Hi Jack, Chris and all,
The Hingston site does look like a useful solution but I think the
underlying technology can be improved upon - if the site was run using a
Wiki system (see Wikipedia for the best known example) then the job of
editing can be opened up to as many users as desired with no danger of
losing data when changes are made as every version of every page is logged
and changes can easily be undone if needed. Also, you don't need to be able
to edit (or understand) HTML to update Wiki pages, there is usually a
word-style editor used to edit pages in place.
Many Wiki systems also allow discussion of individual pages to take place as
a way of reviewing and exploring new or forthcoming changes.
If this sounds of interest I'd happy to dig out a system, get it up and
running so you can all have a look at how it could work and then look after
it (from the technology side at least.)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Steer" <jacks(a)bukanin.fsnet.co.uk>
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: [STEER] STEER resources
Thanks for that. I hadn't even thought about the HINGSTON site, which is a
bit silly as I have a Cornish connection there.
I think that it is perhaps the most practical solution to the dilemma that
is being discussed.
<As an example, see http://www-civ.eng.cam.ac.uk/cjb/hingston/ha.htm
has a Steer link within it!)>
Jane was the daughter of Jasper STEER and Sarah nee BARTLET and was
17.2.1788 in Loddiswell, Devon
<I have a version of the Steer Vets ready to go!>
That sounds wonderful. I shall look forward to it with eager anticipation.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr Chris Burgoyne" <cjb(a)eng.cam.ac.uk>
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2008 8:28 PM
Subject: Re: [STEER] STEER resources
> Dear Jack
> I faced the same dilemma when I started my HINGSTON pages. Simply
> a list of events, either by date order or by parish, or a list of census
> returns, is not easy for other people to understand. Copying lists also
> runs the risk of infringing copyright law, which can be a minefield.
> So I decided to assemble the information in the form of Trees, each of
> which follows the Descendancy Report format that many programs will
> produce, although I do not keep a separate database of entries and in
> everything is entered by hand. That allows me to add extra information as
> and when it becomes available and gives me the freedom to amend the
> if it becomes necessary.
> As an example, see http://www-civ.eng.cam.ac.uk/cjb/hingston/ha.htm
> (which has a Steer link within it!)
> Other people can then access these trees, but not edit them. They have to
> send me the information, which means I can keep some control of the
> There is a link at the bottom of that page to the main HINGSTON site, so
> you can see what else is provided.
> I think the format works well, but it has the drawback that you have to
> able to edit HTML files, although there are plenty of simple programs
> around to help you so you don't have to get down to the level of writing
> HTML code. You also have to have somewhere where you can post the
> information; I fortunately have an employer who is content for me to have
> couple of MBytes of file space, which is pretty trivial by today's
> I am not going to offer to do the same for the STEERs - I simply don't
> time, but I would be happy to pass on advice if anyone wanted to follow
> (I have a version of the Steer Vets ready to go!)
> Chris Burgoyne
> On Apr 20 2008, Jack Steer wrote:
>>Steve, Brian and Peter and et al
>> It's very possible that I have a slightly warped sense of the STEER
>> family. When I sat down with my father in 1973 to look at the
>> transcriptions that he had done in the vestry in South Milton, we
>> realised very quickly that the family had barely moved from the parish
>> 200 years. When they did it was to such far flung spots as Thurlestone
>> Aveton Gifford, neither more than a couple of miles away. So doing the
>> basics was remarkably easy and in one evening we'd broken the back of
>> STEER line. We had no need to ferret around in other counties, it was
>> sitting there, ready for us. Visit South Milton churchyard and you can
>> see my family's graves in a stately procession close to the south door.
>> So I thought this research business was easy and proceeded with the
>> assumption that one carried on as we had started. At work I did not
>> introduce a computer system into a commercial environment until the
>> information flow system was working properly. The seventies saw some
>> spectacular bankruptcies caused by ignoring this maxim.
>> When I eventually got a computer I carried on with a similar philosophy.
>> I had to understand what I was doing, for I saw little point in a system
>> that I did not understand. I tried things like FTM and PAF and just got
>> frustrated that they did not do what I wanted, nor could I understand
>> they worked.
>> Perhaps I'm too decrepit to change now, although my son did persuade me
>> two years ago to save things on the hard drive rather than on loads of
>> floppies. That was a major step for me.
>>Gaynor's original question to the list was
>> <Would it be worth setting up a web site where we can all take
>> responsibility to transcribe certain areas of the census returns and the
>> BMI information, taking the central towns and villages in Devon to start
>> with where the STEER name derives from, them branching out.
>> I do realise that it will not be a few weeks work but a few years to get
>> the site usable, but then all this information that is being contribute
>> about the STEER name via e mails could be used buy us all as and when we
>> need it in a format that is searchable.
>>What do you think?>
>> My view is that the answer is probably, as we are on this list because
>> have a particular interest in our own STEER family. If we choose to do
>> more generic transcriptions then that is outside the scope of this list.
>> But however desirable such a project may be I don't think that it is a
>> workable option.
>> <To meld all this disparate data into anything approaching universal
>> comprehension is nigh on impossible.>
>> I agree, it would be akin to the League of Nations all over again, a
>> idea, but it did not achieve any of the high ideals that were set at its
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