This site displays information from a wide variety of sources, public and private. We attempt to credit the source of the data wherever we can so that others may verify that information. We strongly believe that the site's approaches toward consistency of presentation and toward integrating that data back into family groupings are key elements of added value. We have no intent to gain commercially from the information presented here. So, we make this site freely available to others on the web and present the information for non-commercial use ONLY.
Registered users may download GED files and receive monthly updates on progress towards the site's goals. We ask that any data used from this site is credited back to www.howesfamilies.com so that others may check the sources used.
We do present some primary sources such as birth, marriage and death certificates but we are not a primary source for most of the data contained. So we encourage users to check the original records themselves and let us know if better information comes to light.
PRIVACY: 100-year rule
We recognize that many people regard the internet as intrusive and a potential threat to their privacy. We are also aware that standards vary from country to country but that the web is global. This website is based in the US where data privacy laws are lax relative to most other "Western countries", but we recognize we must set our own standards out of respect for the wishes of people around the world. Consequently, we do not disclose any information regarding any individual born within the last 100 years unless we know that individual to have died. In common with other One-Name Studies, we do collect and retain information on living individuals for the benefit of researchers who come after us, and potentially from the perspective of being able to find living Howes/Hows/Howse and House individuals for DNA testing purposes.
A copy of the most recent data file is always in the possession of two people who can see every entry. Other than that, access is restricted. If you are able to see any such information relating to a living person aged less than 100, we ask that you bring it to our attention by using the comment facility, following which we will remove that person from view.
Use of secondary/public sources
Our primary sources to date have been:
- census records
- government birth, marriage and death registration records
- usually church-based baptism, marriage and burial records
- newspaper artlcles
- family histories shared with us by people who register on our site
We often find we are able to supplement these with public or secondary sources such as the IGI or from trees posted to websites such as Ancestry.com, using our judgement. We are clear to show the source used so that others may make their judgements about accuracy and/or help us improve the data. Sometimes we combine such trees where it makes sense.
To those who are concerned that we are benefiting from the fruits of others' labor we reply:
1) we do not benefit. Our aims are shown elsewhere on the site. We seek only the truth.
2) if you do not want others to use your data, don't post it on the internet
Long-term viability of website and data backups
People occasionally ask us what will happen if the site-owner dies. This is to confirm that:
- we have left instructions to the Guild of One-Name Studies that they are to take over the raw data already stored on their site and continue to present it until such time as another person volunteers to take over the One-Name Study.
- the main online datafile on this site is updated usually at least once a week and a copy sent at the same time to a second individual. The master file is in my personal possession and is backed up frequently. Thus, there are always four copies of the data in at least three different computers at any one time, at most a week out of date.
Our long-term ideal is to form some kind of association so that the study can be maintained and developed. If you are interested in being a part of such and perhaps in putting energy into growing such , then please do get in touch.
Paul. Sepember 2010