VisitPittsburgh Hopes to Expand Reunion Traffic with Joint Venture

PR Newswire -- July 27, 2010

BEAVER, Pa., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- VisitPittsburgh, the official tourist promotion agency of Allegheny County, PA, hopes its new joint venture with the award-winning website will draw more reunion groups to the region with inspiration and valuable advice.

"We're delighted to work with to reach new audiences around the world whose ancestral home is Pittsburgh," said Tinsy Lipchak, VisitPittsburgh's executive director of tourism and cultural heritage. "It's a model other families and regions can use to attract guests who may have no other reason to come."

The sites will share each other's content, including a top 10 list of tips, "Take It from Me," by's founder Mark Miner of Beaver, PA. is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for Pittsburgh. The content-rich site lists current data about hotels, activities, events, festivals, transportation, sports, restaurants, cultural attractions and shops. ( highlights the genealogy and reunion of the Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor family. In 2010, it is celebrating its 10th anniversary, having drawn 1.5 million visitors since 2000. Twice named by Family Tree Magazine as a "Top 10 Family Website," it is changing perceptions of the long-term impact of ordinary families. Packed with 1,350 biographies and 8,000 images, it chronicles one Pennsylvania German clan over 220 years through thousands of lives and connections with Americana.

Seeking to attract googlers and appeal to an estimated 50,000 cousins alive today,'s content is encyclopedic with names and locations. Some 1,000 long lost relatives have made contact over time, often sharing their own treasures.

The site promotes next year's reunion in Indian Head, PA, outside Pittsburgh, near where pioneers Jacob and Maria Minerd Sr. settled in 1791. Past reunion themes have honored military veterans, coal miners, quilters and educators. In 2008, the gathering at Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center celebrated the city's 250th birthday, with some cousins coming to the region for the first time since their ancestors migrated away in the 1810s. explores the clan's local ties to Fallingwater, Braddock's Grave, National Road and Pittsburgh "anti-smoke" legislation. Nationally, it highlights links to the Battle of Little Big Horn, Oklahoma Land Rush, coal mine disasters, Mercury space flights, Mark Twain's deathbed, western pioneers and Big Band jazz.'s founder/webmaster divides his professional time as CEO of Mark Miner Communications and as chief marketing officer for the Malin Bergquist accounting firm.


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