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Re: [S-R] Re: Member Village Index

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  • helene cincebeaux
    Hi Frank - I have some 28,400 listings but have received information in over 100,000 diffferent ways of listing - I have given thousands of hours to this
    Message 1 of 106 , Feb 4, 2010
      Hi Frank -

      I have some 28,400 listings but have received information in over 100,000 diffferent ways of listing - I have given thousands of hours to this project over more than 21 years - and chose to do it this way.

      Anyone else can do it any way they wish - that is why i brought it up. What a lovely idea about using the village name as it was then and another column as it is now - as you know there were many ways of writing the village names and the time (years) are not always well defined. I leave that up to someone who has more time than i do.

      Why not set up a format and let Slovak Roots people contribute their surnames and info - but someone will have to review it and get it all to match and be right. That's not gonna be me.

      Actually I have made connections for thousands of people so something must have been right - in the beginning the village names were so garbled it took a detective to figure out where it was at all. People are more knowledgeable now but still takes some sleuthing as you well know - you have helped so many people too!



      From: Frank R Plichta <frank.r.plichta@...>
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, February 4, 2010 3:05:08 PM
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Re: Member Village Index


      Why can’t you use diacritical marks in your database?

      Is it a function of the program that the database is housed in? Is it a
      matter of knowing which diacritical marks to use? If your database is
      Microsoft Access, you can used diacritical marks in one of two ways: 1) type
      the ASCII code or 2) insert a “symbol” from the Microsoft insert function.

      It is my belief that we should all use the village names that were in use at
      the time that the event occurred. You could also add a second data field
      which could include the current village name. Since most individuals are
      searching original records either at the archives or on microfilm copies,
      they would find the original names of the villages. To do otherwise causes
      confusing for future researchers who are familiar with history and
      understand that the village names have changed over time. There are several
      references available to anyone today that contain those changes.



      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com] On
      Behalf Of helene cincebeaux
      Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2010 2:54 PM
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [S-R] Re: Member Village Index

      one of the major problems i faced is what village name to use - current,
      original, in between????? i tend to go with Nazvy Obci.
      I like to add the county too as so many place names appear in many places
      and several counties.

      another is the accent marks and i just can't handle that - they get all
      contaminated when trying to go to other countries - i have had requests from
      several South American countries as well as many European ones. So i don't
      use accent marks on surnames or place names but would be nice in the best of
      all worlds.

      So for people to enter their own data - parameters would have to be set.


      ____________ _________ _________ __
      From: John <johnqadam@yahoo. <mailto:johnqadam% 40yahoo.com> com>
      To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK- ROOTS%40yahoogro ups.com> yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Thu, February 4, 2010 2:36:55 PM
      Subject: [S-R] Re: Member Village Index

      >>> Hi Bill, it would be easy to sort by village name - did it inthe old
      days when I had only 7,000 listings but with enough space it could be done
      both ways - by surname and by village. <<<

      I am not the person but someone smarter than me could create a form that
      would allow individuals to do their own data entry online. It should not be
      a major issue. Searchable by village name and surname should be adequate.

      There could perhaps be a privacy issue in terms of communicating with the
      person who entered the data.

      I can't see Helene being expected to enter thousands of names.

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • pstupak
      Dear Frank, Michael, David, et al.: Thank you for your comments! I should probably mention a little bit about m background. Like the broad multitudes of
      Message 106 of 106 , Feb 11, 2010
        Dear Frank, Michael, David, et al.:

        Thank you for your comments! I should probably mention a little bit about m background. Like the broad multitudes of people doing genealogical research, I am both new to it and have yet to cross over to non-web sources (although a LDS trip is in my near future). I came to it predominantly because my grandfather had a falling out with his family and refused to speak of any of them in his lifetime. Similarly, my wife's great-grandfather dropped his surname in favor of the generic "Nelson" after arriving in the States. So we're both interested in trying to figure out where we come from. I think this is fairly common for most novices, so I hope I can offer that prospective as we talk about designing a database useful to a wide range of people.

        Speaking of the database, not to toot my own horn, but I am something of an amateur Excel ninja as that falls in with my other hobbies of fantasy baseball and political campaigns. So I think I can also offer some perspective on the mechanics of designing an offline databases. Unfortunately, my knowledge of online databases, coding, and general web forms is limited to Google docs, and even for these I lack a thorough knowledge base.

        Regarding the surname accents, I can see where this may not be useful. My thinking was that as a novice I often see Stupaks, Sztupaks, Stupakovas, and half a dozen other versions with various accents. Are these people related to my branch of Stupaks? Michael was kind enough to provide me with some insights, but I think this probably trips up many novices. That's where I thought the "proper" accents and surname dates could help one track the changes over time, but this may not work well for a database.

        Similarly with dates of residence I was hoping to allow people to track how a surname moves into and out of a village over time. This may also be something that might be a poor use of a general database and better task for individuals to undertake.

        As for village names, I think it would be easy enough to add twenty or thirty columns for village names, enabling someone to search for any temporal or linguistic variety of the village name. Then this would be easily searchable by end users (Ctrl-F) or perhaps via sortable tabs along the top header bar. While all this is a time intensive task, we do possess the benefit of having a finite number of villages and a fairly good selection of online resources with which to provide all the prior names. Provided that we agree on a format (e.g. Plavnica (YYYY-YYYY)) then I think this work could be subdivided among a number of volunteers without falling solely on the shoulders of a moderator.

        Speaking of moderators ... I have to agree that a solo moderator is better for consistency, but if we are using a drop down scrollable form field then there is little to no opportunity for an end user to input anything into the the database that does not correspond to the conventions we decide to use. That helps eliminate 99% of the consistency issue and enables us to have multiple moderators. Multiple moderators also help extend the longevity of the project as it would not be beholden to the interests and/or time of any one individual, and new moderators can be added as old ones cease participating.

        As for hosting, I would recommend trying out Google Docs. It has the capability of creating a form that auto-populates a spreadsheet. Unfortunately, it is not very sophisticated and I doubt that we would be able to continually update the drop down scrollable form fields on the form with new villages added to the database. Further, I think we would have to enter all villages/surnames by hand (and this is not a task that could be outsourced to several volunteers). The other big drawback with Google Docs is that I have never found a way to update the form without screwing everything else up. So perhaps I'm convincing myself not to use Google Docs, but it does have two big benefits: it's free and it's designed for multiple moderators. Perhaps the Google Docs system is a good way to try out some of our ideas while those who know more about online systems investigate possible hosting / coding solutions?

        I feel there is more issues people have raised, but I don't want to extend this reply too long lest it diminish it's usefulness.
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