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Month: March 2009

CGS an Official Nonprofit Entity

Prior to yesterday, the Claybourn Genealogical Society (CGS) operated as an unincorporated entity. But in order to provide tax advantages to contributors and members, CGS is now a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. All donations to CGS are therefore deductible with receipts provided upon request. Click here for more information on becoming a member.

In the interest of transparency I have also posted a statement of revenue and expenses for 2008 (pdf). The current expenses of CGS are primarily web hosting expenses and fees for research tools such as However, as our contact with relatives grows, we are constantly learning of headstones of ancient family ancestors that are dilapidated and in need of repair. Thus, a future project of CGS may be to ensure that these memorials are repaired to a respectable condition.

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A Tech Geek’s Delight

[Note: This post is likely to only appeal to web design geeks like me.]

An important part of any genealogical or historical research is offering proper footnotes and citations. Thus, in the last several months I’ve made a concerted effort to start adding footnotes to the biographical entries on CGS, and though we have merely made a dent in that effort, it continues full steam ahead.

But the web design geeks out there (like myself) will know that footnotes, which are well suited for word processors like Microsoft Word, do not always translate well into web pages. This page gives a good account of the common HTML options available to people hoping to incorporate footnotes into their web publishing. The most common method, which this website used until very recently, is to simply put footnotes in brackets (e.g. [3]) with the number linking to the corresponding footnote below, and the footnote at the bottom likewise linking back to the original number in the main text.

Although this system is straight forward and relatively easy to do, each footnote has to be manually entered, both in the main body and at the bottom. Therefore anytime additional footnotes are added in the middle of the page, all of the subsequent footnotes have to be re-numbered…twice, once in the text and then again at the bottom. As the number of footnotes on a page grows this can get to be a big pain.

Therefore I set out on an exhaustive search to find a better web design answer, and I even considered hiring a web programmer. I wanted to find a script which allowed me to enter the footnote once and then have the full footnote at the bottom automatically generated, just as it’s done when editing a Wikipedia entry. Luckily, I eventually found this post published by Brand Spanking New. There the author offers a javascript which provides an incredibly easy way to incorporate footnotes that are automatically numbered just as I wanted. Citations are handled “inline” and double entries are no longer necessary. Any updates and additions are handled seamlessly and with little effort. You can see the new system in action on Joshua Clyburn’s biography.

As I noted at the outset, this find will only appeal to web design geeks like me, but given that it took me well over a week to find the right solution, I wanted to publish it here in case other web wanderers are looking for something similar. There appears to be very few adequate solutions for footnoting on the web, but this is certainly one of them.

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CGS Happenings

Leland Meitzler of the GenealogyBlog has penned a flattering post about the Claybourn Genealogical Society. Be sure to check it out.

Such kind words about the quality and uniqueness of this website provide a good opportunity to recognize two recent members who help make it possible:

  1. William Freddy Curtis, grandson of William H. and Matilda Clayborn and great-grandson of James Thompson and Melinda Clayborn, has recently become a member and continues to provide invaluable assistance in researching his line.
  2. Jennifer Claybourne-Torkelson, great-granddaughter of Mourten Franklin and Nellie Claybourne and great-great-granddaughter of John Bethel and Mary Ellen Claybourn, has also become a member and provided helpful information about her family.

Membership with CGS allows the Society to continue its work in researching, gathering and archiving data and artifacts of the family. Membership fees help pay for, among other things, web hosting expenses (which are $10 a month) and fees for researching tools such as which are integral to ongoing research. Click here for more on becoming a member.

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John H. Claiborne

A new page has been added for John H. Claiborne and his descendants in light of a number of census record discoveries and other data which warranted an expansion of space.

John’s biography is notable for a number of reasons. John fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, but was captured and brought North. After being released from prison he spent some time at his uncle’s house, whose family was fighting on the side of the Union. After returning to Arkansas John would go on to marry three times and have fifteen children. Shockingly, his third marriage occurred at the age of 64 years old when he married a 24 year old woman named Ethel. His last child with Ethel was born and conceived when he was 70 years old.

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