I am continuing to transcribe the Elder John Strong Ancestry Information into our genealogy database — now at 824 individuals and 271 families.
This article shares some technical details behind the SFAA Web site. If you’re interested, read on! Otherwise, move along, there is nothing of interest here!
Back in February 2009, I offered to take over interim webmaster duties for the Strong Family Association of America. That offer was accepted. I also offered to donate use of my commercial web server (hosted by m3server.com who I’ve used for more than a decade) as a cost savings to the Association, and that offer was also accepted. As with the previous paid hosting arrangement, there’s a lot of horsepower behind this Web site!
At the same time I took over webmaster duties, I had been considering moving to the Joomla! Content Management System for several of our Web sites. I chose Joomla because someone has integrated the Genealogy software I use, with Joomla.
Sad to say, Joomla proved to be an unfortunate decision. Joomla is not easy to learn, even with good books available. After working with it for quite a few weeks, I could see the potential, but realized this is not the best answer for SFAA. Burying the Web site in a difficult-to-learn Content Management System would be a terribly unreasonable burden to place on the next webmaster.
By contrast, the previous hosting arrangement used a perfectly reasonable and intuitive site builder. Moving the material to my own server was quite simple and straight-forward.
So… months later… I threw away all the time invested in Joomla! It’s not what we need, and it’s not sufficiently usable for my other web sites either. The learning experience served me well on several fronts. But it sure did suck up a lot of time in the process!
WordPress, on the other hand, is a “blogging” system which actually works fairly well as a Content Management System. That is, it does work fairly well for what we need for the Strong Family Association of America. I’ve been using WordPress for years, and so have a whole lot of other people.
It is quite likely that the next webmaster, whoever he or she might be, will already be familiar with WordPress, or can quickly become familiar.
The WordPress version of this site is now open (you’re looking at it right now). It’s not complete, but I expect to finish out the details over the next week or so.
What We Gain
Why bother changing things at all? What we gain is involvement and interactivity. Directors and authorized members can add articles to the site. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Word or do any blogging on your own, you’ll probably find this site very simple to use.
We also gain room to expand. We can add a forum area, photo galleries, etc. as we discover the need.
On our other Web sites, we use The Next Generation to display the genealogy information. It’s one of the best methods available for displaying our knowledge in a way that’s useful to other people learning or researching. I’ve slowly been typing up the Elder John Strong ancestry information. I’ve done about 700 individuals, but have a lot of typing to go!
- The genealogy section and main site are not yet color-coordinated.
- The directors-only section is not yet up.
- The photo albums are not yet up.
- The “contact us” page is not live.
- I have some tweaking and color changes needed to spruce things back up.
- I need to verify the site sign-up process, so I can invite Directors to sign up; then I can give them posting privileges and instructions.
I’ve left a link to the old (February 2009) site at the bottom of the front page, until everything is in place on the new site.
Come to Dixon, Illinois Sunday, August 2, and Monday, August 3, for the 2009 Strong reunion!!
We are staying at the Quality Inn and Comfort Inn, located near the intersection of I-88 & Il Rt. 26 at the south end of Dixon, IL The motels are midway between Chicago and the Quad cities, and about 45 miles south of Rockford, IL.
The two motels are under one roof and share two pools and banquet rooms. The Quality Inn with an entrance at the east end of the building serves a full hot breakfast. The Comfort Inn with the entrance on the west end of the building has a deluxe continental breakfast featuring waffles. The motels are located beside a large WalMart and small strip mall.
The SFAA has a block of rooms reserved at both motels.
The Quality Inn:
- Room rate — $93.46 plus tax
- Room rate — $84.96 plus tax
The motel will hold the rooms for the SFAA until July 2. Contact the Quality Inn and Comfort Inn directly and mention SFAA. A credit card will hold the room. You can cancel with no charge until 4 p.m. of the day of arrival. Please register early to assist us in our planning.
Dixon, in Lee Co., IL, is the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. His home is open for tours daily. It is also the home of the Walgreen family. Our banquet speaker will be Paul Langan, a retired psychology professor with an interest in Dixon area history. His topic will be the founders of the Walgreen Drug Store chain. More information on area points of interest, dining and shopping will be available in the SFAA hospitality room located across from the Comfort Inn registration desk.
