Viani Family Tree

The Viani ~ Hoster Family Tree

This is the portal to genealogical research consolidated into the Viani ~ Hoster family tree. The data is updated periodically and includes both paternal and maternal ancestors.

Natalie and Joe Viani on their honeymoon cruise to Catalina Island. You know the one, “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me…”

Collecting family stories and organizing those boxes of photos is the quintessential model of affordable collecting. The genealogical part is essentially free with all the essential tools available at most public libraries. All you need is a pen, pad, and plenty of time. Lately, we’ve got the latter in spades. In Ashland, OR, the Jackson County library system provides a bank of computers and an in-house “library edition” of for patrons to use. What you do with that information is up to the collector, and I use software called Family Tree Maker. It does a great job helping me organize the volumes of information, the zillions of photos nobody knows what to do with, and the family links that bind together over a thousand persons.

Once the raw data is entered into my laptop, I can fine-tune my research at home using the free Family Search website. Maintained by the LDS Church, their massive database dovetails directly into my software so I’m able to compare my entries with those of other genealogists. Sharing laptop data is tough, however, so I created this site to maintain an online version of our tree for family members. To do that, I solicited the help of Tim Forsythe who wrote a comprehensive software package called Gigatrees5 that formats my Mac data for the web. Even better, he offers this software for free.

John Gay Hoster, Charles Hoster, and Walter Stahl Hoster (Sooney’s Grandfather)

What’s important to note is all this research, uploading, downloading, and hosting on a server for others to share requires the Internet. I can’t imagine life without it. (What would you expect from a retired techie.) Genealogy is, nonetheless, a collaborative process and this online version of the Viani~Hoster Family Tree can be easily updated with contributions from you.

For starters, what follows is a brief tutorial that explains what you may expect as you navigate through your tree.

The HOME Page (the Surname Index)

To find an individual, start with the Surname Index. All names are listed alphabetically by surname, and following a name link results in an alphabetical list of given name(s). Each of these points to an individual’s “Profile” page that include a variety of sections helpful to genealogists (or curious visitors). Near the top is a link to the individual’s Pedigree (the fancy name for a “family tree”). You’ll also find photos linked to the individual (if any), an interactive “Fan” chart, the individual’s timeline, and research notes.

Christina Stahl Hoster
Christina Reese Stahl (Sooney’s great grandmother)

The Tree – (Nick and Sooney)

In the upper left are a few navigational icons to assist you. Directly beneath the Home icon (the Surname List) is the Tree icon that displays the Viani ~ Hoster Family Tree. Our tree has designated the “home” person as Alicia Viani, and her tree expands well beyond the limitations of a computer screen. NOTE: You’ll notice that some data has been hidden to respect the privacy of living family members. Clicking on a name displays all the compiled information about that person. While viewing a person’s profile window, please note that near the top is that person’s Pedigree that generates an expanded tree for that family member.

Nina Hoster
Nina Hoster (Sooney’s great-aunt, the sister of her grandfather)


A list of all places referenced in the tree database. Included in the reference is the “claim” of what person is associated with that location.

Hilda Childberg
Hilda Childberg

Timelines (16th Century > Present)

Probably more information than you expected, this option provides a chronological display of every person/event in a particular century. Clicking on a person’s name takes you to their profile page. Don’t be alarmed by the RED alerts (e.g. “Claim is inconsistent with parent”) because those possible errors come with the territory of researching 300-year-old relatives.

Hoster Children (clockwise from left): Donald K, Walter jr., George (Judd), Dorothy

Photos (If any they’re located in an individual’s profile page.) Clicking on a photo enlarges it into a gallery display, where you may navigate through by using your computer’s arrow keys.

Ellen Coughlan Geary (Sooney’s grandmother) and Timothy Geary

The Viani ~ Hoster Family Tree was created using Tim Forsythe’s Gigatrees5.   This wonderful service creates a web-ready family tree using GEDCOM data exported from a genealogical database editor. Thank you, Tim.