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

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: Working on the Family Tree

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.

‘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.

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.

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