Radix labs

News and ramblings about my own projects, plans, dreams, whatsoever.

Wednesday, February 10, 201023:02:37 CET
RadixIndex is 10 years old - 10 weeks of celebration with at least 100,000 new records to be added weekly

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RadixLog is back with some great news. These days my RadixIndex site became ten years old. To celebrate the anniversary RadixIndex has a 10 weeks record addition campaign, at the end of which the number of available records should grow to 2 millions. The free records policy has been changed for the better, too - I believe. By April about 20% of the records will be freely available.

Let me quote the first paragraph from the news item announcing the anniversary:

RadixIndex, the subscription-based website providing genealogists and local historians with Hungary-related databases was launched on February 1, 2010. Now, on the occasion of its tenth birth day I would like improve RadixIndex services by taking steps ahead, one at a time. First of the main elements in this process is the addition of 100,000 new records every week during the following 10 weeks - this way the record count should reach 2 million records by April. The other major change is the transformation of the free records policy. Instead of the former practice of the free availability status of newly added records the records containing the 70 most frequent surnames become available for anyone. Every day during the 70 day period of 10 February - 20 April one surname from the most frequent list is added to the freely available set. This new system is first applied to the RadixRef database, which is to be followed by other existing or coming databases.

Continued on the RadixIndex news page.

filed under: Databases Radix labs


Sunday, May 31, 200921:54:13 CET
Working on a biggish project - and on a utility to amend it

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These past months have been rather silent at RadixLog. Besides the usual routine I also dived into an exciting project. More on that in a couple of weeks time - hopefully.

To set up reference points (localities) for this new project, and also to ease navigation I've been entering gazetteer information for Austria-Hungary from the multivolume gazetteer covering the whole empire (but Bosnia-Herzegovina), published in the early 1900s. The gazetteer was scanned and made available by BYU: Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder, vols 1-14.

My version of it should be available in a couple of days time on the Austria-Hungary.info site (blank at the moment).

filed under: Online resources Radix labs

Wednesday, November 12, 200821:12:52 CET
RadixRobot private beta available

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I'm pleased to announce the private beta launch of yet another Radix site: RadixRobot is a free search engine that provides parallel search of surnames in dozens of Hungary-related genealogical or historical databases and sources.

Still in its infancy, there are many features that are yet to be implemented and RadixRobot has its share of bugs, too.

Family historians are welcome to try their luck and enter the surnames they are interested in. To use the private beta site one has to log in with a username and password. Current login details (may be subject to change):
RadixRobot
username: radixrobot
password: robot1

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

filed under: Online resources Radix labs

Monday, June 30, 200818:32:44 CET
RadixForum turns 5, Csaladtortenet mailing list turns 6

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This blog not dead. Just quiet. June has been a busy month for me and the effect of this is on RadixLog is not very pleasant. I could not release all the news sitting in the buffer. Looks like I have to delay all of these to July.

Two of the services I host are going to have their birthdays tomorrow.

The elder one is the Csaladtortenet mailing list. (Családtörténet is family history in Hungarian.) The list has become a gathering place for those Hungarian speakers who have been bitten by the genealogy bug. The number of messages on the list has just passed 20,000 in May 2008, with a current membership of some 370-380 listers. Most of us on the list are from modern Hungary with friends in the neighboring countries of former Hungary and also with pals in Germany or overseas. Reading the correspondence is a rewarding one for me, several times over the years I even quoted emails from there here on RadixLog, as the news often appeared first on Csaladtortenet.

RadixForum went online on July 1, 2003. On its 5th birthday RadixForum boasts more than 65,000 messages and registered users in the thousands. Notwithstanding the web 2.0 genealogy social networking sites, good ole RadixForum still attracts people trying to find their past families and living cousins. And apparently, several of them have success! Some cousins appear in only a couple of weeks after the messages have been posted - some read and respond to messages 3 or 4 years later. I do hope we will learn about even more family reunions in the coming years.

filed under: Radix labs

Sunday, October 7, 200711:34:30 CET
RadixHub taking shape

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Looks like RadixHub is getting ripe for a launch. In fact, this is first time visitors to this site of mine will find some use of it.

The purpose of RadixHub is twofold. First, it helps in finding places in former Hungary, then it provides links leading to pages rich in genealogy and family history information that relate to the researched places.

