Major Site Overhaul

Welcome to the “new and improved” website and blog!

Although I haven’t completed total refurbishing (much is still under construction), I’m releasing as much of the site as I can right now, without any further delay. You might find some links directing to parts of the old site. This will be temporary, until I can transition those pages into this new WordPress formatted site.

With exception of its homepage URL Loyhistory.com, any previously bookmarked URLs to the old site’s pages will require updating. The Martin Loy (to America 1741) descendant photos and the genealogy charts from the old site will either be temporarily offline with an “under construction” page, or link to the old site while I’m reconstructing them in this new format.

With this new format, both Loy blogs — which have been much neglected in the past — will be consolidated into this one blog. At one time, I’d wanted to have one blog specifically for Martin Loy (to America 1741) descendants/topics and another blog for the other Loy branches. But having one blog divided using these Categories will suffice.

Although this is still in the planning stage, I’ll mention some items I’m considering to add to the Loy site in the future:

Loy Guestbook  — Until Lycos discontinued their free HTMLGear guestbooks in 2012, the Loy site had a very nice guestbook, fully customizable for what I needed. It allowed guests to choose which Loy line they descended, how they found the Loy site, and their city of residence, besides regular place for name, email, URL if they had their own website, and comments. Since 2012, I’ve still not found a free guestbook that contains these great features, although I did find a WordPress email contact form plugin with similar features. Unfortunately, it can’t migrate its features into a guestbook. As a result, after the revamped Loy site is completed, I may need to take time to program my own guestbook. Then, I could even import entries I saved from the old Lycos guestbook. Having my own and not a third-party guestbook would be best — prior to Lycos guestbook, I had another guestbook on the Loy site. The company that offered it also discontinued their free guestbook service — and I lost all guest posts in it.

Loy BuddyPress  — After the complete site overhaul is done, the Loy BuddyPress can be next in the chute — I have all software needed for it, just need more time to setup. The BuddyPress platform is similar to Facebook, without all the distracting ads Facebook has. Since I’d be the one hosting it, the only members would be those researching the Loy branches. What to name the forum is still in the works, too. If I use “LoyBook” (a play on “Facebook”) the name might get confused with my hardcopy edition of “The Complete Loy History.”  Perhaps Loy CousinBook?  Any suggestions???

After those, there are a few ideas I’ve been toying with for future features. That is, once I get the know-how for the planning and setup involved:

One idea is a repository of original Loy records, such as pre-mid-20th century birth/death/marriage certificates, newspaper clippings, war records, etc. To prevent spam-bots, this section would be accessible for registered members only. Although some records are currently available elsewhere online (such as FamilySearch, Fold3, and some state archives now have original images of death records) there is much that still has to be ordered from county, state, and federal government archives. One example is the Civil War pension files. Although Civil War service records are now digitized, the veteran’s pension records for that service still have not been, according to an August 2016 Wiki at FamilySearch.org.  In the late 1980s, when I ordered pension records for a Loy ancestor from the National Archives, I think (without going through old receipts) I paid about $25 for copies of the file. According to this Wiki, it says pension files now (August 2016) cost $75 for the first 100 pages. (If the three pension files I’d ordered on three ancestors back in 1980s were typical files, most pension files should be under 100 pages.)  Most of us with genealogy as a hobby do our research with limited budget. (I started genealogy as a teen, with only my meager allowance to cover genealogy expenses. Now I’m a senior, I’m still on limited budget.)  Pooling together any potential duplicated research would help avoid $$ fees for others wishing to order same documents and allow all of us to invest our research time and money in yet uncharted areas.

Another idea, depending on if there were enough interest and participation, is a monthly Loy Podcast. Basically, a Loy-genealogy topic “radio” show of about 15 minutes, no more than half an hour. In most episodes, I could interview distant cousins via Skype, which makes it easy to record. Other episodes might have recordings inserted into the show, such as an audio file of a distant cousin’s interview of an elderly relative.

So, there you have it. The endless possibilities of this revamped site.

Until next time,

DRW

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *