Scott_J on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
I've just posted some updates to Family Tree Circles, that I hope will start us on the road to making this a better place for everybody. Here's what I've done...
The Family Tree Circles points system has been removed. I believe it has been broken for a long time, but in any case, the feedback that I've been getting is that it is encouraging a quantity over quality approach for some. I originally put that in place to recognize the top contributors, and I think it did serve a purpose for many years. It seems it is time to move on from that model. Instead, I do plan on doing some sort of user scoring/reputation system going forward. More on that in a bit.
Block/Unblock Users: A a sort of pressure relief valve, I've implemented a "block user" feature. This will hide journals for any blocked user in the places where journals are listed. You can still view individual journals or the profile of a blocked user. And you can always unblock a user from your own profile.
To block a user, click the "block this user" link in the bio section of a journal or that user's profile.
To unblock a user, you can click that link again (it'll change to "unblock"). Or you can view all the blocked users in your profile and unblock them from there:
Yes, you can block yourself. :-)
I don't love having to add this last feature, but it'll be interesting to see if it gets used.
I know that neither of these solutions solve the difficult problem of someone flooding the active journal page with many posts, or lots of comments on their own posts. You can clean up the view for yourself with blocking, but most people won't do that and the flooding can continue. This is a difficult one to solve because some people who post great stuff may also post a several journals in a row. So, simply putting basic flood control in (ilke to limit posts to a certain number per hour) would hurt users who don't deserve it.
As I indicated above, I plan to implement an algorithmic scoring/reputation system that will take peer feedback into consideration when deciding which journals will be displayed in the journals lists.
Many of you have surely noticed back in the spring that I introduced "Thank" and "flag" links on journals. To those of you who have been using those, thanks. I'll be using that information in a future update.
In the meantime, I hope these two short-term changes help some.
1. John Slade-1 was born in 1725 in CT. He died on 17 Mar 1797 in Windsor, Connecticut. He married Martha Abbe on 12 Sep 1751 in Windsor, Connecticut, daughter of Thomas Abbe. She was born on 01 Mar 1728 in Wethersfield, Conn. She died on 22 Aug 1795 in Alstead, New Hampshire.
Child of John Slade and Martha Abbe is:
2.i. William Slade, B: 25 Nov 1756 in Enfield, Hartford Co., Conn., D: 25 Oct 1857 in Alstead, Cheshire Co. New Hampshire.
2. William Slade-2(John-1) was born on 25 Nov 1756 in Enfield, Hartford Co., Conn.. He died on 25 Oct 1857 in Alstead, Cheshire Co. New Hampshire. He married Anna Root.She was born on 08 Sep 1758. She died on 25 Oct 1838.
Children of William Slade and Anna Root are:
i. William Slade, B: 06 Aug 1790.
ii. Henry Slade, B: 11 Oct 1798.
iii. Achsah Slade, B: 01 Apr 1785.
iv. John Slade, B: 06 Aug 1792.
3.v. Thomas Slade, B: 21 May 1780, D: 12 Dec 1830, M: Clarissa Borroughs, 15 Jan 1801 in New Hampshire.
vi. Arsenath Slade, B: 06 Apr 1787.
vii. Allen Slade, B: 26 May 1796.
viii. Anna Slade, B: 29 Mar 1782, D: 02 Oct 1837 in Alstead, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire, M: John Burroughs VI, 03 Mar 1805 in Alstead, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire.
3. Thomas Slade-3(William-2, John-1) was born on 21 May 1780. He died on 12 Dec 1830. He married Clarissa Borroughs on 15 Jan 1801 in New Hampshire, daughter of John Burroughs V and Mehitable Carlton. She was born on 23 Oct 1779 in Alstead, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. She died on 01 Oct 1866 in Brookfield, Orange Co., Vermont.
Children of Thomas Slade and Clarissa Borroughs are:
4.i. Lavinia Slade, B: 1805 in New Hampshire, D: 10 Jan 1880 in Walpole, , NH, M: Charles Rice, 18 Mar 1832 in Rockingham, , VT.
ii. Allen Slade.
Thomas Slade Jr., B: 29 Nov 1814, D: 03 May 1905, M: Elvira Adams, 19 Oct 1842.
iv. Howard Slade, D: 31 Aug 1893, M: Sally G. Barton, 20 Jul 1828.
4. Lavinia Slade-4(Thomas-3, William-2, John-1) was born in 1805 in New Hampshire. She died on 10 Jan 1880 in Walpole, , NH. She married Charles Rice on 18 Mar 1832 in Rockingham, , VT.He was born in 1807 in Walpole, New Hampshire. He died on 16 Jul 1878 in Walpole, , NH.
