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    Category: Usgenweb Projects


    What’s New for November, December and the Foreseeable Future

    My Christmas present this morning — apparently another section of the site is down due to, I think, some kind of server update. How long has it been down? I have no clue. As is usually the case, the error message isn’t helpful at all. Also, as is usually the case, no one noticed or cared enough to let me know there was a problem.

    I’ve had a suspicion for a long time, and am again reminded, that the only users for the site are me, a couple of dedicated contributors (Monica and Justin) and the Google bot. So I’m thinking I’m going to be taking a break for a few months.

    What’s New in October

    Actually, not much happening this past month of October, and probably pretty quiet for the rest of the year. I’m taking some time off to watch old Hitchcock movies and read silly books. 🙂

    What’s New in August

    It’s been a busy month! I wish I had a kewl prize to offer if you make it through the whole thing. 🙂

    Google Newspaper Archive: As you might know, Monica makes extensive use of the Google Newspaper Archive to index the death notices in the old newspapers for us. A few weeks ago, she started having problems with it and it’s become pretty much unusable at this point. There’s a discussion thread about it in the Google forums — and it’s not just her having issues. While it doesn’t appear anyone with any clout from Google is weighing-in, we hope you will. Interesting that the comments indicate it’s genealogy researchers who are using that archive, eh?

    Facebook Changes: Facebook recently made a change that no longer allows for automatic posting of blog posts to the Facebook page. It’s still possible to add the posts to . . . [Yes! There’s more!]

    What’s New in July

    Lots of stuff happened in July. Well, I think it’s lots — you might not. 🙂

    The Morgan County MOGenWeb project now resides in three places, which is going to be confusing for the time being. The Rootsweb site is back up and while Rootsweb was down, most of the material was moved to the MOGenWeb.org server. Once the material has been harvested from Rootsweb, and once I can get logged into MOGenWeb.org, those will be deleted and redirected, so please update your bookmarks.

    I spent the better part of July, as with most of the past months, working on the St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hurlingen, Buchanan County, Missouri. I could probably work on this cemetery for another year and still not call it “finished.”

    Monica, as always, was busy indexing newspapers and we have these gems from her:

    1889-1899 Obituaries . . . [Yes! There’s more!]

    Morgan County MOGenWeb Project

    Work has begun on cleaning up the Morgan County MOGenWeb project pages and moving them from the MOGenWeb server. There is a lot of information there, so it will take awhile.

    Most of the email addresses on the Surnames list and the links to researchers’ pages are broken — some as a result of the Rootsweb problems, and also because they were abandoned long ago. There’s contact information on almost every page for County Coordinators who are no longer active.

    Unfortunately, there continues to be a problem accessing the old site on MOGenWeb to update those pages. Your patience is appreciated while that gets resolved.

    Are you doing research in Morgan County? Do you have a personal website that contains information about families or places there? We will be happy to link to your site, the only requirement being that your page must deal . . . [Yes! There’s more!]

    Copyright and Fair Use

    Monica and I have this discussion occasionally, especially pertaining to obituaries. Can we re-publish them on the web? If they are from before 1923, no. Just recently I told her, “Since everyone else is doing it, I’m tempted to just wait for ‘them’ to catch me.” But that’s not really The Right Thing To Do, so I’ve settled on excerpts with links for items that I don’t have permission to copy outright. Some newspapers have given express permission to do so, The Current Local and the Idaho Statesman, for instance.

    Copyright law is a bear to understand. The University of Texas Libraries has a section that might help — the Copyright Crash Course. In a nutshell, “Fair Use” is NOT “re-publish the whole thing.”

    What’s New in May

    We finished transferring what we could find for the Carter County MOGenWeb project, formerly hosted at Rootsweb, from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. A lot of the MOGenWeb county sites are down and/or lost because of loss of their Rootsweb hosting, and a significant percentage of them need County Coordinators. Larry Flesher, the Missouri State Coordinator, would love to hear from you if you can help!

    We heard from Justin Watkins this month and he submitted some additions/corrections for the DeJarnette Family Cemetery in Pettis County. In the good news/bad news department, he also asked, “What happened to the pictures?” This is how I found out that some database changes back in August 2016 broke many of the Pettis County cemeteries, and probably other counties as well. I really don’t know, at this point, how extensive the damage is or how long . . . [Yes! There’s more!]

    Behaving Badly

    All of my efforts to date to get a handle on the bots and site scrapers can only be classified as an epic fail. They are determined and they are legion and they are automated. And they consume alarming amounts of bandwidth.

    In the past, I tried requiring user registration for the TNG section of this site, but that wasn’t working. If registration was open, I was deluged by spammers. If registration required administrative approval, it never failed people wanted “in” while I was sleeping. Or working. I do sleep and work. 🙂

    So, in a bit of a comprise, I’ve settled on requiring a login BUT it’s sweet and simple. You don’t need to register! Just follow the instructions on the login page and you’re in in the time it takes to type ten characters. Let’s you in and hopefully keeps them out.

    Since I implemented . . . [Yes! There’s more!]

    1845-1911 Surname Index for Death Notices in St. Joseph MO Newspapers

    Monica’s latest project has been to index the surnames from her death notices in St. Joseph, Missouri, newspapers indexes, The Index Index! The 1845-1911 Surname Index for Death Notices in St. Joseph MO Newspapers is now online. I don’t know where she finds the time!