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Lowing.org Goes Live!

After several years of mucking around, the site is finally up. You can thank a few hurricanes hitting Florida.

As I mentioned on the home page, this family history trek began several years ago when my cousin Heather Moreno sent me a copy of the family history book her father had compiled in the early 90's. I was given a hardcopy version of the book as well as a floppy disc containing Uncle Bruce's genealogy data files and contact information. Let me say this, Uncle Bruce performed a Herculean task compiling information on over 3000 relatives. Astounding when you consider that most of the networking was by phone.

My fist task was to scan the family history book. Using a simple scanner and OCR software I recaptured the text. Extensive editing is still needed. I have reformatted the text using HTML but the organization is rather complicated. Each chapter contains extensive hierarchical lists -some more than a dozen levels deep. We will need to devise some way of breaking the chapters into smaller, editable sections. With each new generation the task is becoming more complicated.

I have posted the eleven chapters of Uncle Bruce's book here along with the appendix and a poem. I will begin adding the pictures soon and formatting the HTML a little more. I have generated one PDF version of the book, but will hold off on distributing it until we can incorporate the pictures and have had time to clean up the text.

The original genealogy data was in an old genealogy application format called "Person Ancestral File" format. Following directions I found on the web I was able to convert the PAF files to the current genealogy data format GEDCOM. From there I was able to import the GEDCOM file into a web application that allows privileged users to edit and add to the GEDCOM data. To view the results go to Lowing.org/geneology. This information is in dire need up editing and updating since it is now almost a decade out of date.

So, here we are. I have a little more information to post as well as an earlier version of the family history that I will post. I will continue to tweak this site to make it more usable. Currently it supports stories, comments, events and has a calendar. Content can be flagged public or private. Private information (like the last nine chapters of the family history) is only viewable to people with an account.

I would like to get more information from our relatives. I need help editing the information on this site. Please contact me or post a comment if you see something that needs changing. If you would like an administrative account to be able to directly edit and add contact, please contact me and I'll set it up.

This is really exciting though. With just a little casual browsing on the web I have already seen evidence of Lowings in England and Australia. Once we start putting the puzzle pieces together I know we will discover even more interesting information about our ancestors and relatives.

Thank you,
Trevor Lowing

posted by Trevor Lowing
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