Trumbull County Message Boards Boards
Message Boards Guidelines
The Message Boards boards serve well for discrete pieces of information, such as obituaries, wills, bible records, and queries. However, they are not designed for interactive messages and "chatting", as we do on our e-mail list or in newsgroups. They are not designed for "heftier" data, like census listings or cemetery lists, nor, are they designed for graphics. It works better to display this kind of data on web pages on our website. A few rules and guidelines will help keep our Trumbull County Message Boards boards useful and informative for all of us. Much of this applies to the information we post on our website as well as to the Message Boards boards.
Index your surnames
To tie into Message Boards's search engine, you must add surnames to the list on the post message form. You should include ALL surnames. Some only include the surnames they have an interest in themselves. For obituaries, include all the surnames you see in the text. For Wills and estate papers, include witness and bondsman names. They might turn out to be the person someone is looking for. It may be too much to include the name of the county court clerk, judge, magistrate etc. on all deeds, wills, etc. If you put too many names, the index soon becomes impossibly large, with huge numbers of "hits" which no one is going to check.
You cannot post copyrighted material without the copyright holder's permission. Wills and estate papers, pensions, deeds and warrants cannot be copyrighted, so we're OK there. Biographies and obituaries that you find in a book or newspaper probably are copyrighted. You'll have to ask for permission, or write an original based on what you know.
It used to be that if the book or newspaper article was published before 1924, its copyright had expired, so there was no problem posting. However, the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1997 has now become law (on Oct 27, 1998). It: "Extends the duration of copyrights in their renewal term at the time of the effective date of this Act to 95 years from the date such copyrights were originally secured." That means that it has to be published before 1904.
In some cases, bible records are copyrighted if you find them in a copyrighted book.
You can usually re-write biographies and even obituaries if you need to. This will make them an "original" work, or a "fair-use" of the copyrighted work. In this case, you don't need permission, but you should cite the source. The "fair use" doctrine allows limited reproduction of copyrighted works for educational and research purposes.
Many newspapers consider their standard obits and death notices as "paid advertisements" and therefore not bound by the newspaper's copyright. This does not include articles written by the newspaper staff about deaths of prominent people in the area. But, you still have to ask.
Cite your sources
For the sake of intellectual honesty, accuracy and to foster the interactivity of linking to the source work, you must cite your sources. Include these elements:
-----Example Citation for above list -----
Even if you found your information on the Internet, you should cite the source. Here's a good site that shows how: Suggestions for citations of Internet sources. Here's another useful site: The Columbia Guide to Online Style.
Guard Your Privacy
Be careful about posting too much information about living people. In obituaries, for example, remove any addresses or street names of living survivors. Some say to not post ANY information about living persons at all, including their names. The fear is that someone can "steal" your identity to apply for credit if they know your address, and your mother's maiden name, or some such. I don't go that far, but I do recommend not publishing the birth dates or addresses of the living. It is probably a good idea to have the person's permission to post any information about them on the Internet. Their name and address may have been published in the local newspaper as being a survivor in an obit. But, it's not the same as being published for all the world to see on the Internet. Don't start a family feud by putting your sister's name on the Internet without her permission.
Queries go on the Queries board
Please do not post queries on any of the other boards. I know it's tempting, when you see a reference to your ancestor in a biography, you would like to post a response to that bio. But, don't. Send an e-mail to the author of that bio, or post your query on the Trumbull County Query board, or do both. I will remove messages from the boards if they don't apply to the subject of the board.
Here are some links to sites with information on how to compose an effective Query:
Links to other pages
Message Boards lets you put a link to another page at the bottom of your message. This is very useful. If you have a webpage with your family history on it, by all means add the link to your website when you post biographies, wills, obits, etc. that include people from your lineage.
You will see that some posts to the Trumbull County Message Boards boards are links to other Message Boards boards. For example if there are Trumbull County related biographies, wills, obits, etc. posted on various county boards. Do not copy the data you find on other boards. Instead, put a link from your post to the other message.
A biographical sketch does not have to cover an entire life. I suggest putting marriages, letters, and other articles of interest onto the biography board. If you have an article about someone's marriage and a couple of letters, you have part of a biographical sketch. A series of sketches put together can create a biography. What is nice is that additional information can be edited into the first post or added as a response to the original.
Wills, Estates, Deeds
Be sure to index all the surnames you find in the document -- Grantor/Grantee is imperative. I would include the "et uxor" entries as expanded to the "Surname, Mrs" format, the appraisers and the witnesses; You may also include the names found in the deed as either part of the metes and bounds or titlechains. I'd say to leave out the clerk and other court personnel - unless their name is a Trumbull County soundex.
It's useful to provide a short summary of the information in the document for genealogy purposes. For example, you might say: "This will proves that Jackson Dunbar died in 1880 and had these children ."
Review the copyright and privacy issues raised above. Include the name of the paper and date of publication if known. If you know more information, include it in the same post. For example, if you know the burial information, include it.
Source for information about the Message Boards Pages:
Allen, Mike "The Beatty Message Boards Boards" Available at: http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~bp2000/gcguide.htm (Used with permission.)
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