2009, after doing a simple Google search for my Rogers/Hendrix branch. Donna had created a website, which I found, and for the next 8 years, we spoke constantly. I owe her a lot, as she was the person who pushed me to visit the New Jersey State Archives, where we met in person in 2017. 



At 107 years old, Marguerite was literally the oldest person I have ever met.  She was born in 1907, so when we met in 2015, she was on her way to turning 108 (and she did!).  She spoke of people, whom she knew personally, that were born in the mid-1800s.  She was very funny and insisted that we take a selfie, too! 2007 Photograph with Mike.J


I connected with Cal in 2007, when I began heavily focusing on the Westdijk branch.  Cal provided me with first-hand stories of his grandfather, Jacob Wasdyke, who was the youngest son of my 4th great-grandfather, Jan Westdijk. We were able to meet at a Westdijk family reunion in Morristown, NJ in June 2007.

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I made contact with Floyd back in 2007 and he quickly proved to be a wonderfully kind and sincere man.  He took an active interest in my research and really looked forward to every new item that I found.  We communicated via phone and email and knowing him was a privilege and something I'm very thankful for. Henri Schneider.JPG


Oh Harry, what a man.  Harry was related to my wife, through her 3rd great-grandmother, Nannette Jacober.  Harry's grandmother and Nannette were sisters, so Harry provided first-hand knowledge of stories that occurred in the 1930s.  Watching my wife meet Harry was one of the highlights of my life.

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I met Jim via email in 2007, at the height of my research on my Westdijk line.  Jim was incredibly well-written and provided me with a ton of new information about his side of the Wasdyke family, including copies from his family bible with many family stories. His knowledge was simply incredible! 

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Marge was the great-granddaughter of Jan Westdijk, my 4th great-grandfather, and granddaughter of Abraham Westdijk.  Abe was someone who I was especially fascinated with.  Marge was the only person who was able to share first-hand memories of Abe, which just blew me away.

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Ann and I connected around 2008, through another distant Westdijk cousin.  We were related, obviously, through the Westdijk side of the family, down through the Heerschap and Mierop lines.  Ann was a lovely woman filled with stories and took an active interest in my research and made sure that everything was accurate.  


They say that raising children takes a village, but you know what else takes a village? Researching your family's history. When I started my research in 1996, there were so many relatives that were more than willing to share their stories with me. Now, as time as moved on, many of those relatives have passed away, but their stories and advice have stayed with me throught the years.


I love you all and am so thankful for each and every one of you.


My wife's grandmother,
Alba Arts
1936 — 2022


My grandmother,
Elizabeth "Bette" Scozzari
1932 — 2021

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My grandfather,
Salvatore Scozzari
1932 — 2016

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