When our parents died within a four-year span, we inherited a great wealth of family information that we did not know existed. There were genealogy searches so as to obtain membership in an organization. There were letters that are profoundly moving. There were many important photographs, some of which we still cannot identify even though they are portraits. There were copies of wills and trusts.
There were also gaps, especially in the information that goes beyond dates and gives personality to an ancestor. Some of the materials were inconclusive or incomplete. There still is a good deal more than we can easily share by the usual method of photocopies.
In short, there is much of our separate family histories to be fleshed out, explained, winnowed, organized, and shared. We will place on this website what others give to us. But first we need to put documents and photos into software on our computer.
Our objective is to avoid as much keypunching as we can, but still to place all information in a single database composed of several family trees. Naturally, it would be helpful if everyone furnished us information that is already in files from Family Tree Maker, the genealogical software program we use. Fortunately, it can also accept files from other genealogical software programs without the necessity of keypunching a second time. Most of these create so-called GEDCOM files.
The most widely used program that can accomplish the transfer of text to Family Tree Maker is Microsoft Word. Photographs of people and documents can also be added to Family Tree Maker after they have been scanned into a file. JPG is our preferred format for the scanned photograph or document.
In sum, if you want to add to this website, we ask you to provide information and photographs in electronic form by use of the software below:
Data in Family Tree Maker Files. If you are going to buy a copy of this software later so that you can view the final version of your family tree, maybe you should do so now. That way, you could submit to us a file that does not necessitate importing from the other kinds of software we mention here. Anybody who gives us information in this way will get an honorary gold star.
Data in GEDCOM Files. Other family software programs will permit information to be saved into this format. It can then be incorporated into Tree Maker files.
Text in Microsoft Word or PDF Files. One of the parts of Family Tree Maker is a section called "Notes" that permits a biography to be created. Funny stories, special relationships, and other personal information can be added. This is in essence a narrative from a word processing program. So please use it so that we can cut-and-paste your narrative into the "Notes" that may be the most interesting part of each ancestor's story. Second choice: PDF files.
Photographs that Have Been Scanned into JPG Files. We prefer no more than five photographs for each ancestor or descendant, including a portrait. The reason is that photographs take up a good deal of space, much more than text. Perhaps other photographs can be added later. We can't do the scanning itself but can add the electronic file to Family Tree Maker or this website. Please scan into a JPG file as opposed to one of the other formats for photographs.
Letters, other Handwritten Text, and Typewritten Documents that Have Been Scanned into PDF or JPG Files. Space is a consideration here too. Thus we will set a limit of 20 documents per ancestor or descendant, at least initially. Please use the PDF format. Second choice: JPG.
Finally, please give us the citations to public records, books, and reference works. This is most usefully placed in the "Notes" section of your submission. Please state whether you have a copy of a source. Sometimes those public records have been mislaid by public agencies, and published works may be out of print or in inaccessible libraries.
Sally and Whitney Durand
1914 East Brow Rd.
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Fax: 423-886-2300 (call first)