The link below is to an article with some tips on how to keep your family history research organised.
I have over the years tried to find a site that could be useful for housing something of a private family social network. They have usually proved to be less than suitable. It will probably be something I have another shot at as I get back into the family history research and work on the website again.
The site I’m probably going to look into a bit with the hope that it may assist in accomplishing the private social network side of things is Family iBoard. I only recently became aware of it, so I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to investigate at this stage. However, the article linked to below in which the site was reviewed by Mashable, does fill me with a lot of hope. The only real issue will be getting family members to join, especially given the fees involved. But at roughly $8.00 a year, it’s hardly a huge fee and could prove very useful.
What do others think of the idea? I’d be keen to know. It really seems like a very good site for this sort of thing.
View the Mashable article at:
There have been a number of things happening at Tracing our History over the last couple of days, including the overhaul of Kevin’s Portal as mentioned in an earlier post. The latest happenings are listed below:
The latest issue of Research has been completed and is now available online via the link below:
The first collaboration project has been launched via the Tracing our History Stixyboard (a password is required – please request one). Details of the project and how to use Stixyboard are covered in the above-mentioned newsletter.
Collaboration features of the Tracing our History site have been moved to a new section of the site. Visit the collaboration page at:
The Kevin’s Portal updates can be found at:
http://kevinmatthews.zxq.net/The updates and overhaul at Kevin’s Portal are also covered in the newsletter.
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:
As most people probably know, a PDF reader is required to read PDF files. Usually you would use Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader for that. Now there is even more reason to use Adobe’s piece of software for doing just that. Adobe has just released version X of the software and it has some massive improvements – improvements that will be of great help to family members at Tracing our History.
The following are the ‘new’ features of version X of Acrobat PDF Reader:
Read, search and share PDF files
Convert to PDF
Export and edit PDF files
Add rich media to PDF files
Combine files from multiple applications
Increase productivity and process consistency
Streamline document reviews
Collect data with fillable PDF forms
Protect PDF files and content
Comply with PDF and accessibility standards
OK, that all sounds very confusing I guess – it does a bit to me also. Now this is how I see at least some of the improvements and they are what I’ve been looking for for a long time.:
There is the ability now to highlight text within a PDF file
There is the ability to add a note to what is highlighted and make comments. If the PDF file is sent to someone else to look at it can be opened and comments can be made in reply to what you have written. This makes a PDF file very collaborative in research.
There is the ability to place sticky notes onto the file – just as you would with a book or magazine. Again, these can be replied to or edited.
Obviously the PDF file can be shared with others for their comments and be passed backward and forwards.
The PDF file can also be sent to someone else right in the reader software by email or via Adobe Online.
So they are just some of the uses of version X, but they are brilliant for genealogy research.
To get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader X visit:
Work is progressing well on the new site and already some sections of the site are going live and working well. I have now got the newsletter section of the site running, along with the first edition of a new newsletter.
The new newsletter is called ‘Research – The Tracing our History Newsletter,’ or ‘Research’ for short. The newsletter archives will be hosted at Scribd, but you will be able to download them from the tracingourhistory.com site via an embedded widget from Scribd. With this widget from Scribd I will no longer need to update the site when adding a newsletter – just simply upload the newsletter to Scribd and the embedded widget updates the site automatically. All very easy.
How can you subscribe to the newsletter? You don’t need to really. If you subscribe to the Tracing our History Blog you will be notified when a new issue of the newsletter is posted and you can then go to the site to download the issue. Those who do not have Internet access will need to let me know (or via someone that does) that they would like to have a hard copy sent to them – or, someone may be able to print them a copy.
Have a peek at the new site at:
I have just registered the domain name tracingourhistory.com for my family history site. I will no longer be updating the old site at http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html .
So what does this mean? You will need to continue to use the old site for the next couple of months while I build the new site/transfer files. When the work is completed I will add a link to the new site (at the old site) directing users to it. This work will need to be completed by June 2011, for this is when I will no longer have an account at the current host. The new domain, tracingourhistory.com, will be on a new host site. This will save me a fair amount of money over time.
The new site will bring all the sites associated with my family history under the same name of ‘Tracing our History.’ This name takes the focus of any one particular surname such as Blanch, Lilley or Matthews, and allows the user of my site to look at all the surnames being researched without bias to any one in particular. I want to be able to include all of the family in my collaborative and interactive research site/s.
By doing this I am hoping to establish the next step in my family history research and provide a much better tool for my family and those family members yet to come.
You will be able to follow my progress on the new site by visiting the tracingourhistory.com site. This Blog will also follow progress on the site and the feed is also on the old site.
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.
It should only be a very short time now until all of my property is out of storage and back with me under the one roof – in my own apartment (rental). After more than two years I will soon have everything back out of storage and fully accessible again. This will mean many things, the least of which is not a renewed ability to get at all of my family history research, tools, etc. I’ve been waiting for this for so long.
So the countdown is now on and I should be able to access everything again within 5 to 6 weeks. So not that long to wait now. All of the projects that have been on hold can be back up and running again very soon.
I have been to the Nabiac/Failford Cemetery now, but failed to photograph all of the headstones in the cemetery. I will need to return in the next couple of days to complete the project. I will probably also visit the Bulahdelah Cemetery and photograph the headstones there.
I probably still have about one fifth to one quarter of the cemetery to photograph. I have come across a number of headstones that I recognize from my family history research, which is the main reason for taking the photographs.