Posted on June 30th, 2008
One of the goals behind the creation of HoyleHistory.com was the indexing and organizing of some of the better family histories and genealogies available. This would not only allow the sharing of published research, but also provide enjoyable reading for anyone interested in the subject.
As I blueprinted the mechanics of this website, I soon realized that I might be asking too much of myself and the site. Because the surname “Hoyle” (and its variations) cover hundreds of families, related and unrelated, I would have to find a way to not only present the stories of famous and notable Hoyles, but also of those of us who are less well known or without any “public face.”
I also wanted to provide a compilation of genealogies and maybe some commentary about the similarities and differences between those family trees. As I’ve researched some of these historical documents, I understand that the Hoyle families in North America really came from four major sources:
- The United Kingdom and British Commonwealth families (Hoyle, Hayle, Hoile, Haile, Hale, Hoyles) that settled in New England, Virginia, and the nothern states in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
- The German, Prussian and Dutch families that immigrated to America in the 18th Century and settled in Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Old South (Heyl, Heil, Heill, Hoyl, Hoil).
- Hoyles that came to America during the 19th and 20th Centuries as part of the great immigration of families from Europe, the Baltic, and Asia Minor.
- European Hoyle families that first immigrated to South and Central America or other countries and then later into North America during the 20th Century.
I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering how I was going to be able to take on this project and do it justice. Jon Hoyle (see my article) took the approach of adding an informal directory to his personal website that provided links to various web pages by or about individuals with the Hoyle surname. Those external pages appear within a framed area and are only marginally indexed. The result is that Jon provides a very enthusiastic and rather comprehensive directory of “Hoyle websites” – and then leaves it at that.
My goal is to take Jon’s great idea and build upon it, providing the missing ingredients of commentary and organization that his original site lacks. I also want to provide easy methods for other Hoyle family members to submit their stories and background information.
I’ve decided to develop this site, HoyleHistory.com, as a compendium for all the general information about families and individuals that carry the surname Hoyle. You might describe it as a cross between an encyclopedia and a search engine – but with just one primary subject – the name “Hoyle.”
I’ve also decided to create a companion site that would deal with the genealogies covering the families from the second category listed above, namely the Hoyles who immigrated from Germany and Prussia in the 18th Century. That site will be www.Hoyle-History.com (with a dash). The core of the site already exists but is not ready for general viewing. Much of the framework is there, but hidden from view until I can get some of the genealogy data uploaded and catalogued. I know that It will be quite an undertaking, but that site could become a great data resource about the ancestors of that branch of Hoyles.
If this subject interests you, then I strongly suggest that you subscribe to the free newsletter I offer to stay up-to-date on my progress on that new site. For those of you who are not descendants of that branch of the Hoyles, I sincerely apologize. If someone from one of the other branches is computer and web-savvy and would like to build a similar site to include your ancestral histories, please feel free to contact me. I would encourage you and help in any way that I can – and most certainly provide links to your Hoyle sites from here.
Thanks for the kind words and encouraging emails I have received so far. I have a lot on my plate at the moment, but will always take a few hours a week to continue to build on this site and to keep in contact. Eventually, with your support, this site may reach the goals I set for it.
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