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.
I have been reminded once again of how much Australians neglect our past. I have thought this for a long time and my visit to the Nabiac/Failford Cemetery reconfirmed my thoughts on the matter.
In the case of cemeteries the state of a cemetery quickly betrays this state of mind. Generally the lawns are very poorly maintained and most of the older (and a good number of the younger) graves are very poorly maintained. If there are gardens and/or lawn plantings – these also will be neglected.
When it comes to trying to read a headstone, generally speaking, the older the headstone the more difficult it is to read. Most of the older headstones are in varying degrees of decay (so to speak).
This neglect is not limited to cemeteries. In my travels around the country I have seen many examples of our heritage being allowed to fall into further ruin through neglect.
I really do think that the majority of Australians do not appreciate our heritage and history. Perhaps we are still too young as a country.