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Page 4. Help Wanted

The Year Club database

As indicated in my introduction there are several ways in which the content of this supplement will need to be expanded if the concept of the "Yearbook ... 40 years on" is to succeed - and be ready by the time of the reunion in 2009. This page takes these proposals further and concentrates on adding additional information to individual pages; the articles and photographs.

Over the coming months I am looking for help from my fellow class members to populate the Year Club database. In its initial form, the structure is rudimentary, allowing only the creation of a named page on which could be hung the available photographs. Such information that is shown was gathered from the Yearbook itself. I also have copies of the 10-, 20- and 30-year updates for each member which were collated by Ken Freshwater and which I will add in due course.

I am experimenting with two methods of data capture: one, a simple email response; the other, the creation of a genealogy-standard GEDCOM file. Year club data is stored in a "tree"; one independent section of my own family history database. This database is held off-line where new material is entered and standardised and before it is uploaded to the website. The amount and detail which any class member wishes to divulge and include in their entry is of course a matter of personal choice. However, I would reiterate that constraints built into the software programs mean that details of living people held in the database are hidden and only revealed to other members of the class who have requested a login account.

The table on the right gives some suggestions as to what your submission could contain. Those sections marked (*) would produce a good baseline. Full dates are helpful and can be used to populate the Events and Anniversaries banner at the top of the first page (marking members birthdays for instance). Accurate addresses are also useful as these will be formatted in a standardised way and will then show up in the "Places" Gazeteer and will be tagged with GPS data to display on each individual's Event Map. This is particularly important for identifying "historical" places of work and training. Many old hospitals have now closed or been demolished and their original situation will be approximated onto new Google maps and recent satellite images. The gazeteer will also collect together all the people registered in the database who have any association with a particular place. Can you remember who else lived in Airlie Hall in 1966? Event maps are also sequenced by year and an indication of the era of a particular job will help to sort them correctly here. The final format will appear as "Between Sep73 and Jan74". Just add a new section for each job to be included.

I have indicated some of the discretionary data items which would be of interest. Other marriages (indicating dates, places and outcomes), children and parental information can all be added. As noted above this is a genealogy database (my main tree goes back 10 generations to 1620) but it is probably not appropriate to delve further into anyone's own past here.

It is also important to note that data items added can be removed or adjusted if considered inappropriate or incorrect. Similarly extra data items can be added in the future.

Submitting the data: 1. Email

This is the simpler method. Just add the details to an email and send them to me at the address at the bottom of the right hand column. I will then enter the items into the database as indicated above.

Continued in column 2...

Please contact us

emailIf you would like to comment on any of the articles we have published in the tartan pages of the magazine or would like to add your own thoughts and reminiscences of any of the subjects please send them to me with a note to say that you are happy for your letter to appear on this page.Please contact us at Alan. We look forward to hearing from you.

Submitting the data: 2. GEDCOM file

This would be my preferred option. If you would like to try your hand at starting your own family tree, you could explore the trial version of Legacy6, the software that I use at home. This is available for free download from the link given above. Installation is very simple. There are also clear instructions about how to start a family file and it should be straightforward to add the dates and details of yourself, partner and children. The Individual's Information page has the facility to add and categorise many events such as occupation and degrees. When you have finished data entry, the File menu has the option to "Export to GEDCOM file". Choosing "Produce file for GEDCOM 5.5 only" will create a compatible file (named something like: yourfamily.ged) which you can attach to an email and send to me and which I can use, manipulate and absorb into my own copy of Legacy7.

It should be noted that spouses and partners will gain their own page on the web site which can include as much or as little as is desired. As an example of a completed page, this link is to George William Craxford, my father's page from the main database (you won't need to be logged in to view it). Whichever route you choose, I will be around to help and advise. I look forward to hearing all about you.

The articles

I am looking for three types of article for this magazine section. As noted previously, personal accounts could contain reminisences of your days at university and as the volume builds I would be inclined to group them into a St Andrews and a Dundee section. The second article could describe your years in training (when, where, who with) after graduation.

I am also looking for some more general background articles about Dundee, St Andrews, the universities and student life - then and now. I have been in contact with the Archivists in Dundee and am hopeful of discovering a fruitful vein of material.

Lastly, following on from suggestions made in Kinsale, I would be happy to document previous Year Club reunions. Obviously I have no personal experience of these but if you would like to send me your recollections of a past meeting (why not start with Mauritius 2004!?) - text and photographs - I will format these as a web page and add them to a Reunions collection. Short extracts by several authors would be just as acceptable, and a proof page will be sent to each contributor prior to publication.


I would like to add an up to date portrait photograph of every class member to go alongside the pictures culled from the Yearbook. I would also like to be able to add a photograph of the spouse or partner of each class member. I was able to take many pictures at the recent reunion in Kinsale but I am aware that there were people who escaped my attention (or the resulting image was flawed.) Do you have photographs that will fill some of the gaps (whether reunion attenders or not!). Please send me the digital photograph (or scan) with identifications as a jpeg attachment to an email - preferably uncropped and unzipped. I realise that the file size may be around 1 megabyte but I will be able to format it from here.

If you have any other photographs of people, places or events which can be added to your page these can be condensed down to about 100kb.

Newfloridian - Site Administrator
(Alan D. Craxford) October 10th 2007.

Class Member details (*)
  • (Maiden) Surname
  • Given Names
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth

Partner details (*)
  • (Maiden) Surname
  • Given Names
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth

Marriage (*)
  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage

Student addresses (*)
  • Hall, flats etc

Work placements (*)
  • Job title
  • Employment address
  • Employment dates
    (eg between April-Sept 1979)
    Repeat for each job

  • Given Names
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
    Repeat for each child

Other information
  • Other marriages
  • Parents

Other information

Do you know the whereabouts of class members who have been "in communicado"?
Do you know the details of anyone who is no longer with us?

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