I have been busy scanning old photos into my computer from my grandfather’s collection, a collection which spans many years and locations. As mentioned yesterday, it is difficult to pinpoint dates and locations for many of these photos. Today I’m asking the proverbial needle in a haystack type question – any idea where this old house is located? Has anyone seen it before? The only real clue I can give is that it’s located in Australia – yeah, it’s a very large haystack. There must be some history associated with that building I would say.
I have now added a Blog for the History section of the site. The Blog is called ‘History for Today.’ A link to the Blog will soon be added to the History section of the site.
Visit the Blog at:
Tracing our History is developing a set of tools for enhancing the ability of family members to trace our history together in a collaborative and interactive manner. To do this I am setting up channels and groups within various social networks and web applications. All of these tools and sites provide a plethora of free opportunities for family members to help make our family research more interesting, exciting and useful for all. Please consider joining one or all of these sites listed on the ‘Research Collaboration Features’ page at Tracing our History.
I have now set up two real time chat/file sharing possibilities via the collaboration page, with two different social networking sites (Pip.io and Micromobs). To get involved with either site or both you will need to join the site and the channel that I have set up (on each of the sites). You can find both sites via the link above or go directly to Pip.io and/or Micromobs at:
The Tracing our History channel at Pip.io can be found via the link below:
The Tracing our History ‘mob’ at Micromobs can be found via the link below:
Tracing our History is now very close to completing its move to the new domain http://tracingourhistory.com . In fact I will soon be removing most of the content from the old site and simply leaving a redirection URL on the main page. There are just a few more things to do before I can make the move complete.
I have now got the ‘history’ section of the site up and running – currently there are a few links not working quite right, but it is very close to being finished – with the exception of the local history part of the page (but that won’t be too long).
I have issued 8 usernames and passwords to the private/secure section of the site, allowing these family members access to the family history book and eventually the tree and various other files that will be stored there. So things are moving along nicely I think.
Once the site is fully operational my attention will turn to work on headstones/cemeteries and trying to get a better system up on the site for those. I am also continuing to work away at the family history database and getting all of that information sorted out properly.
Work on the new site is proceeding well. I have now got the front page right (I think) and have also uploaded a new page called ‘Family Anthology.’ Basically it takes the articles relating to the family (and penned by the family) from the former library page and puts them in a section of the site by themselves, thus separating them from the history section of the site. I also think the new and improved pages for each of the articles are far better than the old. This section is up and running
Have a peek at the new site at:
It has been a little while since the last Blog post here at Tracing our History – not a great deal has happened in that time. To be honest I’ve had a lack of interest in family history. However, my interest levels have risen again and I have to thank those who have sent emails to me over the last little while. My lack of interest was ‘sparked’ by bickering on one side of my family, but now the other has ‘refreshed’ my interest by their interest in familial matters. Thank you so much for that.
Part of my interest in family history over the last 10 to 20 years, has been to preserve what I can for future generations. Sure, I’ve been very interested in my past and my family’s past to answer my own curiosity, but I’ve also wanted to have something there for those who come after me. Our history is being lost and I want to be able to preserve as much of it as I can. I have also longed for this exercise to be a collaborative matter, with others in the family also taking part in the preservation of our history. Thankfully, there are a number of people on my mother’s side who seem keen to research that history from varying perspectives (all of which helps with the overall story) and who are also willing to share and collaborate in that research. This can only be good for all of us and for those that follow.
I am still looking at ways to make that process easier and more profitable for us all – to develop a sort of place that we can come back to time and time again, to just touch base, share our research, nut out issues we may have in that research, see if we can help each other, etc. To do this, I think I will have to develop a dual approach – tools for my mother’s side and tools for my father’s side. There is already a Matthews social network available on Geni (which I set up). I am hopeful that on my mother’s side of things the experience will be a far better one (and all indications seem to point that way).
