Entering Records

It can certainly take a lot of time to input records into genealogy software. There are over 15 000 individuals in my database and probably another 5 000 to 10 000 to enter yet. Slowly but surely it is all being compiled in the one place (with backups of course), or rather, software program/file. I’m hoping that in another 12-18 months I’ll have a completed product/book – not that it will all be up to date of course, as it keeps changing with births, deaths and marriages, but at least there will be something available to provide some background to the family’s history.

Once the information is entered there will need to be some reviewing of it, but that will also be an ongoing process.

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.

Wow – Great New Features in Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader

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:
http://www.adobe-new-downloads.com/

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.

Family Tree Database Update

I am working hard to get an updated version of the family trees onto the website as soon as I possibly can. There is a lot of work going on at the moment with additional information being added to the database that I have. There are now over 15 000 names in the database and some 4750 marriages – so you can see the extent of what is going on behind the scenes. I still have a lot of work to do and the names in the database will probably reach about 20 000 or so by the time I’m finished (it may even get to 25 000) and about 10 000 marriages.

It is possible that I’ll be able to add the family trees corrected to what I currently have in the very near future – however, an update for the book is some way off.

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

Tracing our History: Site Fully Functional

I now have the site back fully functional with what I currently intend to have on it at the moment. There are a number of articles and books that aren’t up yet, as they are yet to be digitalized completely. They are coming.

The family tree (graphics, etc) page is currently up, but no access to the tree exists. There is quite a bit of behind the scenes work being done on the tree which will greatly increase its size and accuracy. The family history book will also be updated once the tree work has been completed. I expect there will be some major advances with some other areas of the site in the coming months also, as more material becomes available.

If you are able to add to the work being done here, please consider getting involved. I would appreciate it greatly, as I am sure future generations of our family will also.

Visit the site at:
http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html

Tracing our History: Front Page Updated

I have been doing a bit of work on the front page of the site and it has now changed a fair bit, with links to various interactive/collaborative sites that enhance Tracing our History. If family members are keen to collaborate and share our family history there are plenty of options and tools now available for that, as well as simply keeping in touch. I think there are some really useful resources there now and hopefully they will continue to be added to.

I still haven’t got the book or tree back online, but that is in the works. More to come soon.

Visit the site at:
http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/index.html

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.

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.

FAMILY HISTORY BOOK AND FAMILY TREE

I have been researching my family history for a number of years now and have a family history web site. The site is all about my family’s history, as well as other areas of history that I’m interested in – Australian history, The US Civil War, King Alfred of Wessex, etc.

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

In the last little while I’ve been able to put together a couple of things on the site that have helped to provide visitors with an insight into my family history.

The first is a book that I have put together which includes some historical notes on my family as well as the family tree itself from several different perspectives. The other is the family tree being now available via the web site from several perspectives – i.e. from the Blanch side, from the Lilley side, from the Matthews side, etc.

Visit: http://particularbaptist.com/matthewshistory/familybook.html   

It is good when all of the research begins to come together and you have something that you show for it – like the book (available to download in PDF format) and the online family tree. The research is far from complete, even though it is already reasonably extensive. I have continued to work behind the scenes updating information and gaining new content – all of which will make its way to the web site in time, though another major update of the book and tree online will be some time off yet. I have some solid work to do over the next 12 months at least, which will considerably add to the family history and tree.

Of course, if you have any information that might be of assistance I would love to hear from you and you can contact me via nrbcpastorkev@yahoo.com.au Thanks in anticipation of any help you can provide.