Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Volunteer Trails To The Past (TTTP)

I enjoy volunteering to help others with their research even though I often have little time.  Right now my efforts are going toward the Trails To The Past.  It's a genealogical/historical network that is still very young. 

The Trails to the Past is an organization of volunteers dedicated to providing non-commercial, free genealogical data to researchers.  We want to provide not only birth, death and marriage records; census, bible records, books and cemetery records, but that unusual data that often provides not just facts, but a window on the life of your ancestors. 

Each district, state and county will have a site devoted to that place.  There are a number of  "Special Projects" already available to peruse or donate data to. 

"Oh", you say, "It sounds like the GenWeb".  I can only say that it is similar, but different in some very important ways.  First of all is the work environment.  The TTTP is focused on making the volunteers work environment nice, uncomplicated and friendly.  There will be no 'behind the scenes' struggles for power.  We will all avail ourselves to helping you to get started.  We want to invite creativity in your site design and data presentation.  We also wish to offer more history.  Genealogy is not just names and dates.  Knowing the history of the time period your ancestor lived in and the environment he had to survive is just as important when it comes time to "flesh out the bones" as they say.

We are in need of volunteers to join us.  There are states and counties needing adoption.  On the main page of the TTTP National site it reads:

"If you are interested please email the administrator of the state or district you are interested in  and send us a resume of your qualifications using FTP and writing HTML along with any sites you might have on the Internet."

It also states:

"If you adopt a state or a county, the web space that you get from Rootsweb is your website. You have the passwords to the site and you maintain what goes on the site. You own the copyright to any information you add to the site and your submitters own the copyright for whatever they add to the site. Trails to the Past only hold the copyright on what we put on our National pages."

If you do not feel you can adopt a county or state, you still can volunteer!  You have data about your own ancestors.  I know that I have collected many bits and pieces over the years to many databases.  Put together a lot of little bits and you have a complete database.  Any little bit is much appreciated.  There are grave photos, photographs of your ancestors, transcriptions of data and so many other things that you can submit to a site. Not only does this help other researchers, but you just might make that all important connection that aids you as well.


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