Family History Return

I have been away from genealogy for far too long and have started to get busy again. I certainly don’t have the amount of time to put into it as I have had previously, but I do want to start spending some time on my family history again.

Car accidentI guess the last 5 years have been more than a little slow in terms of my involvement in family history and this has been for a number of reasons, including a slow and painful recovery from a major car accident 4 1/2 years ago, which took a lot longer to recover from than I anticipated. Though I returned to work after about 4 months, the process of recovery took a lot longer than that and I found the effort required at work took some time to get over when I was away from work. It was a difficult time and it was 2 years after the accident that I was fully cleared from any lingering problems associated with the brain injury that I sustained in the accident. It also took about that long to become completely free of any pain associated from the other injuries I suffered.

Since then there have been other things to keep me away from genealogical interests, which have not completely disappeared and I am sure there will be other challenges that pop up from time to time. Still, I think I can now inject some time and effort into the family history side of things again. There is much that needs to be done and I would especially like to complete the book I have been working on for some time. An edition or two were published on the website in the form of PDF files, but this work needs to be replaced due to some errors that appear in it. I am reminded of these errors from time to time, but it has proven difficult until now to get back to the necessary work required to correct them with an updated edition. This will hopefully take place sooner rather than later, though there is much work that needs to be done.

So, back to work it is. This Blog will be the means of updating progress on projects and the like, as well as the Facebook page.

Research – The Tracing our History Newsletter goes Live

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:
http://tracingourhistory.com/newsletter/research.html

Have a peek at the new site at:
http://tracingourhistory.com

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.

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.

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.

IMPROVEMENTS TO WEB SITE

Every so often I feel the need to change the appearance of the web site and to try and improve it as much and as best as I can. I have once again arrived at this point – a few changes are coming and underway.

 

I don’t expect that there will be wholesale changes across the entire site, but I would expect that there will be some fairly noticeable changes, particularly to the home page. I’m hoping to get the site a little more interactive and to encourage visitor collaboration and participation in the compilation of my (our) family history.

 

Visit the web site at:

Kevin’s Family – Online History Site

 

The Tracing our History community is already in place – though I am the only member at the moment. This social network community provides a fantastic opportunity for family members to communicate and interact with each other, as well as contributing to our family history research.

 

Visit the site at:

Tracing our History

 

I am also hoping to set up a collaborative family tree site, which will allow visitors (members in a secure, password protected site) to provide updates and corrections to research already compiled. I hope to add this feature as soon as possible, but not until I have completed work on the gedcom file (which is still a little way off) with which I will create the site. I am heavily leaning toward either Geni or Famiva at this stage.

 

The front page of the web site will also contain an RSS feed of this Blog and news from other of my social networking sites, Blogs, Twitter, etc.

 

So please feel free to visit Kevin’s Family – Online History Site.

NEWSLETTER DISCONTINUED: BLOG REPLACES IT

The newsletter for ‘Kevin’s Family – Online History Site,’ known as ‘Kevin’s Mailout,’ will be discontinued. In fact, the newsletter’s last issue was back in 2004, so it could be argued that it had already been discontinued and this is a fair argument. I did begin another issue in 2008, but it was never completed.

With the emergence of this Blog, ‘Tracing our History,’ the newsletter seems to be somewhat superfluous, even though there are undoubtedly a great number of family members and friends who don’t have Internet access. Having said that, I don’t believe there was any ‘official’ circulation of the newsletter in hard copy anyhow.

Anything that I would have placed in the newsletter will now be placed on the Blog instead and will not have to wait (possibly years) for the next issue of the newsletter. This seems a far better idea to me and will save a large amount of work for me also. The energy used in putting together a newsletter can now be placed into actual research and web site development, which will also be a far better result I think.

The archives of the newsletter will still be available via the web site at:

http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/newsletter.html

A CENTRAL MEETING POINT: Tracing our History

I am excited about this new Blog which I am hoping to use as a central meeting point for interaction between family members, no matter which actual means an individual family member or friend may use to get here. You may come via a Facebook group, a Yahoo Mail Group, the Blog itself or from the web site, yet hopefully this will be a means for communication and interaction with other family members, some of whom you may never have met before.

My family history research and publication of it via the web has brought me into touch with various family members from around the world, including England, Canada, the United States and Australia. Hopefully this Blog will increase my circle of contacts and also allow others in the family to enter into the fruits of my labour, as well as sharing their own.

The ‘Tracing our History’ Blog will provide a central meeting point for our family, no matter the surname, the distance between us or what side of the family you may be on. It provides an opportunity for getting involved to whatever degree you may be comfortable with.

Some further opportunities to increase our experience of familial communication, discovery and interaction are listed below:

 

Matthews Family Mail Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MatthewsFamilyMail/

This mail group is a means for members of the family on my father’s (Brian John Matthews) side to stay in touch with each other via email.

 

Lilley Family Mail Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LilleyFamilyMail/

This mail group is a means for members of the family on my mother’s (Edna Ivy Elizabeth Lilley) side to stay in touch with each other via email.

 

Kevin’s Family – Online History Site:
http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html

This is my family history web site where I maintain online my family history research. It is generally a bit behind what I have in hard copy, but I do try to update as regularly as I can.

 

The Family – Descendants of Mary Bagg (b1770): http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=43863243859

This Facebook group is there for those on Facebook who are descendants of Mary Bagg (born in 1770) and Josiah Roberts (b 1770). Their children were Sarah Bagg (b 7/2/1796 – d 23/6/1799) and Joseph Roberts-Bagg (b 6/7/1801 – d 28/10/1882). Joseph married Ann Vincent (b 1799 – d 8/4/1874) on the 8/4/1822. Their children were Ann (b 1821), William (b 1822), James (b 1826), John (b 5/1828 – d 10/4/1900), Mary (b 1831), Eliza (b 1832), George (b 1/1/1835 – d 30/4/1916) and Charles (b 15/8/1838).

 

Kevin’s Family – Online History Message Board/Forum:
http://kevinsfamilyhistory.aimoo.com/

You may be familiar with message boards or forums – they provide an opportunity to raise questions and to discuss various issues. Feel free to contribute here.

 

About Tracing our History

Below is what I have added to the ‘About Tracing our History’ page on the Blog site:

‘Tracing our History’ exists for a whole range of reasons – informing, educating, entertaining, updating, sharing, etc. The Blog is concerned with a number of family surnames including Lilley, Matthews, Blanch, Randall, Bagg/s, Webb, Jenkinson, and quite a few more – in short, it will be relevant to any surname that is represented in our family history (as long as the person concerned is actually part of our family history).

This Blog exists for my family, as does my web site at:

http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html

I am of course the chief contributor to this Blog (and the before mentioned web site) and also the moderator of it. I do however welcome contributions from others in the family and will consider adding contributors to the management team of the Blog. This is something I would love to do. If you do want to add something please let me know.

I am hoping that this Blog site will further assist my research into our family history, as well as others who are pursuing the same goal and will therefore enable us together to trace our history both in Australia and abroad.

If you can assist us in tracing our history please contact us and share what information you have – be it documents, family trees, photographs, video, records, etc. It will all help to put together as comprehensive a family history as we can, in order to share it with others in the family today, as well as preserving our history for those who will come after us. In this regard we can put together something of a ‘cyber-museum’ if you like.

For about me visit either of the pages below:

http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/kevins.html

http://particularbaptist.com/kevins/kevin.html

Thanks for visiting – come again and contribute if you can,

Kevin Matthews