Genealogy in Hertfordshire
How you can help
Since this web site was started in its current format in 2001 the amount of local and family history related information available on the internet has grown by an unbelievable extent and I have had to consider the best way of continuing the site, without needlessly duplicating information elsewhere. Below I list the main areas of activity and suggest ways in which you might be able to help the site provide an even better service.
Help Desk Volunteers wanted
to report on Family History and Local History magazines, etc., which contain relevant Hertfordshire articles.
See May Blog
Places in Hertfordshire Books and other published Sources Help and Tutorial Pages Raising Money for Charity
The Help Desk
Specialist advice on your family history problems (in contrast to simple free look-ups, which are best directed elsewhere) is a particularly useful aspect of this web site. Ideally I would like 3 or 4 interesting queries a month to answer, with at least one which relates to something not so far encountered on this web site - such as an unusual occupation or source document.
How you can Help 1
Keep the queries coming. If you have hit a real brick wall why not Ask Chris - but remember to provide as much relevant information as possible, included sources already consulted. Add any "interesting facts" about the subject of the query where possible. I can also help if you think you may have solved a problem but want a second opinion.
Remember to tell me if the information and advice you have provided proves useful. Feedback demonstrates to others the value of the information I have provided and can help me to give more relevant advice to future questioners if I have missed the point.
If you have been researching a name and can add something an answer please tell me - but remember that this site has been running since 2001. For instance some questions were answered when no census returns or birth/marriage/death indexes were available online. It is not practical to rework old answers simply to say that the answer would have been different if asked today.
4 If you can provide additional information about any pictures, particularly those in the Rogues Gallery, that will be very helpful. 5
If I have answered your question - don't forget to make a donation if the response is a reasonable one to the question you asked.
Places in Hertfordshire
The original idea was to have at least one page of information for every significant place in Hertfordshire at a time when there was no Wikipedia, few local history society sites existed, and those town and parish councils which had web sites had not developed history sections. Now significant amounts of information is available on the web and there is no point in this site trying to duplicate material available elsewhere. The top priority must switch to directing the visitor to other web sites which carry useful amounts of historical or genealogical information about the locality. Where pages have become cluttered any changes should be to make useful external links more obvious. Other updates - such as adding more postcard images, providing a historic description, or simply restructuring an untidy page - will still take place when time allows but will not have a high priority.
In addition there could be advantages is using map based facilities - and the ways that this can be done are being investigated.
How you can Help 1
If you find a web site containing local history information relating to a Hertfordshire locality, and it is not mentioned on my web site tell me about it. Links to local history societies, local museums, and specialist sites (such as church or company sites) with useful amounts of historical information are welcome.
If you know a particular Hertfordshire locality well and feel that it's history is inadequately covered on the internet why not help to ensure that a locally managed web site is expanded to provide good historical coverage AND tell me so I can add a link from my web site.
Once an external link has been set up it is impractical for me to police it for changes (there are thousands on my site) and if you can become a "local correspondent" who can regularly police the links, report significant changes, new local publications, etc., this would be welcome.
I would like to use early 20th century postcards to illustrate all places on the A Guide to Old Hertfordshire but in some cases I do not have a suitable postcard image available. Can you help?
Books and other published sources
One of the aims of this web site is to encourage people researching their ancestors to make use of a wide variety of sources and I am proposing to extend the coverage by including titles of books, reports and articles without also including a review page. This is particularly relevant to books about a particular Hertfordshire locality.
How you can Help 1
If you found a book reviewed on this web site particularly useful in your research please tell me - in up to 150 words - so I can add your recommendation to the review.
If you have come across a local book which is not mentioned on this site please tell me the relevant information (title, author, publisher, date, etc) plus a brief description as to why it should be included.
If you come across a significant article on a Hertfordshire locality of relevance to the local or family historian in a magazine such as The Local Historian or History Today this could also be relevant.
If you are the author or publisher of a book on a Hertfordshire related topic, and would like a dedicated review page, please supply a review copy.
Help and Tutorial Pages
Many of these were started in 2001 and while the historic information may still be correct the information on accessing the data (in some cases now online) is in some cases woefully out of date. It is also unclear whether the pages are visited enough to be worth continuing. Much of the information which applies to England as a whole is available elsewhere online (including the web site GenUKI) while much of the information specific to Hertfordshire is given in Tracing Your Family History in Hertfordshire or is available via the HALS web site. Any new developments will be in the form "Here is an example of a particular class of document - with transcription, brief description and background" possibly accessed via the subject index.
How you can Help 1
If you found a page which contains out-of-date please tell me -and if you can suggest a link to a web site containing up-to-date information please add details.
2 If you have any positive suggestions for how these pages should be improved please tell me.
Donations for Hertfordshire Mind Network (Mental Health)
Raising money to support the mental health charity Herts Mind Network in memory of my daughters Lucy and Belinda is a priority. Hopefully we we get close to the £1000 target for 2009 and a similar target will be set for 2010. If the totals raised fall much below this level I may well decide there are better ways in which I can give my time to raise money for mental health.
How you can Help 1 2
If you are using facts, pictures or advice from this site don't forget to quote the source www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk This will encourage people to visit the site - and hopefully some will be interested in making a donation.
Page updated January 2010 (re interactive map)