Adventures in Genealogy: Home Pages
Why Does a Redneck Need one?
Well of course you don't have to have one but it is another tool you can use in your genealogical research. Now I know some of yall are sitting out there thinking Ole Bill has finally gone over the deep end. You may be right but humor me for a few moments while I explain.
Lets go back to the basic first step of Online research. You go to a search engine (My favorite is Dogpile) you punch in your surname and hit search. Then you sit back and wait (Hoping against Hope) for it to list a bunch of pages with your surnames.
STOP, look around ----- what are you doing? You are using other people's home pages in your research. You know the funny thing is that almost every online Genealogist has done this. Most of us (at least the ones I know) do this at least once a month. Personally I do it on the first Tuesday of the month right before I check the Querry boards.
Every time a new home page shows up with one of my main surnames, Elvis Sightings or armadillo recipes I am on top of it like a redneck at a free buffett. So I think yall can see the obvious advantages of having a home page.
Ok, so know you know why and you're thinking I gotta come up with hundreds of dollars a month to put up a page so I can find Grandma Edna's parents. Now sit down, breathe slowly, you don't need to find a second job there are lots of places that will give you free web space ---- Geocities, Angelfire, FreeYellow and FortuneCity just to name a few.
So now you know why you need one and that you can afford it. Lets tackle the next big hurdle "I Don't know how to make one and I aint gonna hire some $250 dollar an hour 16 year old with earings in his nose." Let me reassure you that building a home page really aint that hard. Most of the major free page services have a step by step sytem to help you build a page. There are also a number of very good programs (Front Page, Claris etc) that can be had for a reasonable price. If you just don't feel like you can do it yourself there are quiet a few companies that will build you a nice page at a reasonable price. The only one I am personally familiar with is JayRays Web Creations. I have seen a number of pages they made and their work is good. (NO, I do not get a kickback --- LOL, Wish I did)
I guess the only thing left to talk about is what do I put on my page. First lets talk about some things you don't want on your page. Don't put your home address or phone number. You really don't want any old weirdo to be able to find your house. Don't put your exact birthday or Social Security Number. If you make a cuzzie connection you can give them your birthdate and there is to my knowledge not one single genealogical reason to know the SSN of a living person. Another thing to avoid on a PERSONAL HOME PAGE are symbols of political organizations or symbols that are controversial or offensive. Let me explain ---------- My Great Grandmother Rosie was a first generation German-American and I would flat out love to find more info on her family but if I pull up your page and I find a Nazi Swatski I'm gonna close the page. I am very proud of the fact that I am a Southern boy but if your page has a Klan symbol on it I will close the page.
What you should put on your page is the surnames you are looking for. A little family history, personally I like the pages that have a photo of the person on them. The States your ancestors lived in and anything else that you think would help someone looking for your surnames. Make sure you put your email on it. Another thing I find helpful is if the person has put some links to pages they use.
I guess I'm gonna let yall go now. (Green Acres is coming on!)
Adios and Keep Smiling.
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