It’s New Years Day! The site looks very plain this week as I update with new features. Our site is now much easier to read on your iPad/tablet or iPhone/Android smart phone.
Thanks to Bob Cihla, I discovered there really was a password problem here on the site. It is now fixed!
Since I’m always logged in to the admin area, I didn’t see the problem. It had to do with extra security we had in place because of certain internet attacks this spring. Nobody should see anything else requiring a password. (Unless you’re trying to log in as the site administrator!)
From time to time, I have someone offer to “sign up” on this site, or ask what the user name and password are. There isn’t one! Everything on this site is public. As the Webmaster I have a password for site administration. Beyond that, we have no passwords or special members areas!
That’s my mother in the photo, being held by her grandfather in 1932.
This article is continued from Splitting our Historian 1: People.
The other side of the coin is our vast trove of genealogical information. Our five published Strong Family Updates volumes are only a small portion of the information we have collected and organized.
The SFAA is a genealogical society. One of the best ways to serve our membership and potential membership is to provide authoritative information regarding the Strong family and descendants. We have the information to be shared, but it’s just not that simple!
This is the quandary that I’ve been struggling with for years.
The Official Genealogy Database
I remain convinced that our ideal situation would be to have one or more “official” genealogy databases, such as with Family Tree Maker. At any point in time, we can click a button and generate a new book with the latest information received. This book is in electronic form. It can be purchased and mailed out on CD, or even be put up for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, EBay, etc. EBook publishing is definitely the way of the future AND it’s what the younger generation has come to expect.
The huge advantage of ebooks is that we don’t need to deeply cut our material. Our current published books, the five Strong Family Updates volumes, were very heavily condensed to keep the number of pages down. With ebooks, adding another dozen pages just does not matter. There is no additional cost!
With ebooks, we can (in theory) add any number of photographs and other research documentation. We can add stories and essays just as with the published volumes. We could include specific essays, for example, on Northampton and the Deerfield Raid of 1704.
The difficulty is that we do NOT have such a genealogy database. We need to create it, one name at a time, by hand. I’ve tried a number of ways to scan our material by computer and create the database, but the result is just not 100% accurate. That means the result is NOT acceptable! In short, we need to transcribe our thousands of printed pages, by hand, in to Family Tree Maker. Ultimately we need to do this… I don’t see any way around it.
Looking forward over the next 10, 20, or 50 years, our genealogy database allows us to enter new information as it is received. We can turn around and immediately publish the updated material for our membership.
To be sure, merely adding facts to Family Tree Maker is not the same as creating a publishable book. However, just getting the facts out in book form is a great start. We may have to leave the proper editing of those facts to a future generation! Our part is to ensure our future generation has those facts to edit.
Our Unpublished but Organized Material
We already have a lot of material which has not been published.
First, we have the “manuscripts in progress.” After publishing our Strong Family Updates books, we received additional information from our readers and new members. Our prior historians turned these into updated Updates manuscripts but they were never published.
Second, I have about 24 shelf feet of paper materials submitted by our membership over the decades. Much of this was original source material for the Strong Family Updates books. However, the material was very highly condensed to fit in the published books. It would therefore benefit our future to work through this material, folder by folder, gleaning all information suitable to be published. With electronic publishing there is no concern over the length of a book, or the length of a person’s bio. I, for one, would like access to all the information available!
Third, we have information sitting in the basements of our membership, particularly with our members who wrote the Strong Family Updates books.
Finally, we have the more recent information submitted.
We obviously can’t just dump this haphazardly upon our reading public. This is the quandary. Continue reading
The role of Historian is too much for any single person. We have volunteers available, but nobody wants to take on everything. Nor should they!
As you perhaps take on a small role, time permitting, matching your interests, your small help becomes an important part of the whole. Let’s take a look.
The Corresponding Historian
I see this as the most important role of all over the next few years. What we need is a “people person” who loves to have conversations! We’re not looking for a genealogical expert. We don’t need this person to research inquiries, do look-ups, check through the archives. As you’ll see, we have other people for that!
