April 2009

Still almost monthly!
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Joined: October 4th, 2009, 6:28 pm

April 2009

Post by mardler »

Hi everyone. Sending this month's update a little early as I need to get busy at work.

DNA test
The big news this month is that Ancestry.com replied to my request for a discount and has offered 30% for every test ordered between now and the end of 2009. The really good news is that you don't even need to be a Howes to qualify for it - just use the code. I know at least two Howes males who have been in correspondence with me about it and have been waiting for this moment. Let's go, gentlemen! And Ladies: you can now get a cheap mtDNA test done too. Details are here: http://www.howesfamilies.com/histories/dnastudy.php.

Folks, please do read the accompanying text and perhaps one or two of the articles linked at the foot of the page. I'd hate for anyone to spend their money and get something that they weren't expecting, but it is worth doing, IMHO. Please

State of play
As of this evening UK time we have 14,000 people in the database (remember they're nearly all linked together in family groups) and we have 90 registered members. The rate of growth is gradually slowing down, which is just fine. I'm thinking that we can define a good month in future if we get 1,000 new people and 10 new registered members. And all of this has happened even though we haven't advertized ourselves on various notice boards! That now needs to change, because of the need to reach people before the end of the year before the DNA discount expires.

GOONS marriage challenge
The Guild Of One-Name Studies has some wonderful volunteers who give their own time to collect data on British marriages direct from the original registers. They then share that information back with other GOONS like me. As and when I get each back, I enter them into the database and see if I can connect up children with parents and so on.

It's like being able to obtain marriage certificates for people with your surname, but without having to pay 7 pounds each for them. So far I've received details for King's Norton just outside Birmingham and for Barrow on Soar in Leicestershire. I have at least another 250 requests waiting for replies. This is a LOT Of work for the volunteers and I want to record my own personal thanks to them.

Co-incidence regarding TNG
You may have noticed that I use some rather special software to display the database and its contents on the web. Called TNG, there are about 1,000 copies of the software in use around the world, mostly in the US. On Friday evening, I received a note from a US journalist asking if I would mind if she used a picture of my site for an article she was writing. The article will appear in Internet Genealogy in May/June.

When I saw the draft article, I saw she'd used a picture of my site next to another site with a picture of Great Yarmouth market on its front page. Great Yarmouth just happens to be about 10 miles from my house in England and the birthplace of Captain Victor Howes, the artist of the painting on my front page. How likely is it that of all the copies of TNG the journalist happens to pick two which started in the same county on the other side of the world? More than that even: when I was a little boy, my father used to work for the grandfather of the owner of the other site! Now THAT's a co-incidence! Small world.

Birth, Marriage and Death indices
Thanks to Dave in Germany, we now have a Howes birth index for England and Wales from 1837 through 1930 and a marriage index through 1920. I have to say that Dave's dedication to producing a quality product is amazing. He has submitted hundreds of corrections to Ancestry and FreeBMD websites. The result is that our index is likely to be THE most accurate index of all those available on our name. Links to access these super databases are here: http://www.howesfamilies.com/histories/feature5.php.

Next steps are to build the death index (which he has already started) and then to add in details for linked names, like HOWSE, HOWS and so on.

Thanks are also due to:
- Dave for gradually helping piece together the Howes family of Mattishall in Norfolk and figure out where it came from
- Cheryl, Janet, Robin, Luke, Caroline, Susan, Ralph and Keith and others who have written in (again) with information, certificates and so on
- others I have missed

Can you? If so, would you like to? Thanks if you can - let me know

All the best
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