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.

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.