Difference Maker: Bennie White

Difference Maker: Bennie White

Meet a genealogy volunteer nominated as a Family Tree Magazine Difference Maker.

Name: Bennie W. White
 
Hometown: Quitman, Miss., where his grandfather homesteaded in the 1870s
 
Background: Retired after 35 years with the federal government
 
Pet project: Maintains White’s Store free genealogy site, started and has moderated several online genealogy groups
 
Growing interest: I’ve always been a history buff, and in 1976, I became interested in researching my family. Probably in the early 1980s, I began to transcribe Clarke County, Miss., censuses. Some of my early transcriptions were on a typewriter; after I purchased my first computer (a Tandy 1000), I began to use it. I’d have to say 1996 was the major turning point in helping others—it was that year I went on the Internet. I established a number of Web sites dedicated to family surnames, such as The White Family Trails, The Mitcham Folks and The Rasberry Bush. I also founded several Yahoo genealogy groups. I now maintain two, one for Burt researchers and the other for news about my Web site.
 
“Store” Keeping: I established White’s Store in 2005. From the mid-1940s until the mid-1950s, my parents owned and operated a country store, C.L. White Grocery, so I decided to name my site after it. I included indexes to some key records genealogists can benefit from: marriages, censuses, obituaries, death certificates, Confederate States of America pension applications, cemetery inscriptions and probate records. I compiled and published four books on Clarke County cemeteries, and a marriage index, which are now free on the site.
 
Motivation: I get a good feeling inside when I can provide some new research leads for others. It’s rewarding to see the favorable comments visitors have posted in my guest book.
 
From the November 2009 Family Tree Magazine