The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933   histcent83@gmail.com
 
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
2002 Year of Progress at Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Article: 2002 Tri-County Site Progress Review
Chemung, Bradford, Tioga
Article by Joyce M. Tice
Composite Photo by Joyce M. Tice 
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State of the Tri-Counties Site Year End 2002

2002 has been a great year for our site's growth. In August we reached our SIX Year anniversary. We started 2002 with 6330 pages on the site and we are ending it with over 8111. That's an increase of 1782 pages this year, 148 new ones every month or almost five new pages a day. Wowee! It takes a lot of people to make such a thing happen. Considering that I had to take most of August and September off from site development to move, that is pretty good. I often think when I format a new page at how many people have contributed their energy to making it possible. It represents hours in the cemetery or squinting over a nearly illegible microfilm. It includes more hours typing it up into a format to send to me that I can easily convert and decorate to bring you the final product. Don't ever miss an opportunity to thank all the people who work with me to bring you this site.

We had less cemetery reading activity this summer in Bradford County than in some previous years. Several of our regulars had events interfere with their availability and it was a terribly hot year that made it unendurable at times to be out in the heat. However, we did get a group going in western Tioga County where we have previously had such a shortage of local volunteers. Sherry continues to plug away on Maple Grove in Horseheads (Chemung County) and sooner or later she'll have it all wrapped up. She is a determined and dedicated woman. We are not about to run out of cemeteries in these three counties. I hope to get some of the Tioga County ones read again as many of our listings are from the 1970s and very outdated. Eloise Wilson did a complete reading of Tioga Point and sent in revised files adding significantly to her earlier compilations. I have not had the time to get the revised version to the site yet, but I WILL!! She, too is a trooper and we admire her very much. My big wish is to do, dare I say it, Woodlawn !!! Please cemetery gang, don’t throw anything.

In December Carlton Wolfe sent me the final worksheet for the 1880 census transcription he has done for all three counties. He started the project about Dec. 1998 and kept plugging right on through four years. I still have a few to get to the site, held up mostly by lack of suitable photos. He'll start on 1870 next but don't let that keep you from volunteering on that. We have eighty townships in our area and every one needs to be done.

Pat SMITH Raymond finished up the Bradford County birth records and started the death records. We have the same project going on for Tioga County now with a good start and we just obtained some laptops on loan from PA - DEP to help us make that project progress. I want more vital records and lots more tax records on the site this year. Please.

We started a major project with the old Troy Gazettes last winter, bogged down in the summer, and now are getting back on track with that. Pat MOTT Gobea has been the greatest contributor on that project and we thank her for that and her many other contributions. It is a slow and tedious project but one well worth doing and a lot of fun to read those old papers. It inspired me to start the site's new Time Capsule section which I love dearly and don't have nearly enough time to work on.

I started a new thing this year of focussing on a particular issue for a month such as the Bible record drive or the legal document drive. That brought materials out of the woodwork and attics and on to the site. I call it very successful and I thank all those who jumped on the bandwagon to make it work. I plan to continue that in months when I can devote the time to do it justice. We also have had a significant quantity of church records added this year.

We've had lots of new and enthusiastic volunteer helpers this year. Starting this month I have added a page to help me keep track of what needs to be done, who's doing what and so on. I feel very fortunate to have a new local volunteer who'll be helping me with the scanning and copying so that I can make better use of the willing help of the out of town volunteers who want to type for us. Sometimes I am the bottlneck in that I can’t format new pages and still have time to get new materials ready to send out. This will help a whole lot.

The average daily count on the site's main page was 316 this year up from 274 in 2001. This does not reflect the real traffic on the site as many come in to internal pages through search engines and never find their way to the Front Door where I can see that they were here. Also our allies, GenWeb and ALHN, direct guests to the individual county side doors instead of the main one distorting actual use. The PICO Search engine has performed an average of over 30,000 searches every month on the Tri-County site resulting in many found ancestors. Every day new guests find their way to the site through other search engines such as Google. Most are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. I get several emails a day from people who have just connected and have not yet found their way to the site's main page. They don’t have a clue to start at how massive a site they have landed in. I have a standard copy and paste message I send them to get them started in the right direction.

The What's New monthly pages are very popular with the "regulars" many of whom make it part of their daily or weekly routine. I try to give a little every day but when I am out of town on business I may not get anything new up on a given day. On the other hand, I might add fifty pages in a day and get everyone mad at me because they can't read that much. It's a fine line we walk. We appreciate all our friends who take the time to tell us how much the site means to them and who appreciate the focus I try to give in presenting the full depth of life in the past. The site has grown from its beginning as a genealogy site to a fully developed local history site. It's a real place to go.

The Flagholder Section of the site remains popular and is used by many more people than the more restricted group with a connection to our three counties. It has a more universal appeal. I did not spend much time this year in developing that section but I still have many more photos to add to it. The Saving Graves site made it the special focus one month this year.

I hope this year to get many more whole books on site and finish the ones I have already started. Our intent is to continue to develop a site of real content and not just a collection of links. I like to have all relevant materials related to our area on the site so that they are included in our search engines and give us as much as possible integrated from this one location. Cyndi is the champion of linkers, and she does it well. I have provided a link to her on my site and not to many others. While the for pay sites have had a lot of development in recent years, and will continue to, our goal of making real content available at no charge remains. I intend to start a program this year for business sponsors to help absorb more of the costs of developing and maintaining the site and that will be showing up before much longer. If you are a local business person and want to show your support for this public service site, ask me about it.

I know there are many more projects of great importance that we have started or finished this year. I tried to cover the highlights. I am very proud and pleased with them all and with all the great folks who share my vision and my load. Pardon the statistics, but I am an accountant and that's what we do. We can’t help ourselves. That is the way we measure our progress and know we are accomplishing something. It's part of what keeps us going and directed.

I look forward to another year of steady and quality growth on the site. I look forward to forging new alliances and making new friends. And I look forward to continued success in uniting the present with the past. We are part of a much larger movement of building the world's library and body of knowledge for the future. The internet has changed the way we do research and the way we share what we know. Thanks for helping me give our three county area and its people a voice and a place in that future. Joyce M. Tice

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

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Published On Tri-Counties Site On 12/18/2003
By Joyce M. Tice 
Email: Joyce M. Tice

The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933   histcent83@gmail.com