Children of Lavinia Slade and Charles Rice are:
i. Charles Edward Rice, B: 23 Apr 1845 in , , NH Prob, D: 21 Apr 1876 in , , , @@29 Unm.
ii. Eliza M Rice, B: Abt. 1834 in , , NH Prob, D: 16 Jul 1864 in , , , @@30.
iii. George Allen Rice, B: Abt. 1840 in , , NH Prob, D: , , , D @@1Yr11mos.
iv. Martha "Mattie" Ellen Rice, B: 06 Feb 1848 in , , NH Prob, D: 15 Oct 1927 in Langdon, , NH.
v. Thomas S Rice, B: Abt. 1836 in , , NH Prob, D: 17 Aug 1855 in , , , @@19.
vi. Lucy Ann Rice, B: 26 Apr 1842 in , , NH Prob, M: Charles E Hartwell, 08 Nov 1860 in Langdon, , NH Poss.
vii. Henry E Rice, B: 16 Feb 1833 in , , NH Prob.
viii. Harriet "Hattie" Rice, B: Abt. 1838 in New Hampshire.
5. Thomas Slade Jr.-4(Thomas-3, William-2, John-1) was born on 29 Nov 1814. He died on 03 May 1905. He married Elvira Adams on 19 Oct 1842, daughter of Anson Adams and Sukey Gold. She was born on 04 Jul 1814. She died on 11 Mar 1890.
Children of Thomas Slade Jr. and Elvira Adams are:
i. Coralinn Slade, B: 11 Oct 1843 in Northfield, VT, D: 17 Jun 1926 in Chittenden, Vermont, M: Joseph Baker, 31 Dec 1863 in Northfield, VT.
ii. William Thomas Slade, B: 30 Sep 1855, D: 21 Sep 1874.
iii. Adelinn Slade, B: 28 May 1845, D: 23 Oct 1932, M: Nathan Baxter Stark, 26 Jan 1869.
iv. Ora Allen Slade, B: 22 May 1858, D: 05 Jan 1926.
v. Elva Slade, B: 16 Jan 1852.
If you’ve been reading the FamilyTreeCircles newsletter, you know that I’ve been working on some new features on FamilyTreeCircles.
If you don’t currently subscribe to the newsletter, you can sign up here.
I’m happy to say that a number of them have gone live today.
Here’s an overview of what’s new.
New Journal and Comment Views
You’ll notice a new menu item called “Journals”. That brings you to a new series of pages that give different views of journals and comments:
- Newest: All of the new journals
- Unanswered: Any journal that does not have a comment
- Last Activity: All journals sorted by last activity (either a new journal or a comment added)
- QuickSearch: search in all journals, more on that below
- Latest Comments: View just the latest comments, not journals
This functionality replaces the old tried and true “Active Posts” page, which remains available if that is what you’re comfortable with.
Take a look through these menu items and see if these offer you any improvement in how to view the journals on Family Tree Circles
While you can use the search box in the upper right, the new Quick Search gives you a fast way to quickly sift through journals in the system to find keywords that you’re looking for. Looking for a surname? just start typing it in to the quick search box and you’ll immediately see any journals matching your search term.
Note: You can also search in just your own journals by accessing the quick search link from your own Journals page from your profile.
Journal “Thanks” and “Flag”
In order to reward people who are writing great journals, I’ve added a “Thank” button to the bottom of all journals.
If you like what someone wrote, just quickly click “Thank”. I’m quietly keeping track of these for now, but soon I’ll be exposing these numbers in the form of “popular journals” or people who get the most thanks. For now, just feel free to use it!
If you have any questions about these features, please drop a comment.
As communities grow there will be people who disagree, and people who upset the community with their behavior, whether it is intended or not. It is inevitable.
It seems we have ourselves in this situation. I won't name names, but you probably know what I'm talking about. I had hoped this situation would have resolved itself, but it came to a bit of a head over the past several days.
While quietly addressing the situation yesterday, I disabled this member's ability to post comments. I didn't feel it was necessary to publicize that action, but maybe it would have prevented some more misunderstandings.
I learned that later last night this particular member was subsequently deactivated by one of our admins. This is a decision that I understand and respect, but the technical ramifications of that were such that I decided to reverse that -- especially since I had already prevented him from posting comments and been in discussions with him to resolve the problems. More on that in a bit.
Apparently some people noticed both the deactivation and the reversal and are troubled by the apparent lack of action, or worse, the appearance that I'm sticking up for this member.
I want to explain that.
Account deactivation is something that is for the purpose of quickly removing a spammer from FamilyTreeCircles. This action removes all posts and all comments for a particular user. Deactivating a member like this who has posted a large number of posts and comments makes a big mess and fills the site with thousands of "account deactivated" messages. Worse, it potentially took away good information from the comments in some members' journals. I feel that we can address this in other ways. It is also a last resort that I hope to avoid.