A special guest at the Stronghold Castle tour on August 3 will be W. Ansel Strong III. He, and possibly some of his cousins, will share stories of his grandfather, Walter A. Strong, who was a Chicago newspaperman and builder of Stronghold Castle. The Walter A. Strong family descends from Elder John Strong’s son John Strong. More information about the castle and adjoining property is found at http://www.strongholdcenter.org/
Registration for the SFAA reunion in Dixon, Illinois August 2 & 3, 2009
Main Contact Name______________________________________________________________
City__________________________________ State ________________ Zip_______________
Phone ________________________ email __________________________________
Names as they should appear on the Name Badges_______________________________________
Registration fee for the 34th SFAA reunion in Dixon, IL
Adults $15 _____adults X $15=___________
Banquet meal _______adults X $20=_____________
Monday, August 3
_______children under age 8 X $10=_____________
Sunday late afternoon at the Lowell Park shelter north of Dixon
oven fried chicken, potato salad, fruit bowl, Del Monte bicolored sweet corn, dessert and iced tea or pink raspberry lemonade
Get Acquainted catered picnic _____adults X $8=______________
_____ children under 8 X $8=______________
(Update: children same price. Our caterer was unable to get us the discount.)
Stronghold Castle tour number of people X $3=______________
Touring inside the castle involves many steep steps. It is NOT handicapped accessible. Anyone may walk around the grounds without a charge. W. Ansel Strong III’s presentation about his family and life at the castle will be in the cafeteria at 11 a.m., following the 10 a.m. tour. That is open to all of the SFAA. It isn’t necessary to have also toured the castle.
Lunch in the Stronghold Presbyterian Conference Center cafeteria on August 3
________number of people X $8.25=_____________
Make check or Money order payable to SFAA Reunion 2009 and Send registration to:
Mrs. Ann Hecathorn
P.O. Box 95
Earlville, Illinois 60518
My name is Edward Barnard, and live near Cannon Falls, Minnesota. I became the interim SFAA Webmaster in February 2009.
I do software development by day, for an artists’ site named Deviant Art. My personal Deviant Art page is here: Morris88 (Edward Barnard) on Deviant ART. I thoroughly enjoy working from home!
Our personal genealogy sites are:
- Albemarle to Callaway, A Herring Family Journey
- Our Barnard Family Story (closed for remodeling, open June 2009)
- Francis Barnard Descendants (opening summer 2009)
So far as I know, I personally descend from three of Elder John Strong’s children — Sarah, Experience, and Return. Dr. Walther Barnard (who does the Notable Kinships series) and I both participate in the Barnard DNA Project. Our close DNA match verifies that we both descend from Francis Barnard (1719–1789) and Lucretia Pinney (1722–1805). Francis Barnard (1719–1789) is a grandson of Sarah, daughter of Elder John Strong and Abigail Ford.
Hi Everyone! Please excuse our dust!
I am opening up the new Strong Family Association of America web site, even though it isn’t quite ready. It’s close! I expect to finish cleaning up the details by 1 June 2009.
Mr. & Mrs. Marion Strong with Mr. & Mrs. Lyle Strong at 2005 Reunion
Annual Memberships are available as well as Lifetime Memberships
- Four Newsletters published throughout the year
- Use of the Lending Library
- Inclusion in the Membership Directory
- Many other benefits
To join, contact the Membership Secretary by mail or click on the line below to send an e-mail message:
Jarvis Strong trip 2001
The Strong Family Association of America exists to:
- Promote the recognition of our heritage
- Provide a means of learning more of our forebears
- Promote friendships among the diverse Strong family
- Obtain and/or preserve artifacts of our heritage
- Pass on all of the above to succeeding generations
The Strong Family Association of America, including over 700 members from at least 46 States, Canada, and Australia, is pleased to welcome you to our family Website. This portion of our website is designed specifically to keep our membership informed of on going activities, reunions, and projects currently underway, as well as to provide a number of links to other Strong Family sites with more extensive genealogical information.
As one of the oldest families in America, we take great pride in sharing information about our heritage with you. We recognize the need of an Internet presence to help more people worldwide become aware of our existence. Our constant desire to locate more members of our very extensive family and invite them into our association is boundless. The pride and satisfaction of knowing one’s “roots” is truly a rewarding experience and we welcome all Strong descendants who are interested to participate in this endeavor with us.
We cordially invite you to view our site at any time, now and in the future, for reference to our Strong Family Association’s continuing efforts.