Currently available features are only a fraction of what is planned. I expect the site to become fully functional these coming weeks. The first installments of a map search facility for the 1913 gazetteer of Hungary (using Google Maps for a frontend) and the county lists from the 1877 gazetteer are available, just like the first of the sources upped, the SOCEC directory of Romania from the 1920s.

filed under: Online resources Radix labs

Friday, August 31, 200717:32:40 CET
FamilySearch's RFI (RFP) with millions of Hungarian civil records on the list

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Today I had a chance to look into the document that I saw announced on both blogs I visit regularly: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and Leland Meitzler's Genealogy Blog.

FamilySearch, the LDS sponsored online genealogy site released a document on Aug 15, 2007, in which they invite proposals of genealogy-related companies (providers in the document) to index and then to provide access to scans of originals of various sources relevant to genealogy research. LDS has started to mass-scan their microfilm rolls a few months ago, and besides the volunteer-based FamilySearch Indexing, they now invite commercial ventures to join the party.

What does it have to do with Hungarian genealogy? The documentation of the Genesis Project list (look for Attachment C) includes this item:
Hungary civil registration
2,668,800 images
10,675200 records

Wow!

I'm not sure what years are covered, though. My guesstimate is that it must be basically 1895 plus 10 or 15 years, that is 1895-1905/1910, or so. LDS filmed heavily Hungary's civil records back in the mid-1990s, early 2000s. Civil records (births) in Hungary get a privacy protection for 90 years.

FamilySearch's suggested fields to be included in the index for these records lack some of the vital ones I'd process for sure. Only in the optional fields list can one find these: child's birthplace, Parents' residences and birthplaces, groom's and bride's birthplaces, witnesses' names and residences, deceased's death place, residence, birthplace.

Indexing the estimated 10 million records is not a small job - and the I'm a bit skeptic about the profitability of the indexer and provider in this venture.

First I thought that I'd submit my proposal for the tender, but reading through the RFI/RFP I changed my mind.

Here is the sketch how this would work. FamilySearch does the scanning. FamilySearch and Provider (indexer) write a contract. In the case of some datasets Provider is to create a contract with the Record Custodian (owner of the originals), as well. This is the case with the Hungarian civil records, too. Provider then starts indexing. FamilySearch would like to get the proposed datasets completed within 24 months. When ready, Provider would start hosting the digital images along with the indexes. Members of FamilySearch (FHCs on their premises, members of LDS, submitters of family trees with a certain number of records, FamilySearch Indexing volunteers with a certain level of performance) plus affiliates of the Record Custodian at each of their premises should be granted with free access. So, at the end of the day, who would really be left without free access? How could Provider reap the rewards of its approx. 50,000-100,000 hours of indexing the Hungarian civil records set, plus setting up and servicing, providing it?

filed under: Databases Genealogy industry Radix labs

Saturday, September 16, 200613:19:10 CET
Tremendous collection of detailed, topographic maps of Hungary, online

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Browsing through the posts in the genealogy topic of Hungary's most popular internet message board (index.hu) I spotted a promising link. And I'm so happy that I followed it.

The link took me to "EDIT", the "Digital Map Collection of the ELTE University". This collection has four interesting sets of maps:
- 1) 1:25,000 scale Gauss-Krüger projection maps covering modern Hungary from the 1950s. These were made for the military and were classified secret.
- 2) The 1:200,000 old military maps from the 3rd Military Survey (late 19th century), which have been available since 2003: digitized maps and which covers most of Eastern Europe.
- 3) The 1:25,000 topographical maps, the sources for the 1:200,000 ones, from the late 19th century. Well, besides the 1950s maps this is the real beef! You can even see houses in settlements.
- 4) The county maps series from the late 19th century, already in use by family historians, and available from this page, as well.

Hereinafter let me concentrate on 1) and 3). Finding the place of your interest is not easy within the site's current navigation system.

Part of the problem is that navigation on the site is in Hungarian. Let me give some guidance, though. When you enter the site choose "50-es évekbeli Gauss_Krüger" for set 1), "3. katonai topográfiai térképek" for set 3) in the "Kategóriák" (Categories) field. Then push the "Keres" (Find) button. You'll get a second frame on the left side, a list of hits. For 1) the list ("Találatok" - Hits) starts with "Matterszburg", close to the Austrian-Hungarian border, Hungary's NW part, and goes there to other towns of Hungary. At 3) you'll get a list of sections. Choose from the hits, and click on "Mutat" (Show). The bottom frame on the left side brings up the thumbnail of the chosen map, as well as the button "Teljes kép" (Whole image). Push it, and you get the high resolution image opening in a new window. (You may have to scroll down in the left bottom frame to see the button.)