I do recognize that there is an issue to be dealt with and I'm committed to getting it resolved.
Here's what I am doing:
I've indefinitely disabled this member's access to make comments, as it seems this is the primary source of the behavior that is offending others. The only way I will reinstate that access is if I'm convinced that the member will participate in a way that does not offend other members.
I have not disabled his access to posting journals. I don't see the harm in him doing that unless he uses that as a vehicle to address others or this issue, in which case I'll take further action. I don't anticipate that will be necessary.
I have been in communication with this member to start a conversation about what has happened and what changes we can make if he wants to continue to participate in this community.
I will be investigating ways to improve FamilyTreeCircles to allow the community to better self-manage and deal with these issues better before they get out of hand. For example, voting on comments up or down, so that offending comments can be flagged and hidden. This is something that I'll work on in the coming weeks so the next time this happens, well, hopefully we'll prevent it. (I've already done this on journals with "Thank" and "flag". More on that in another post.)
I care deeply about FamilyTreeCircles. It is something that I've been working on as a passion project for several years and it is distressing to me when there are issues. I hope that I can have your support in getting through this bump in the road.
Pulling your posts and going away is your prerogative, but I hope you will not do that. Instead, if you ever have any comments or feedback about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Heck, call me: +1 617-910-0055. That's how much I care about this.
Thanks for your help, support, and understanding.
A member asked me if I had any information on Martin GINGRAS m. Emilie MAYRAND Aug 25 1846.
I found this couple in the GINGRAS FAMILY MARRIAGES book by Andrew GINGRAS, July 1995.
It is important to note that this book is NOT primary documentation. The tireless work of Andrew GINGRAS over the years produced an incredible amount of information, but I am not certain that it is all sourced with primary documentation. It is a wonderful collection nonetheless and we’re lucky to have it.
The formatting of this book can be difficult to get used to, but this first image shows the header format. Here’s Martin and Emilie with their parents Magloire GINGRAS and Vicroire GAVREAU and Children.
Here they have 7 children who were married (non married Gingrases don’t make this book): Rene, Philippe, Alfred, Leopold, Emma, Jeanne, and Emelia.
Again, the formatting of this book can be confusing, but the first line in each of these families is the husband/wife. The second line is their parents, and the third+ lines are their children.
Magloire GINGRAS m. Emilie MAYRAND Feb 22 1802
Pierre GINGRAS m. Catherine GRENIER Apr 19 1773
Pierre GINGRAS m. Anne BELANGER Nov 21 1740
Jean GINGRAS m. Madeleine LEFEBVRE Feb 17 1705
which brings us to Charles and Francoise AMIOT at the base of the GINGRAS tree…
Charles GINGRAS m. Francoise AMIOT Nov 05, 1675
We're on a roll on FamilyTreeCircles, adding new features. We're really trying to round out the types of information that are available on FTC and I'm happy to say that there are now three types of postings available for everyone from new family researchers to experienced genealogists.
Look on the homepage and you'll see the following explanation of the options.
The last thing I want to do is introduce any confusion or uncertainty with more options and I've tried to make it as simple as possible. All three types of entries end up in the same places in the list on the homepage and in the active posts page, color coded so you can tell the difference at a glance.
There is still the same, old, tried and true Journal entries. Nothing has changed there. Use a journal entry for posting all your great family research. As a general rule, anything family or surname related should go in a journal. For the time being, only journals can be associated specifically with surnames and therefore show up on the surname page for any given surname.
If you've got a question about any genealogy topic, this is the place to ask. Maybe you're wondering about what sort of resources are available in Cork County Ireland. Or maybe you're stuck with a problem in Personal Ancestral File software. Ask about any genealogy topic, technique, method, or technology. Keep an eye on the open questions to see if you can answer a question for someone else. You can read more about this on our announcement of Answers from a few days ago.
Everybody is an expert about something. Maybe your experience has made you an expert on genealogy research in the state of Vermont, or researching slave ancestry in Virginia. Maybe you're an expert user of certain software or websites. Write an article and you'll not only provide the community with some great information, but you can establish yourself as an expert and direct people to your own blog for more information.
I've got some exciting ideas of where the Articles feature can go...more on that soon.
So there you have it. Something for everyone. It'll take some time for people to get used to the new features on FamilyTreeCircles. If you're one of our more experienced users, please give them a try and show folks how it's done!
How do you cite as a source, a plaque in a precinct for a fallen policeman which details his heroism?
This is a question submitted by a newsletter reader.
What secondary sources of information, both documentary and oral are available in Ireland to track ancestors, particularly in regions where the usual records have been destroyed?
This was submitted via email by a newsletter reader.
This is a question submitted via email from a newsletter reader.
This is a question from a Family Tree Circles newsletter reader. Unfortunately, I don't have FTM16 to try this on.