The SFAA Historian’s Genealogy Database

We finally have a work­ing solu­tion to an area I’ve been try­ing to fig­ure out for years: What do we do with new genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion sub­mit­ted to us? How do we make it avail­able to our members?

Thanks to John Lang­behn, our Newslet­ter Edi­tor, we have an answer. John, over the course of sev­eral years, tran­scribed the entire His­tory of the Strong Fam­ily by Ben­jamin Dwight, into Fam­ily Tree Maker.

Let me show you what we have, and then I’ll give some exam­ples of why that’s use­ful to our membership.

Con­tinue read­ing

New Strong Family Updates Books

I work for a com­pany Inbox­Dol­lars that stays com­pletely up-to-date as to var­i­ous online trends. We under­stand that in many ways peo­ple are mov­ing away from real phys­i­cal books, but also mov­ing away from tra­di­tional desk­top Macs and PCs.

The “mobile Web” is tak­ing a larger and larger share of our online inter­ac­tion. I see this every day, of course, by sim­ply look­ing around. Peo­ple are con­stantly and con­sis­tently using their phones and tablets, iPads, etc., for infor­ma­tion and enter­tain­ment. Peo­ple would rather use their phones to send a text mes­sage than use their phone to make a phone call.

Mean­while, we have phys­i­cal books, nicely-bound hard­cover books con­tain­ing the his­tory and geneal­ogy of the Strong Fam­ily in Amer­ica. We have begun to move toward PDF files and Books on CD. How­ever, when is the last time you saw some­one load a CD onto their phone or tablet? To be sure, with our cur­rent offer­ings, we have lit­tle choice.

I am now able to cre­ate true Kin­dle books of our geneal­ogy. I’m now able to start with our Fam­ily Tree Maker data­base and fin­ish with a Kin­dle book avail­able on Amazon.com, Nook book for Barnes & Noble, and so on.

That sounds sim­ple. What’s the big deal?

Con­tinue read­ing

Historian 4x6 Research Index Cards

File Card Trays

Two File Card Trays of 4x6 Genealog­i­cal Data

I have scanned two trays of 4x6 inch index cards — thou­sands of cards. Each of the below links will give you the PDF file for that sec­tion. I’m not sure if these are of any use to any­one, but I am hereby shar­ing what I have!

Genealog­i­cal Data — Mis­cel­la­neous Families

Sur­name A
~~ Sur­name B
~~ Sur­name B con­tin­ued
~~ Sur­name B Bates
~~ Sur­name C
~~ Sur­name D
~~ Sur­name E
~~ Sur­name F
~~ Sur­name F Funk And Related Fam­i­lies
~~ Sur­name G
~~ Sur­name H
~~ Sur­name H con­tin­ued
~~ Sur­name H Har­baugh Hollinger Funk New­comer
~~ Sur­name I
~~ Sur­name J
~~ Sur­name K
~~ Sur­name L
~~ Sur­name L con­tin­ued
~~ Sur­name L Linthicum
~~ Sur­name L Lohr Lower etc
~~ Sur­name L Lohr Lower etc con­tin­ued
~~ Sur­name M
~~ Sur­name Mc Con­tinue read­ing

The Jedediah Book is here!

OpenBk.jpg

Strong Updates Vol­ume I, the Jede­diah line, has been out of print for more than 5 years. This is the line which we pub­lished first, over 20 years ago. This is the line which has pos­si­bly has the most inter­est — it’s the first book that sold out.

When the Jede­diah Book was pub­lished back in 1989, it gen­er­ated a wealth of new mate­r­ial. Peo­ple bought the book, read the book, and sub­mit­ted even more genealog­i­cal infor­ma­tion to the Strong Fam­ily Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica. We have been gath­er­ing and edit­ing that infor­ma­tion for decades — but it has never been pub­lished, until now.

It’s never really been prac­ti­cal to con­sider pub­lish­ing sec­ond edi­tions of our Updates books as new print edi­tions. The up-front costs are pro­hib­i­tive. The cur­rent trend is towards elec­tronic pub­lish­ing. Peo­ple read books on their kin­dles and nooks, and on their home computers.

It’s this fact which made a Sec­ond Edi­tion prac­ti­cal. We cre­ated the book as a pair of PDF files, which we have pack­aged on a great-looking CD which can be read by any mod­ern com­puter. The edi­to­r­ial and pro­duc­tion process has taken us nearly two years, and count­less hours.

