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 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.
The Kevin’s Portal updates can be found at:
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:
Two more family trees are now accessible on the Tracing our History website. These are the Bagg/s and Jenkinson family trees.
A username and password are required to view the family trees hosted on the site. These are issued to family members who are able to show their relationship to the family.
These trees can be found via the link below:
The first of a number of family trees associated with my family is now accessible via the Tracing our History website. A username and password are required to view the family trees hosted on the site. These are issued to family members who are able to show their relationship to the family.
The first tree posted on the site is that of the Lilley family, starting with William Lilley (Born 1624) and follows his descendants. The tree 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:
Tracing our History is now very close to completing its move to the new domain
. 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.
I have been hard at it and now have the photo albums all up at tracingourhistory.com. These are all the family related photo albums hosted at Flickr.
See the photo albums at:
Have a peek at the new site at:
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.
Get the first issue of Research at:
Have a peek at the new site at:
I have been working on the family tree tonight and making some good progress. One of the things I’ve noticed as I work on the tree is just how many children have died so young, particularly a century or more ago. Some times there have been 3 and 4 deaths in a family of a child under the age of one. So very sad. It must have been very hard for families back then and especially the mothers – really feeling for them as research the tree.
I have just registered the domain name tracingourhistory.com for my family history site. I will no longer be updating the old site at
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.