To find the section of your interest in 3), you can use at least two overview maps: Lazarus server, Arcanum server.

I'm planning to launch a new site, RadixHub as soon as I can sort things out. One of the features of RadixHub would be linking right to the maps showing settlements. Stay tuned!

filed under: Online resources Paragenealogy Radix labs

Wednesday, November 30, 200521:22:58 CET
RadixIndex prices to be raised in a few hours

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On Dec 1, 2005 the subscription prices of RadixIndex will change. There will be a 50% percent price rise when paying with cards online: the US$5 plan will cost $7.5, the $10 one $15 and the $20 plan will go to $30. The subscription for Hungary will go from 3500 Hungarian Forints to 5000 HUF, too.

The reasons leading to the price rise will be explained here in a few days. A resuscitation of this blog is on the agenda, too.

I'm sorry for not sharing the news about the price rise with blog readers earlier. If you read this, and would like to subscribe using the old price, shoot me an email on the RadixIndex site - and make sure to mention RadixLog. I'll give you the instructions. This offer will be good through Dec 31, 2005.

filed under: Radix labs

Monday, October 3, 200521:28:10 CET
Radix amongst Family Tree Magazine's picked items

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Flashback to the summer of 2005. In June I received an email from the editor of the renowned Family Tree Magazine saying that my Radix - Genealogy research in Hungary site is to be named as one of their 101 best undiscovered family history website. Wow! Pleased to be listed there, as one can expect. The selection came out in the August issue of Family Tree Magazine.

filed under: Books, mags, CD-s, DVD-s Radix labs

Wednesday, August 24, 200523:03:26 CET
Old Hungarian gazetteers scanned and online

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The Library of the Hungarian Statistical Office (KSH) had the late 19th - early 20th century gazetteers in their holdings scanned and they have been published on the web.

I don't see any links whatsoever to it, I'm not even sure how I found it a few days ago. (Up to today or yesterday the page was not available.) As far as one can tell, it's pretty fresh meat for interested parties.

And here comes the beef: the gazetteers, 1873-1907. They provide 10 gazetteers, with major, well-known ones like the 1877 Dvorzsak (also available from KlimoTheca), the 1898 one. Unfortunately, one of the most important, often referred 1913 gazetteer is not (yet?) on the site. The library plans to have the 1913 and later ones digitized in the future.

The interface is in Hungarian, and has quite a Spartan look. Lack of fancy design doesn't bother me (just look at this blog ), but I had to face at least one navigation issue. Using the Firefox browser it's not possible to jump to the previous or to the next scanned page. The site works OK with Internet Explorer.

Just in case you're not perfect in Hungarian, here is a short guide how to make use of this resource. Choose the gazetteer by clicking on the year it was published. Then click on "Betûrend szerinti helységnévmutató". This will take you to the alphabetical index of settlements. Clicking on a place name brings you the scanned page. Then you can turn pages with the green arrows.

Abbreviations and signs descriptions are behind the "Jelek és rövidítések magyarázata" link.

Great stuff for my imminent new site. More about this in a few days :)

filed under: Online resources Paragenealogy Radix labs

Tuesday, August 31, 200421:55:31 CET
August's almost passed - no blogging here

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Well, well... this entry is just to remind myself that this poor little bloggy was left without any additions. I took a few days for vacation with the family this month, had to show up at my dayjob employer, the library several occasions due to our digitization efforts (to be mentioned later here) and was planning my new genealogy research thingie, a surname metasearch utility to be released in a few weeks. And. Was adding records to the upcoming RadixIndex update that would celebrate the millionth added record, too.

filed under: Radix labs RadixLog

Thursday, January 1, 200415:21:43 CET
woot! Young Bogárdi jumping on the genealogy bandwagon

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... and posting on Roots-L @ BITNET. Just found this message from Dec 1993 - 10 years ago: Re: Croatia. Email was soo new and I had a passing interest in genealogy at those times. Hence the post.

filed under: Genealogy in the news Events Clubs, associations Radix labs
  
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Former Austria-Hungary genealogy blogs
[100 Years in America by Lisa S.]
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