What we need is someone to keep the conversation going. Think about it. Remember when you were first starting out and discovered a possible connection to the Strong Family Association of America. You perhaps needed some guidance. In my case, the connection was to Strong Updates Volume III. More importantly, my connection was to Dr. Walther Barnard, also of the Sarah (Strong) Barnard line.
Our Corresponding Historian’s role, then, is to connect people to people. Our Corresponding Historian is the face of the Association for things genealogical, in the same way as is our Corresponding Secretary for everything else.
When things come down to actual research, a specific inquiry, etc., our Corresponding Historian can hand the question over to one of our researchers. Because our Corresponding Historian is also keeping in touch with our researchers, our Corresponding Historian will know who’s the best available person to take on the inquiry. Our Corresponding Historian will still be responsible for ensuring follow-ups happen as expected.
We often receive a vague inquiry, something like “My grandfather was George Strong. Are we related?” Without a bit more information, or even the relative age of the person asking the question, that’s not something we can answer! That’s where our Corresponding Historian takes up the question. Ask more questions. When we have a concrete inquiry (specific names, family members, dates prior to 1920 or so, etc.), we can hand it off to one of our researchers. Continue reading
Hi everyone! I updated each of the “contact us” forms for new names and email addresses. Each of you (President, Newsletter, Book Sales, Membership) should have received a test message from me via email.
As part of my online cleanup, I have removed old versions of the Strong Family Association of America web sites which are still online. We had the site as it existed in 2008 for reference, and we had the original SFAA Pages created by Martha Strong. I have moved both offline.
The problem was that each of those areas looked like a real web site — because they were! There was no way to tell that you were NOT looking at the current information, and this has been causing confusion.
Over the coming months, I will be placing Martha Strong’s SFAA Pages back online, but in such a way that it clearly is a historical artifact rather than current Association material. Everything from 2008 is already online with the current site.
I still have updates to do related to our 2012 SFAA Annual Reunion. I need to update the Officers and Directors, update the Books & Memorabilia Catalog, update the Contact Us forms, and answer my email. That’s my plan for this upcoming week!
I will also be reorganizing and rebuilding the Directors Area. I have not quite decided how to make that area as accessible and useful as possible. We’ll be letting you know as soon as it’s back open!
Finally, I have a lot of genealogical content to place online over the next few months. Our online presence is growing!
I have created The Genealogy Webmaster’s Journal aimed at explaining and advancing the technology underlying online genealogy.
For a few days, I had the start of that journal here on the Strong Family Association of America web site. I didn’t like the look! We don’t want visitors to drop by, seeking Strong Family History and Genealogy, and see a bunch of technical material!
I have therefore moved The Genealogy Webmaster’s Journal to a companion site, OT Scripts. We’re doing a lot of work creating a larger online presence for the Strong Family Association. You’ll see the results here, and for those following in our footsteps, I’ll be writing about the process in the Genealogy Webmaster’s Journal.
In fact, I’ve taken most of this holiday weekend rebuilding OT Scripts from scratch, to become an online genealogy resource. I wanted to do that first, so I would have a place to document tips and tricks as they happen!
Whew! One site is rebuilt and running. Now it’s time to do a bit of cleanup here. Watch this space, we have more coming online soon!
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 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
If you skip a paragraph or three, you’ll move straight to my thoughts on how we can be of greater service to our new online-connected generations.
The 21st Century
Three years ago I volunteered as Interim Webmaster. That part was easy, thanks to the gracious help of our previous webmaster! For the record, I donate to SFAA the cost of domain registrations, and the cost of commercial-grade server space and bandwidth. To me it’s all part of the package.
Upon being named permanent Webmaster, I quickly consolidated my empire, declaring myself to be the Grand High Hereditary Webmaster of the Strong Family Association of America. It’s a legitimate title, since most of my best “webmastering” ideas come from our son Jakob Barnard.