Over the next couple of days I am hoping to get a social network site up and going for my mother’s side of the family, which would include such surnames as Lilley, Jenkinson, Blanch, etc. I want to try and tie this Blog, the social community I have already set up for family members, my actual website and a family tree social network (for my mother’s side) together, so that they kind of work together – there will probably be a few passwords needed (helpful for privacy and security reasons). Anyhow, keep a look at the Blog here – I will keep updating things via the Blog.
In my last Blog post I made some comments regarding Delicious, the online bookmarking social network owned by Yahoo. Things may not be as desperate as I feared in that area, so I am keeping with Delicious at the moment. Hopefully it will be sold and continued, as it is a very good service.
Having Blogged about the ‘History’ community in my last post here, it wasn’t that long after that that it became necessary to remove the ‘History’ community, as well as other communities hosted at Grou.ps. The reason for this was that Grou.ps were quickly moving to adopt a more ‘premium’ model of service. I would have been happy to pay for a premium service if that service was in fact premium, but because it was still full of bugs and problems I opted out and decided to move my operations elsewhere. At the moment I have no ‘History’ community, which is fine. I will adapt a page or two on the site for that purpose in time to come.
The ‘Tracing our History’ community, which was aimed at family members, faced the same issues as the ‘History’ community. I have already begun the process of moving this community elsewhere. It can found at Spruz and is only in the early stages of development. If you are a family member, please get on board even now and be part of the community as it grows.
Visit the ’Tracing our History’ community at:
I have also begun some further work on the main website itself. I am very tempted to rename the site as ‘Tracing our History’ and will probably do so very soon. This will keep the three main affiliated sites – the Blog, the community and the main site – all named the same. I think this works much better.
Improvements to the site are under way, including major reviews of the family tree and family history book. Both of these will soon be hosted in more secure locations.
I have been doing a little work on the ‘History’ community associated with my website. Have a look at the community at:
I have always found with genealogy that it is hard to stay on mission as it were. Every so often I just seem to have this need to take a break from it all and then find it difficult to get started again. This is where I have been over the last few months.
Once I get started again, all moves along well for a time – usually 12-18 months, before I need to take another break – which will end up going for about 6 months and then the cycle begins again.
I now have a desire to get back into the work and to make some changes to the way I do genealogy. These are changes that have gradually been worked out in my mind (during my break and before it) and I now feel it time to implement. These are changes that I hope will prove far better in the long run for all concerned.
So what are these changes going to involve:
I hope to put the family tree itself (and the book on our family history) behind the secure walls of a password protected web-based genealogical application. This will allow the information contained therein to be more private and secure.
I also hope, by placing the family tree into a web-based genealogical application, to open up the possibility of increased interaction between relatives that barely (if ever) see each other and to allow a process of collaboration on our family history – after all, it is not just my family history that I am seeking to preserve.
I am also hoping that by doing the above, our family history will ‘be owned’ by many more individual members of our family than it currently is. There are just so many ways that we can work together to preserve our family history for our own families and for generations to come. I don’t think family history preservation should be left at a family tree, a book and some photos – it can also include documents, individual stories, local history, etc. All these things can come together and complete our family history, making it more meaningful for those who are yet to come.
I am hoping to further develop the Grou.ps community that I have already established, and also to eliminate the old Yahoo mail groups that I once used in conjunction with the website.
I would also like to get a family history newsletter for our family going again.
These are just some of the things I’m keen to get working on.
I have been reminded once again of how much Australians neglect our past. I have thought this for a long time and my visit to the Nabiac/Failford Cemetery reconfirmed my thoughts on the matter.
In the case of cemeteries the state of a cemetery quickly betrays this state of mind. Generally the lawns are very poorly maintained and most of the older (and a good number of the younger) graves are very poorly maintained. If there are gardens and/or lawn plantings – these also will be neglected.
When it comes to trying to read a headstone, generally speaking, the older the headstone the more difficult it is to read. Most of the older headstones are in varying degrees of decay (so to speak).
This neglect is not limited to cemeteries. In my travels around the country I have seen many examples of our heritage being allowed to fall into further ruin through neglect.
I really do think that the majority of Australians do not appreciate our heritage and history. Perhaps we are still too young as a country.