Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Explore the OurFamTree.org/Records/ Website


I received an email from researcher Ray Gurganus recently, introducing me to his new website, www.ourfamtree.org/records.


There are over 243,000 records in this site - with names, dates, places, and links for teachers, graduates, judges, sheriffs, ministers, and even more "officials."  Your ancestors may be on this list.

Ray has been collecting historical records for specific public and private offices into lists, and now his website is available to share them.

Ray wrote:
"This project started when I found a list of 50+ previous pastors of my home Methodist church in NC, and wanted to know where they served before and after they were at my church. 
"There was no one resource to answer this -- just a lot of random googling, hoping to find something. So as I was searching and finding lists from other churches, I thought I should start recording them for future reference. 
"Well, that has gotten out-of-hand. My list is now at over 106,000 minister records from all states and all church denominations I have searched so far... and as I was searching, I kept finding other lists of people I thought I should record too. So I expanded the webpage to include church deacons, postmasters, justices of the peace, sheriffs, treasurers, judges, university professors, lighthouse keepers, and more. Anywhere I can find a list of people with their dates of service in a specific position, and especially positions that might otherwise not have as much visibility. All in one searchable list, I'm up to over 243,000 records in total, and still adding more daily. 
"This list can be helpful for one-name studies -- finding anyone with a surname, anywhere they may be, or studying a location, and finding many of the people who served in that location, or for searching for individual people. For anyone found, the quoted source may have more information on the person. Almost all sources are online. 
"I hope you find it as useful as I believe it can be.
https://www.ourfamtree.org/records"


Needless to say, I found it very useful, providing information about many persons in my RootsMagic family tree. For instance, I searched for last name = "seaver" and saw:


There are 23 entries with the Seaver surname - including many that I have in my RootsMagic family tree, but there are some that are not yet in my Seaver tree.

Note that the "Type" (occupation) column is color coded so that all of the ministers have the same background color.

Another example:  I searched for a Place name = "killingly" and the results were:


There is a list of 28 ministers who served in the East Killingly [CT] Baptist Church, including my ancestor Jonathan Oatley in 1834.

Ray's base site has many more features - go explore https://www.ourfamtree.org/.  You may find out something about your ancestors.  

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The URL for this post is: https://www.geneamusings.com/2018/04/explore-ourfamtreeorgrecords-website.html

Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

6 comments:

Janice Moore Cronan said...

Randy,
Is OurFamTree.org like Family Search? Can we upload our family tree or just submit websites? Thanks for all the information you share with us, Janice

Jay at 1FamilyTree said...

I tried Ray's site over 10 years ago ! Its GREAT ! BUT....

1. I wish he would make his software available for sale.
(appears to be loosely based on TNG but he has made many many improvements)
2. With only 243,000 records/persons performance is great, but I have over that many in just my own records, what if 1000 people like me added info?
What kind of performance will he have when there are 24,300,000 records/persons?
3. I would really prefer to control my own data, as he is a one man show, and can he really guarantee that his site is secure? My data will be secure? what if he isnt around, what safeguards are there for my data?

Tess said...

I'm assuming this is primarily for American researchers?

Ray Gurganus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray Gurganus said...

Hello, I'm the administrator of the websites referenced here. responding to the posts above --
Janice: The main topic of this blog post is the collection of records at www.ourfamtree.org/records. The main website at www.ourfamtree.org is a site where you can maintain your family tree online. I can upload a gedcom, but I emphasize that this is NOT just a site where you upload a gedcom and leave it. If information is put online here, the intention is that it will be maintained directly on the website as you add and update new information.

Jay: It's not for sale, as this is a collaborative site where researchers contribute towards one shared tree. Like the shared tree at Familysearch.org, but with more sensible control over your data. Having it for sale and distributed would defeat the purpose of a shared tree.... The 243,000 number is just for the historical records collection, to which only I add information. The main website, where anyone can add anything at any time, has about 549,000 records. I don't know what kind of performance it would have at 24 million, but it would be a while before it gets to that point. Keep in mind this is a shared tree -- once an ancestor is added, that person exists only ONCE, and all related trees link to the one shared ancestor. No duplicates.... You do control your own data. No one can edit your information without your permission.

Tess: While a majority of the information may be American, there is nothing that limits it to America. Users from UK, Australia, South Africa, and other countries have submitted information.

Ray Gurganus said...

Also, one other comment to refocus the original blog post. Randy did a great job in explaining this collection of records I am organizing, but the comments were mostly focused on the parent website. I just don't want any confusion or misunderstanding about the parent site to distract from drawing attention to this unique collection of information coming together at www.ourfamtree.org/records. The two are connected in several ways, but using one is not required to use the other. Thank you.