Q: What is TGP?
A: TGP is an acronym for The Genealogy Project. It is a family group effort to bind our individual family branches, promote inter-family contact and share in the history of those within the collective clans having the McOrmond name.
Q: Who am I?
A: My name is Robert A. McOrmond Jr. I am a Computer Scientist working in Rome, NY, current student at Utica College of Syracuse University, and overzealous enthusiast in the amassing of our genealogical and family history. More personal credentials found by clicking here.
Q: Why do this?
A: Some folks are doctors. Some are firemen or police officers. And just about all of them are everyday folks with a family of their own having something to leave the world. TGP is my way of doing just that.
Q: How did all of this start?
A: In the early part of 1997, I was curious of some folks I'd learned about over the Interenet. Who were they? Were they related? Did they know about me? My curiousity was peaked primarily because I was under the (mis)understanding that the folks in my branch of the family tree were the last descendants of a long-forgotten clan.
I pursued these new found contacts, by writing a few emails, making a few calls, etc., unitl one day, the whole thing just slid though some cracks. I fell out of touch.
In the spring of 2000, I was determined to try it, once again - Oh yeah, this time, I was serious - and with a lot of help, I published "The Genealogy Project - Children of Alexander Henry McOrmond." This was an historical volume of my immediate family, their families, their lives, etc . The books were made for each individual in relation to each other, as well as their history from the first James McOrmond who came to the U.S. in about 1861. I was soon convinced that it had worked well enough to act as a tool for a far greater means.
Yeah, so ???
My approach was different
when compared to my first attempt at cumulation of genealogical data,
in that I held off contacting anyone outside of my own immediate family.
Eventually, I tracked down roughly 100 or so, of the folks who had knowledge
of, or shared almost the identical ancestry as myself. I interviewed each
of them - and asked them to share the more 'non-personal' items of this
information with others.
Each wrote a 'profile' about themself. Kind of like an autobiographical synapsis of themselves/immediate families along with a few photographs that eventually went into a larger volume containing this genalogical history of our mutual immediate descendancy of this James McOrmond. Some of the folks hadn't spoken with others in a several years (particularly 1st cousins) - so, it was just neat to learn how they had gone on with their lives. It was, as I called it, " the good news about us "
This concept seemed to work rather well. I made my mark then, in one sense - but also realized at that point, doing it was just plain fun for me, as well. A lot of work, but fun - especially since so many of us had fallen out of touch. I believe it benefitted others as well you should ask them, sometime!
"We've so much to be proud of "
Q: Yeah, but it probably costs them
some serious money, right? Books? CD's? C'mon...
A: Not a dime. Never. No. Not once.
And that's the whole idea behind TGP.
This is my hobby. I take it serious, at times - but still, it's a hobby. It's a hobby that involves a lot of other people. You see, your hobby doesn't cost me any money - likewise, my hobby shouldn't cost you or your family. I make it point to try to keep money completely out of TGP. The moment $$$ comes into any picture, the stranger things would get. I don't want that - or need that. Neither does my family.
For me, TGP is a matter of simple math and patience. And it goes like this:
Folks send a few digital
or photo-copies of pictures or records or whatever. I don't take originals
- they are generally heirlooms or legal docs, and I simply don't want
the responsibility of taking care of them! I even incur the cost
(if need be) for these copies.
I take all of these images and facts surrounding them - combine them all (some his, some hers) along with my previously obtained zillions of images - package them all up - return what they've sent a hundred fold.
Over the past three+ years, I've created hundereds of CD's and books in this way. Ask a family member - they'll tell you
Q: Is that it?
A: Well, now that I have all these images and items of information, I have something to offer other folks. New family members 'to the fold.' The book idea worked so well with my clan, I thought to pursue it for the rest of the McOrmond Clan worldwide. This is quite an undertaking, so now you can see where the patience comes in as well as time and money, for me
I believe I can do it - therefore, I will. It's not a solo effort
Q: Why the site?
A: I purchased the DNS (Domain Name Service), http://www.mcormond.com because I believe it is easiest way for people to keep in touch with what's going on as we research the history of our family name. How is a McOrmond going to forget the location of this site on the Internet? Although much of the information I obtain is from the public domain, there are still certain issues of privacy I try to keep in mind, as TGP site evolves. Some folks have passed along information to me with the expectations that it will stay only within our family.
One cousin has asked, "Please, no pictures up there " - another, "Please, no pictures or kids names up there " - still another doesn't care at all. I try to find harmony and balance in what eventually gets posted for the world to see
The next question clarifies this point.
Q: How come my genealogical data is
(or is not) not up there?
A: Because you haven't told me it's ok to do so In the years I've spent learning, there's an overall "issue of etiquite" I've come to appreciate while working on all of this. It is the rule most professional genealogists decide to go with.
