February 2012 - Howes that?

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February 2012 - Howes that?

Post by mardler »

Hello everyone. I really should stop saying it's been a busy month, because it always is, but this month seems to have been a new high.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition in London
The exhibition last weekend seemed to be a great success. Dick Eastman, an American who blogs on genealogy matters and whose mother was a Howes, was most generous with his praise.
I had the pleasure of putting faces to many names at the Guild of One-Name Studies stand when several of you stopped by to say, “Hello”. Thanks to those folks too who provided some additional data on their families, and to others who have promised to do so.
The presentation about our study also went well. One gentleman told me afterwards that the previous presenter had put the lady sitting next to him to sleep but she had remained awake and attentive throughout my talk. I'll take that as positive feedback!

Thinking like a business
It's one of my continuing themes that running this study is like a business. You need to pay attention to your customers and especially need to make sure that marketing and sales don't get out of whack with production. To be honest, these past two months have seen us a little out of balance. With the article in Family Tree Magazine (which I will publish on the site in the next weeks) and the show and the second series of WDYTYA appearing on US television, we've seen an increase in daily workload just in interacting by email. We've added an additional 20 members and added 2,000 additional people to the database, now at 479 and 56,600 respectively.

House as an integral part of the study
One of the questions I was asked during my presentation was about links between House and Howes. I sensed some scepticism that they are the same name. I spoke about the four maps on the website and the one American person named Howes whose ancestors we traced to a House family in Dorset. Just yesterday too, we proved a link for a Somerset Howes family back to their House roots, AND thanks to an Australian correspondent we found members of a Howes family in North-East Suffolk also referred to as Howse and House in the same parish register. There is no doubt in my mind at all that they are one and the same, just spelled differently from place to place. That said, there are too many people named House in the US for them all to have had roots in the same UK name and I suspect German immigration will have added to the House population there.

Salt Lake City
My son qualified for a national fencing tournament in Salt Lake City two weeks ago. The venue was just across the street from the Family History Center. Guess where I spent my time when not watching him! It's an awesome goldmine of genealogical material staffed by very helpful people. If you ever get the chance to go there, take it.

I'm humbled by how much help we get from others. In particular, I want to note the contributions of Grenville in Hartlepool during the last month. Having no Howes connection himself, he volunteered to spend days in the local archives for us, and as a result I think we have the local area almost complete for the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thank you, sir.

Getting the most from the site
There is so much detail on many people in the database that sometimes it's easy to lose the wood/forest for the trees. Have you noticed that at the top of each person's page there are tabs for ancestors and descendents? I recently posted a note on how to use them here: http://www.howesfamilies.com/forum/view ... p?f=3&t=74

As ever, thank you for your continued support. Oh, and in the next few weeks, I plan to upgrade the software in use on the website. Obviously I hope it won't affect the site's appearance or service but it might. I apologize in advance if it does.
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