I believe that every­one who has the orig­i­nal printed Jede­diah Book — no longer avail­able, at any price — will be very happy to pur­chase the Sec­ond Edi­tion. We have added lit­er­ally many hun­dreds of pages of updated information.

The Jede­diah Book, Sec­ond Edi­tion, is finally com­plete! Yay! We are cur­rently pack­ag­ing the book on CD. The book, on CD, will begin ship­ping on March 1, 2011.

Call for Volunteers

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 20: Call for Volunteers

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Thomas Strong Line, 2009 Strong Family Reunion

Thomas Strong Line, 2009 Strong Fam­ily Reunion

Would you like to do some geneal­ogy? You prob­a­bly already have an idea of where you might fit in, but let me remind you of some broad areas of need.

Preser­va­tion Copy

We have four 4-drawer fil­ing cab­i­nets of paper records. If those records get lost in a fire, flood, or tor­nado, our thou­sands upon thou­sands of care­fully col­lected doc­u­ments are gone for­ever. We plan to run these pages through a scan­ner, one page at a time.

The His­to­rian, Pres­i­dent, and Web­mas­ter will each have a copy of the scanned com­puter files. That way, if some dis­as­ter hap­pens to the orig­i­nal, our records are safe.

We are look­ing for a few peo­ple who under­stand the impor­tance of this preser­va­tion project, and are expe­ri­enced in care­fully scan­ning doc­u­ments into their com­puter, and who have their own scan­ner. Con­tinue read­ing

Time Frame

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 19: Time Frame

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Mary Strong Line, 2009 Strong Family Reunion

Mary Strong Line, 2009 Strong Fam­ily Reunion

Wow! This is Part 19 and count­ing! I hope you have enjoyed read­ing about our ideas. Maybe you have even thought of ways you would like to con­tribute! It won’t take long for us to build some momen­tum, and have fun in the process!

In fact, we can bring some happy results to the 2010 Strong Fam­ily Reunion in Stur­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts. Here is what I think we can accom­plish over the next year:

  • Make the Jede­diah book (Strong Updates Vol­ume 1) avail­able on CD
  • Begin mak­ing a preser­va­tion copy of the paper records
  • Fig­ure out what we have in the way of man­u­script files

With that bit of expe­ri­ence under our belts, we should have a very good idea of whether we want to pro­ceed with the Pre­lim­i­nary Infor­ma­tion project, or stop with pre­serv­ing the His­to­rian Archives.

I expect that by time we reach the next Reunion, we will already have some momen­tum, and we can pro­pose an offi­cial project based on the expe­ri­ence gained in our “pilot project.”

Please share your ideas!

The Question

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 18: The Question

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Stronghold Castle Turret Stairs, 2009 Reunion Tour

Strong­hold Cas­tle Tur­ret Stairs, 2009 Reunion Tour

We began Part 1 by pos­ing the ques­tion, “Why would I want to join?” We answered, “Let’s do some geneal­ogy, in a way that will be inter­est­ing to our membership.”

We con­tin­ued by pos­ing the ques­tion, “How do we get this project off the ground?” We answered, “Cre­ate an inter­est­ing online pres­ence, and focus on early results that we can show off.”

In answer­ing those two ques­tions, we have accom­plished some amaz­ing results! But more impor­tantly, we have com­pletely pre­pared our­selves to take on a Future Strong Updates pro­gram. We have the means, we have the mate­r­ial, we have the train­ing, and we have the processes.

We have made our wealth of knowl­edge avail­able through the Newslet­ter and online. We have become more inter­ac­tive than ever before, in a man­ner par­tic­u­larly appeal­ing to the younger gen­er­a­tion. We have pub­lished our works already in progress on CD and as instant download.

At this point, if we as an Asso­ci­a­tion decide to take on a Future Strong Updates project, we’ll know exactly how to do so.

Please share your ideas!

Allied Families

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 17: Allied Families

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Grinnell Genealogy 1887, Grand Ledge Michigan

Grin­nell Geneal­ogy 1887, Grand Ledge Michigan

To the best of my knowl­edge, we all have two par­ents. Most of us who have stud­ied the Strong side of the fam­ily have also gath­ered infor­ma­tion on other non-Strong parts of the family.

