I have been researching the Whidden family genealogy since about 1980. I am the 4th generation to be working on the genealogy. My interest in genealogy started when I was young and would watch the progress of my Grandfather's research when I would go an see him. Because of my interest in genealogy, when my Grandfather died, I inherited all of his genealogy related things. This included about 20 crates of various things such as family bibles, old prayer books, thousands of old pictures, diaries that my grandfather had kept since he was a young boy, a very substantial scrap book that he had kept during his service in World War 1, etc.
With the dawn of the internet, in about 1990 I contacted a very distant relative in Canada, and together we have been collaborating on a project to find all the descendants of our common ancestor, Ichabod Whidden, who came to America in about 1630 with his three sons. Over the years, we have modified how we collaborate together and I now have an online genealogy site so that Ray and I can both be working on the same genealogy file on a real time basis instead of sending GEDCOM files back and forth to each other.
In 2010 when I retired, I started volunteering with FamilySearch.org to help index records. I had done so much research over the years that that I felt I needed to give back to our community. In 2012 I added arbitration to my volunteer efforts. I index and arbitrate at least 2 hours each day, and sometimes as much as 8 hours.
Before I retired I worked for a major computer company for 35 years doing product development and project planning.
My interests include:
- Computerized genealogies, especially online collaboration
- Proper documentation
- Information consistency
- Interchange fidelity (Not all genealogy programs interchange well)
- Preservation of records.
- digitization of records and the use of metadata to preserve text information about images and allow for searching
- Proper backup/restore systems to protect against both user error and system catastrophes.
- Improving the user experience
- Collaboration among large groups (this is primarily communications and education)
- Process creation, improvement and standardization
- Electronic assistance (e.g. how to leverage technology such as OCR automatic forms recognition, electronic identification of errors, etc.)