DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 1998-09 > 0906069171
From: Chris Burgoyne <>
Subject: Re: Devon Family History Society
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 14:52:51 -0700 (PDT)
Sorry for the duplicate post - my mail system crashed!
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998, R Spencer wrote:
> As a Devon Family History Society member I feel compelled to write in
> defence of the DFHS after reading all the negative comments written about
I take some responsibility for this discussion as I first posted the
original notice about the DFHS site which I saw in soc.genealogy.britain.
I quite agree with Richard Spencer's comments about DFHS. They are doing
a great job and need our support.
Genealogy, until very recently, consisted of sitting in libraries looking
through original records or microfilm copies of them. DFHS was set up by
a group of volunteers in that era. They have done an excellent job of
gathering together information, and are courtesy itself when you visit
Tree House. I have always got prompt replies when I have written to any
of the services they offer, such as marriage indexes and so on.
And then along comes the Internet, with its promise of instant access to
information, and we suddenly grumble about DFHS not being part of it. On
this newsgroup, we are all, by definition, Internet-aware, and some of us
are computer literate and trying to provide information to others (see
http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~cjb/agrecord.htm). But there are some people
here who are not aware of how much effort is required to extract
information, obtain permission for it to be published, get it onto a
web-server and so on. Apart from the 1851 census which is on CD-ROM (with
its own errors), it is NOT a trivial exercise to answer "can some kind
person do a look-up for me on the 1861 census". It requires someone going
to a library and flogging though miles of microfilm.
It is very difficult for those of us who live outside Devon, or even
outside the country, to do very much to help provide information. We
should support the society by joining it, by contributing to the
newsletter, by being realistic about what we expect the society and others
to provide, and above all by being polite and realistic in our
discussions. We should also write to the society, giving our email
addresses, so that the committee can see that they have a body of support
On the positive side, we can look around other County FHS web pages, and
perhaps have a discussion here about what could be provided in Devon, and
how we could help to provide it. Perhaps we could even offer to get some
of the existing DFHS information onto web pages.
DEVON-L should be seen to be putting things into the DFHS, not just taking
things out of it.
DFHS member 4900
|Re: Devon Family History Society by Chris Burgoyne <>|