Greetings from Buffalo, N.Y. Undated postcard, ca. 1935. Collection of the webmaster.
Helping others isn’t a chore; it is one of the greatest gifts there is.
BuffaloResearch.com is really just one person, me. In my day job, I’m a librarian, but this site is an entirely independent, volunteer, on-my-own-time, on-my-own-dime hobby. All opinions, errors, omissions, and bad takes are my own.
My geographic scope is primarily the City of Buffalo and secondarily the County of Erie. I opinionate every now and then at the blog side of the site.
BuffaloResearch.com started out as Roots at Buffalo Free-Net in December 1993 and has been continuously online ever since. Roots was either the first or one of the first genealogy websites in the world. The other contender is Rootsweb, also founded in 1993. I believe that makes it Buffalo’s oldest surviving website of any kind.
Back then, if you wanted to start what we now call a website, you had to mail in a paper request. Here’s the original application form for a Special Interest Group (SIG) called Roots, submitted by founder Richard Prem, and the date Jim Gerland approved it: Dec. 28, 1993. Free-Net itself was only two months old at the time.
Back then, I didn’t have a graphical browser or the ability to save screenshots or edit image files. I had to print out the home page to save a copy of it.
At the invitation of Richard Prem, I came on board in 1996 and took over Roots. After one HTML class, I began writing code by hand and have been been a self-taught webmaster ever since, which is probably obvious, given the unsophisticated look and feel of this site.
On October 14, 2001, I bought the BuffaloResearch.com domain name, moved all of the Roots content, and built it into what you see today. Buffalo Free-Net closed down some time after 2007.