Latest Site News

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).

http://tracingourhistory.com/history.html

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.

Tracing our History: The Latest News

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.

Tracing our History: Website Renamed

I have now renamed the website to ‘Tracing our History.’ So this means that the Blog is named ‘Tracing our History,’ the community is named ‘Tracing our History’ and the main web site is called ‘Tracing our History.’ Hopefully this won’t lead to confusion – hopefully it will tie the three main sites together, with all three being part of the same online collaboration. At least that is my aim – hopefully I hit the target.

The forced changes to the site continue, with the recently begun updates to the site now having to be changed again. Why? Well, now Yahoo are dropping the Delicious bookmarking service, which is one of the social networking/sharing services I have started to added buttons to make easier sharing for site visitors. I will start to remove this button from today. As I update a page I will remove the sharing with Delicious button. It is disappointing, because I really liked the Delicious service. So Yahoo does it again – very poor Yahoo!

I am still working away at improvements and content additions.

Kevin’s Family – Online History Site

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:
http://tracinghistory.spruz.com/

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.

‘History’ – the Community

I have been doing a little work on the ‘History’ community associated with my website. Have a look at the community at:

http://grou.ps/studyhistory/home

Site Updates

Just some minor news regarding the site and associated sites – yes, I have been doing a little work over there.

I have removed the old guestbook and several links to what are now obsolete portions of the site/other sites. These include the old guestbook which had been bombarded with spam and the Yahoo mail groups which are long gone. I have now incorporated a page on the ‘Tracing Our History’ Blog for use as a Guestbook.

There have also been some minor changes to various content on the main page, as well as the addition of various sharing ‘buttons’ at the top of the page, such as sharing on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, posting to Digg, etc.

Extended Break from Family History

As followers of my site and Blog would know, there hasn’t been much activity going on of late. Even behind the scenes it has all been a bit quiet. Family History and I are a bit like that. I will go for a period of time where I hardly do any, simply because I’ve had enough of it – at least for that period of time. I sometimes just need to have a break from it – which is where I am at just at the moment. I think I’d be lucky to get much more done this year at this stage.

Why is that? To be honest I’m probably a bit annoyed at the family – or at least some members of it. There seems to be a lack of cooperation in some sections of it – all they want to do is take and argue. I’m over all of that rubbish. I have even been thinking of closing down my Geni site or at least not bothering to do anything else with it. It has failed to unite the family or encourage useful dialogue and interaction. Maybe one day there will be a time for it – for now it is just the wrong time and they aren’t ready for it.

Break is Over … Now Back to Work

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.

OUT OF STORAGE

 

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.