Hello everyone. This is a rather early month-end note because I am about to embark upon a 15-day orgy of sailing at Wroxham and Horning regatta weeks on the Norfolk Broads and then on Breydon Water in two weeks' time.In the picture (taken by Trish Barnes on Wroxham Broad last weekend) my yacht is #217 on port tack in the middle of the fleet. It actually looks quite big when you are pulling the sail up, but not when it is set against the other yachts, which are Farthing 219, Firebird 335, Raisena 3, Matilda 300 and White Wings 1. Check out the sizes of the people in the photograph! Hope you can see why I enjoy it; it's good to get out of the chair and take part in competitive sport.
OK, enough of me! There hasn't been too much in the news about Howes people in the past month. So I thought I'd write about a few other things
Website behaving strangely?
It seems that website attacks from Russia and China have markedly increased recently and Internet Service Providers have had to update their security settings. The result for us has been that our weekly file updates have been stopping in mid-stream and the whole process taking even longer than usual.
Pending a solution, I just want to let you know that once a week, for about 90 minutes, the site loses all of its data which is then gradually replaced as the new updated file is loaded. So if you don't see what you expect, please do come back in an hour and try again. One other thing you can do to check whether the new file is fully loaded is to click on SOURCES. If there are over 2,000 of them, all is good.
I mentioned earlier in the year that I expected to put the data in our study elsewhere on the internet, to (1) better preserve the results long-term and also (2) demonstrate Howes/House/Howse/Howze/Hows ancestry to a wider group of people and (3) get more feedback on what we have done to further improve the quality of our research.
Well, I can now reveal that the Guild of One-Name Studies has made an arrangement with the good folks at FamilySearch. We can upload our trees (in the form of GED files) to the Genealogies section of FamilySearch.org. Once there, they can be consulted by users of their site and even linked to. In return FamilySearch agrees to preserve our work for as long as anyone can imagine. FamilySearch users can also engage with the Guild members who submitted the trees via an email link at top right of each screen. Guild members will be able to update and/or replace our work every few months too, thus keeping it current.
One thing I know everyone will be concerned with is confidentiality. With our own website, we upload our entire file to the site and then our software restricts things so that no-one can see anything on anybody born within the last 100 years unless we know that person to have died. FamilySearch wants us to eliminate all living people from our submissions before we send them. We have to actually “privatize” our file.
The problem with that is that most programs "privatize" any individual with no birth or death record, which is often a nonsense! For the people at the very tops of our trees, a name may be all we know. So, I ran a report showing about 7,000 people in our database without a birth or death record and will need to look at each one of them separately before submitting the file. For older people we will have to add a death record with “Not known” in the place field. It has been a useful exercise to run that report because I have found a few living individuals for whom we had not entered an estimated year of birth so as to hide their record.
Hmm. That was a longer explanation than I had meant to write! I just want to assure everyone that we know what we are doing and that we are not at all cavalier in our approach. It's worth adding that other Guild members have already submitted over 500,000 individuals to FamilySearch and I expect multiples of that number to appear over the next few months.
Let's close on a lighter note. Did you know we have a jazz violinist among our number? He has his own website, christianhowes.com but I pulled these three videos from YouTube to show the range of his performances:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eV3zBw5AQ0 – Amazing Grace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PEKeZ7rMu4 – Yesterday (stick with this one!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2lNMgb6sJ8 – Concerto for electric violin and orchestra
I enjoyed them. Hope you do too.
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