Friday, December 14, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments

It's time for another Follow-Up Friday post - a look at helpful and interesting reader comments you may have missed on Genea-Musings posts.

1)  On We All Want Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers (posted 7 December 2012):

*  Tamura Jones said:  "You ask 'Why aren't FamilySearch, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, GeneaNet, and other companies on the list of Founding Members yet?'

"Some on that list are in talks with FHISO, and announcements will follow in due course. The announcement for, the maker of Family Tree Maker, was the very first."

*  John Carruthers noted:  "FHISO wants individual genealogists to join as well as organizations and companies. I believe individuals will be able to contribute to the process."

*  Russ Worthington offered:  "...It is an important project AND I think serious genealogist need to be involved.  I think as our genealogy database management applications, on a PC, Mac, or Online continue to offer the ability to Share our information, those developers should be involved.

"There is another group that should be involved. (an expansion on "serious genealogist") Those genealogy educators who help us learn about our hobby.  Early in the BetterGEDCOM project, we attempted to get more of our "leaders" to help with our research process. Those who help us understand WHAT to collect, HOW to record what we collect, HOW we should analyze what we collect, and how to Document what we collect.  I could, but won't, suggest any names, but I think you know who I might be thinking about. "Power Users", like yourself, need to be at the "table" when these discussion take place.

"As John suggested, Individuals are encouraged to Join the ORGANIZATION (FHISO).  Its the SHARING and Collaboration with other researchers that FHISO is attempting to enhance and now have so many work arounds to accomplish that."

*  Wyospring commented:  "...this is a BIG CONCERN to me. The reason why I want to give an accurate GEDCOM to family members or persons trying to copy my research that I have posted on ANCESTRY is so they won't have to retype it. Every time something is retyped many mistakes are made in spellings, dates, connections and dates. I have had to add families to connect, and grab all the photos and docs one at time. This is so time consuming!!! Being able to download pics and GEDCOMS for a family would be WONDERFUL!!!"

*  Andy Hatchett responded:  "Accurate according to...?

"1). The exporting program/website/database?
2). The Importing program/website database?

"Until ALL endusers start demanding a single standard from programmers/websites/ content-vendors, etc. there will NEVER be such a thing as 'an accurate GEDCOM'.

"And yes- when all is said and done it really is a war between the genealogical enduser vs. the programmers/websites/content-providers and, IMHO, the sooner this is recognized the better."

*  Alex noted:  "'FHISO wants individual genealogists to join.'

"I am sorry, but this does not seem currently correct. There is no way established for individuals to join FHISO."

*  verybigkid offered:  "While there is more good news in the works, as Tamura commented, some probably need to see the modern FHISO platform in action to be convinced.

"It's time to make that happen!  The Federation of Genealogical Societies has been good enough to feature FHISO on it's radio show next Saturday. I can't think of a better way to widen the dialog and prepare to welcome in a new day.   Hope you'll join us. 
FGS Website:
FGS Radio:"

*  ACProctor commented: "Re: Why aren't FamilySearch, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, GeneaNet, and other companies on the list of Founding Members yet? 

"I don't profess know the answer to this Randy but I can take a stab at some possibilities.  As Tamura said, there are ongoing talks with some of these organisations, and we're very proud that Ancestry was our very first founding member.

"Some vendors and content providers may fear that this is somehow anti-competitive, and that it may take away their edge in the marketplace. This view is easily dispelled if we manage to get the corresponding people in a conference with FHISO. The data model standard would enable sharing - without bias towards products, hardware, or locale - and data sharing is a fundamental tenet of genealogy.

"We have definitely encountered companies who thought we were advocating a replacement data model for their existing products, and hence some massive amount of work for them.The fact that the data model is primarily for sharing means it is external to their products, and a superset of what they use now. If that standard data model is good then there is no reason why it cannot be internalised by a product, but that should not be mandatory.

"There may still be folks who view FHISO as small-fry, and that we will fail as other initiative have failed in their ultimate goal. This could be a self-fulfilling prophecy if those folks just sit on the fence waiting, and don't support FHISO. The existing FHISO volunteers are small in number, and some never seem to sleep, but if you truly believe in their goal then come and help them. FHISO has aspirations beyond a standard for data exchange, and they absolutely must happen for all our sakes. 