Theoretically, "John Smith - Casual Surfer" doesn't need to know when, say . someone's kid was born. Maybe it's nothing on the surface, but why take a chance with "John Smith" and his acquisition of (to some, private) information. If he cannot see someone, generally, there's no need to worry if he can affect someone. Furthermore, none of us cannot be held liable.
On the other hand, there may be a "Zelda McOrmond - Family Member" who might have a little more reason or even curiousity. I've spoken with so many folks on this issue, you wouldn't believe it! It is a concensus that there should be no reason why we cannot share with Zelda. She's probably going to find out anyway, since she's a family member. Common sense and courtesy prevail (to me) in any situaton, such as this .
This is important:
I don't want to 'control' anything. But in all fairness, I think anyone (especially in the family) should be notified before their personal info gets posted for the world to see. Folks have written, or called (whatever) and said, "Hey! Put me in the tree!" - Yes, they are now there and you'll be seeing the updated tree soon! For others who either don't write or contact me - they don't want to be bothered with this. It's ok. I do not see this as control - I view it as decency and respect.
Our family history accessibility for most folks who (like myself a few years ago) thought they were 'the only ones ' has changed over the past several years. There are a plethora of venues one can take to obtain anyone's vital information. In lieu of (especially) kids, I trhink 'mom and dad' should make that kind of decision - not me.
Q: When can I get some of this stuff,
i.e., a book, CD, whatever
A: Ask me. I'm pretty good about passing things along. I may seem a little slow sometimes, but there are a lot of people I comm with, and it simply takes time. In rarer cases something may have already been distributed and may take (understandably) a little more time. That's because the info gets updated constantly. These updates are posted or forwarded periodically. It is my intent to be sure the information we have is accurate and credibly sourced. It also changes day-to-day, so it must be understood that when everything becomes compiled, it is never truly finished. The line is now being determined where this 'cut-off' of information gathering is enough to publish a newer volume, as promised.
I believe it's up to all of us, mutually, in what is presented and how. So, I try to always be open to suggestion in lieu of content as well as presentation .
Q: How valid is all of this historical
A: Only as good as the person giving the information. Certainly, I've made a few mistakes, thus far. Some reeeeeeal doozies, in fact! Remember though, I take this very seriously!!! Everything I have documented has some sort of valid sourcing or valid point of reference for whatever data is included. I prefer an actual piece of paper that has relevant information, myself - but of course, that is not always possible. People make mistakes. And whether it becomes a matter of someone mixing up a date - or my writing the date down incorrectly - or whatever - mistakes are bound to happen. I do everyting within my power to prevent that! I believe any of us would.
I recently distributed a printed out drafted book for the John J. McOrmond Clan of Canada. There were a few bad dates. Not the end of the world, but then, I loathe inaccuracy. It defeats the purpose. One item (particularly) was misinformation there regarding the death of someone who hadn't actually died. I felt so horrible about that! Never actually meeting this person, I went on the information (from a VERY reliable source) I was given; hence, the printing was in error. I corrected this, of course - but not before 15-20 copies of the draft went out. Quite an embarrassment for someone 'trying to excel in the field.' Even more emabarassing, when I'm on the phone and his father says (politely), "I know we haven't met - but my son is still very much alive!"
* sigh! *
By the time you read this,
I'll have already sent out corrected information via hardcopy (i.e., letters
of apology) and (hopefully) the recipients make the necessary changes
in those very same books.
As is with anything originally distributed, I wrote a disclaimer in the within the first couple of pages. I also cited where I obtained the original informaiton.
Q: "Are you done yet
A: Almost :-)
We have an opportunity here to learn who we are, where we came from, etc This is nice from one perspective. However, we have an opportunity to begin (and for others, continue) relationships with very interesting and wonderful people.
I remember as a young child sitting beside my father (along with my 2 sisters) in the evening, while he read stories to us. Well, at almost 44 years old, I still love a good story! What makes TGP stuff so neat, is that each of us gets to share stories of our own. TGP is not only about real people - it's about our ancestors. This promotes a common bond amongst even complete strangers! Our ancestors lived in 'days gone by,' and acted out in a play of life directly affecting each and every one of us, today.
My parents are great people who, even now, sacrifice so much in passing down to me wisdom of their experiences. They are also, in a sense, historians. Where can anyone find such a scope in deversity, at such a personal level, than in some of our ancestors? They shaped some of the better qualities (yes, there're a few in me) ;-) that have made my life a far better place to be.
I believe we should honor that commitment, i.e., our ancestor's sacrifice for us. Not just in them, but their parents and their parents, and so on
That's what TGP is. Oh, sure it's me - it's you - but as I've mentioned before:
"It's about all of us
Thanks for stopping
© 2000-2005 sidcomm