How can I download your GEDCOM?
If you would like to download my GEDCOM, you can visit my RootsWeb page, select any individual and scroll to the bottom of the page. Among the links at the bottom of each individual’s page is a link to download the GEDCOM. You can download the whole tree (about 8500 people) or just part of it.
I would like to use some of your research in a publication I am working on. How can I do this? and What are the copyrights?
Information on the Asa pages (Asa and Asa archives), including photos, videos, and text is not to be used or modified for any purpose, commercial or not. I also reserve the rights to the text and images of the stories, genealogy & general subjects blog, photos, and family documents) and other website info. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
On the other hand, all of my genealogy research is posted so as to be available to other researchers for their own non-commercial use. You are free to share the research, to add to it, import it to your GEDCOM, or to make changes relevant to your family tree.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
With that said, any data taken from the genealogy page should be appropriately sourced, whether you are importing it into your family tree or using it in a publication.
If you intend to use any of the data found on the genealogy page for commercial purposes or to use any of the content from other pages for public use (including sharing on your own website), you must contact me for permission. I also like to know when my research is used in any publication.
Please contact me at: megabaker (at) gmail (dot) com
How do I source your page?
You must include accurate sourcing of my page if you use the information found on it (also see copyright info above). The format you prefer to use to source web sites (i.e. MLA, APA, etc.) may vary. In general, however, you will need to use the author name, page title, page update/publication date, the date you accessed the page, and the URL (website address). A sample citation for my genealogy page is listed below:
Baker, Meg. (2007). Meg Baker's Genealogy. Retrieved [date you accessed the page], from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mabgenealogy/genealogy.html
ANY information that you use in your research should be sourced accurately. One of my biggest frustrations with genealogy on the Internet is the lack of sourcing. It has become impossible to track errors back to their source and they continue to multiply because of this!
How do I post corrections or comments on the site?
If you would like to comment on the site or post corrections, please visit my Guestbook. I appreciate follow-up emails with additional information regarding branches of the family tree, but please understand that my primary interest is in my direct line and that I am unable to update the tree for all branches. By posting in the Guestbook, you will make the information available to all visitors, even if I don't get around to correcting it for a while. I apologize to those to whom I cannot respond via email.
Do you have any more information on _______?
All of the information in my genealogy database is on this website. I do NOT typically have additional information about any members of my family. Also, the site includes many cousins, some very distantly related, about whom I know very little.
I appreciate any follow-up emails with additional information regarding branches of the family tree, but please understand that my primary interest is in my direct line and that I am unable to update the tree for all branches. I apologize to those to whom I cannot respond.
What sources do you use? and Where did you get the information on ______?
Most individuals are cited by the small numbers next to their names or next to individual data about them. Many also contain additional information regarding their backgrounds in the notes section. I have tried not to rely too heavily on on-line family trees for citations as these are notoriously unreliable, but some of my sources are still secondary sources such as printed genealogies, family histories, etc. that may not be totally reliable.
Whenever possible, I have used census data, wills and probate records, and other primary sources to validate the information. If there is more than one source for an individual date, I may not have been great about sourcing it (i.e. if multiple censuses show someone's age).
You will note that these primary sources are less available as you move further back in the family tree and as you move further away from my direct line of ancestry. This represents a simple practicality and lack of time to fully investigate every branch immediately. Over time I hope to supplement these sources and to discover additional information regarding these families.
For those of you with a specific interest in those individuals cited in The Search for the Descendants of Samuel and Permilia Scott, I have recently updated the website to include more information from this rare resource. The information is available here. More information will be forthcoming in future edits.
Why do you do genealogy?
How did you build your site?
First of all, I think it's important to note that creating a genealogy website need not be difficult, nor does it have to be expensive. People have written to me with compliments on the site and asked how I built it.
I don't have a background in computers, haven't ever taken a class on web authoring, and haven't ever spent any money on creating this website. (That's right, NO money!) If you are interested in creating a web site for your family, you needn't buy any of the various advertised programs either, and until you have some experience, you probably should hold off. As you get more experience with web authoring, you'll be able to decide what program will fit your needs.
First, I use Rootsweb's Freepages web space. This space is available for free to those who are using it for genealogy/family history purposes. You do have to put up with the banner ads at the top and bottom of the page, which is true for other free web space as well. It only supports a few types of files (html, htm, shtml, shtm), which is sometimes irritating, but is generally acceptable. It's also irritating to deal with the lengthy URL, but that's life, I guess. Rootsweb also supplies the free counters at the bottom of each page and the guestbook.
I use several different programs to create and edit the site pages. My genealogy datbase is Personal Ancestral File version 5.2, which is available for free from the LDS FamilySearch website. It allows me to create my GEDCOM, track dates, sources, notes, etc. It will also create basic web pages for you, with virtually no effort. Most of the pages with information on individuals are created using this tool, since there are so many of them and it makes them easy to update.However, for the main pages and those without direct genealogy content (i.e. the Stories and Family Documents pages), I wanted more flexibility in design than the PAF program could deliver. For these pages, I used a combination of hand writing the source code and using the NVU editor. NVU is a nice alternative to a more expensive HTML editor like Microsoft's Frontpage. Being free and relatively new, NVU has its own kinks to work out, but is a good tool nonetheless, allowing you to do both basic and more complex design without having to learn HTML (or CSS or Java or...) code. It also allows hand edits to the source code and has a preview pane.
For the pages with ongoing content, like the Asa page or the Genealogy & General Subjects blog, I have used Blogger to create and update them. This enables easier formatting and archiving, allows for comments to be posted, and enables web feeds. It's mostly a convenience at this point. I plan to create a page about how I did this in the near future so that others can also do it. A whole website could be created with this format.
For hand editing of code and learning basic HTML (or XML or Java or...), I can recommend the tutorials and examples at the W3 Schools. This is where I learned almost all of the coding that is on my page. This is a more advanced option, however.
Why are some people listed only as "Living"?
In order to maintain the privacy of those individuals who may still be alive, my genealogy database is set to include no information on anyone who may still be alive. Given the large number of distant cousins included in the database, there may be occasional errors. If you have found yourself or another living person on this site, please let me know so that I can remove them. Please contact me by removing the dashes from the following email: megabaker (at) gmail (dot) com
How do I get started in genealogy?
This is the requisite FAQ for all family history pages. My answer is mostly that you should visit other sites to see how they recommend getting started. That said, I do have a couple of recommendations. First, start with your relatives. There is an excellent individual history questionnaire here.
Next, move on to family documents, including letters, photos, diaries, and memorabilia. You may be surprised at what you find out just within your home and those of near relatives. Ask others to help you identify people in photos and LABEL them. Take other steps to preserve your family documents as well.
Next, get a genealogy program like Personal Ancestral File (which is free from the LDS church). Start with your most recent known ancestor (i.e. a grandparent) and enter everything you know.
Finally, you will branch out. For thoughts on possible sources of information, you could consult the following:
This is by no means a complete list of possibilities, and as you will discover, the number, quality, and type of record will vary by time period and location. The repository of existing records will likewise vary dramatically by location. Some sites that may help are included on my Links page.
A specific caution regarding other's research, however. There are MANY, MANY errors in published genealogies, whether they are in print or online. When one genealogist bases their research off of this error, it replicates itself, sometimes becoming impossible to trace. It is ALWAYS better to see the original source and to treat the genealogies as, at best, a possible guide to more information. Also, you should ALWAYS source the material that you find.
Even the best-intentioned genealogists will make mistakes. For example, I have seen firsthand where someone sees a name and neglects to realize that there are two people by the same name. This can result in a lot more children or spouses, for example.
Sadly, there are also those genealogists who seem to make up family connections, often in an attempt to get back to a "desirable" ancestor, such as a royal or titled family or a military veteran. This is a popular practice now, and was perhaps even more popular in earlier years. Some of the family histories from the 1800s and 1900s are highly suspect in this regard. A lesson is that everything should be taken with a grain of salt and that, whenever possible, sources should be compared against an original and against each other.