"Maybe some people feel that they don't want their futures legislated by some new start-up group. I can dispel that now. FHISO is not some separate body attempting to regulate the field or dictate what everyone does. FHISO is made up of the stakeholders in this field, i.e. FHISO is the community. We're therefore multi-disciplinary and multinational.

"Then there may be those who want complete control of this field themselves, and who believe the world will follow their lead. Is that in their interests, or all our collective interests?"

My comments:  I know this is a long recitation of the comments, but I thought they were helpful to the understanding of the issue.  Several of the commenters are very active in the FHISO organization and need to be heard.  Thank you all for adding to the knowledge base of my readers.

*  Geolover said:  "Researchers should bear in mind that the collection is mis-titled. It is New York **Deeds** (not 'Land Records'), which encompass myriad items recorded as deeds -- all manner of agreements, even marriage records, wills and personal property sale agreements of many kinds.

"One nice thing I ran across is that the 1825 Balloting Book, listing original grantees of NY Revolutionary War Land Warrants and related goodies, is in the Onondaga County listing. There are other places to download this book, but this would be a really easy one for viewing and copying selected pages.

"What is included is quite variable for each County. I was hoping for 18th-century Albany County deeds, but they are not uploaded. Maybe some day. The Schuyler County part lists no actual deeds."

*  Richard Holmes noted:  "... For those researching in Albany County, be aware that the grantor index and deeds are not found under the Albany County heading, but under the heading "all counties". Once you click on 'all counties' you will find the deeds and grantor and grantee indexes. Also, for those who have, a searchable file of the grantor index is available there under New York: Albany County Deeds, 1630-1894."

*  Geolover commented:  "PS regarding Albany County Deeds. Unfortunately, although the 'All Counties' index to deeds supposedly covers my time period of interest (1790s), it does not list several that I know to have been recorded in Albany County 1793-1795. I will continue to hope that the actual deed books for the County for this time period will be available in the future."

*  Virginia noted:  "Many thanks for posting this, Randy. I was able to find my 3g-grandfather's given name by finding the deed that matched the selling of the land after he died. I've been searching for this for a looong time."

My comments:  Thanks for the discussion, especially about Albany County.  I hadn't looked for deeds there yet, but I will!  I'm glad you found the name, Virginia.  I assume you searched for the surname in the index knowing the approximate land location - well done!

3)  On Geni Limits Lifetime Memberships (posted 13 December 2012):

*  Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said:  "And, 'lifetime' means as long as the service exists - 'the other alternative' was likely 'going out of business' where 'lifetime' would have really ended, now. Every story has at least two sides, usually many more... I dropped my Geni FREE memberships some time back... I just didn't like what I saw, for me. Life will go on... "

*  Keith Riggle noted:  "Yes, 'lifetime' means both the life of the person and the company, but unilaterally changing the terms of service for what were obviously Geni's most loyal members is penny-wise and pound-foolish. MyHeritage admitted that it terminated the lifetime memberships for revenue reasons, but even if it's not illegal (which remains to be seen), it's unethical and just bad judgment. Geni has a history of treating their members poorly. If people perform their due diligence before joining, they will certainly think twice!"

*  Judi commented:  "Lifetime sometime in Aug, 2011 was double from the original price almost; it was finally dropped down to $417 which is now their 5 year option which they instituted sometime in June 2012"

My comments:  Thanks for the comments.  It still seems like a bad deal to me for the 'lifetime' members who signed up in good faith!

4)  On one of my posts:

* boxbcn stated:   "It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now I'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon! Feel free to surf my web site ::"

My comment:  Thanks for the spam...and I'll take a donation any time (my email address is listed, please conract me ASAP).  You didn't give me a website to surf, and I doubt that I would have anyway.  

5)  Thanks to all of my readers for their blog comments, emails, Facebook comments, Google+ comments and Twitter comments.  Congratulations for defeating the Captcha trap, too.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

No comments: