Contribute to the Archives

Contributions are what WVGenWeb is all about. You may have transcribed data that another researcher could use to tie up a couple of loose ends.

What kind of data? A will, an estate appraisement, a deed, a family bible, a birth, death or marriage record perhaps or maybe even tombstone inscriptions. Your contribution could make somebody's day! 

Think of it this way: If everyone would contribute just one piece of data from their own research, the chances that YOU will find a piece to your genealogical puzzle are greatly increased!        

So what are you waiting for? Somebody out there somewhere may already have contributed data that may be valuable to you and best of all, its FREE!  Go ahead! Type it up and send it in!     

Formatting Your Data

I use Microsoft word/data processing programs exclusively on my PC... Access, Excel, Word, Publisher. Not because I like these programs better than what is available on the market but because these programs came pre-installed on my computer. The majority of computers (home and business PC's) come pre-installed with the Microsoft products listed above.

So, if you send me data that you transcribed using a program OTHER than one of the programs listed above, once it is "converted" by my program, the likelihood of it holding its format is very narrow, especially if its "tabbed" in columns and not in a table.

What to do?

Before you begin transcribing your data, determine the "layout" you should use. If you're sending a simple paragraph or two, for example, a single Will or Deed, type it using "NotePad" if you don't have Microsoft Word on your machine. NotePad is located by going to "Start> Programs> Accessories> NotePad."

What if you're transcribing a census or a cemetery? Type it in a table like the one below. The programs on my machine can convert your table of data so that it holds its format... nice neat columns of information!

House #
Surname
First Name
Age
Occupation
Birthplace
525 Ayres William 52 Farmer VA

Why all the fuss?

In order to view transcriptions on the web, documents must be converted to either Text or HTML. If its a large amount of data, Text is preferred over HTML because the file size is smaller which means it loads faster when viewed on the web. And any machine, whether its a MAC or a PC, can view the data. Compare the sizes of the same file below in the different formats:

Word
HTML
Text
899 Kilobytes
4797 Kilobytes
329 Kilobytes

If you're paying an Internet Service Provider for limited dial-up access, which one of these files would you want to view? Granted, the Word document size is smaller than HTML but not everyone has Word installed on their PC.

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