In prin­ci­ple, every­thing I’ve sug­gested that applies to col­lect­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing our Strong Fam­ily her­itage, applies to our allied fam­i­lies as well. I see no rea­son why our Dig­i­tal Library couldn’t include pho­tos and doc­u­ments related to other fam­i­lies, so long as they are cor­rectly cat­a­loged. We thus pro­vide a greater ser­vice, and greater inter­est, to our mem­bers at large.

In prin­ci­ple, we can pro­vide books on CD regard­ing these allied fam­i­lies, so long as we don’t lose our orig­i­nal focus. By pro­vid­ing an out­let for shar­ing their own her­itage, we do a ser­vice to spe­cific mem­bers, while gain­ing addi­tional inter­est and widen­ing our own scope of influ­ence. At that point we have an estab­lished process, and can pro­vide advice and expe­ri­ence. It’s a pos­si­bil­ity… but a long way down the road!

Please share your ideas!

One Bite at a Time

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 16: One Bite at a Time

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

In Cre­at­ing for the Future, I pro­posed gen­er­at­ing future Strong Updates books from an Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy Data­base. The other large value of this approach is that we can take things in bite-size pieces.

Some­one can pick up one spe­cific fam­ily unit, or one spe­cific file folder from the His­to­rian Archives and do the research sur­round­ing that one spe­cific topic. Rather than tak­ing on a daunt­ing multi-year task all at once, some­one can take on one man­age­able piece, and when that’s com­plete, come back for the next piece. Con­tinue read­ing

Creating for the Future

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge
Part 15: Cre­at­ing for the Future

Shar­ing our Knowl­edge is a series of arti­cles about the His­to­rian Archives Project and how you can become involved.

Establishing Genealogical Standards

Estab­lish­ing Genealog­i­cal Standards

Before we type one sin­gle name into our Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy data­base, we estab­lish our qual­ity and edi­to­r­ial stan­dards. There is one and only one mas­ter copy of the data­base. The SFAA His­to­rian is the only per­son who updates the mas­ter copy. He or she then dis­trib­utes copies to the other project mem­bers for their use.

It doesn’t really mat­ter if we use Fam­ily Tree Maker, Legacy, or some­thing else, so long as it can be used to record what we want to record, and gen­er­ate book sec­tions for our Future Updates pro­gram. I use Legacy, so I’ll use it as my example.

Legacy has a large set of Source Cita­tion tem­plates that com­ply with Evi­dence Explained: Cit­ing His­tory Sources from Arti­facts to Cyber­space by Eliz­a­beth Shown Mills, an unof­fi­cial but widely-used high stan­dard of cita­tion. We have not printed exten­sive and detailed source cita­tions in our bound vol­umes, but we don’t have the same lim­its in a book on CD. We can add 50 pages of bib­li­og­ra­phy for free.

Imag­ine the value to future Strong His­to­ri­ans in gen­er­a­tions to come, if we care­fully doc­u­ment every source of infor­ma­tion as it’s used. The Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy data­base can be the source of our Strong Update books on CD for sure, but its real value is to our His­to­ri­ans in their day-to-day inves­ti­ga­tions. We can keep any num­ber of research notes and anec­dotes attached to any spe­cific indi­vid­ual, thus pass­ing on our detailed knowl­edge to the next gen­er­a­tion of Historians.

In the same way, when the time comes, we can decide on the other edi­to­r­ial and genealog­i­cal stan­dards to be followed.

A geneal­ogy pro­gram doesn’t have the same “flow” as a man­u­script. If you’re writ­ing about the entire Thomas (son of Elder John Strong) line, it’s hard to see how that flows when you’re look­ing at the com­puter screen dis­play­ing (for exam­ple) the David Strong fam­ily unit and noth­ing else. On the other hand, we all use these sorts of geneal­ogy pro­grams, and are quite com­fort­able with them.

In short, cre­at­ing a book by first cre­at­ing an Offi­cial Strong Geneal­ogy data­base sounds like a weird way to do it. But we cre­ate some­thing of tremen­dous ongo­ing day-to-day value to our His­to­ri­ans. It’s easy and intu­itive to update infor­ma­tion as it comes in (and meets our genealog­i­cal stan­dards for inclu­sion). Infor­ma­tion doesn’t need to wait for months and years to be processed and disseminated.

Please share your ideas!