Trails to the Past - Midwest North District

Welcome to the
Trails to the Past
Midwest North District

Daryl was the former District Administrator for the Midwest North District.

My name is Gail Meyer Kilgore and I am District Administrator for the Midwest North District of the Trails to the Past Project. This Midwest North District consists of the following states:

Indiana -- Counties Adoptable!
Michigan - Counties Adoptable!
Minnesota -- State & Counties Adoptable!
Ohio -- State & Counties adoptable!
Wisconsin -- Counties adoptable!

We are looking for volunteers to adopt some of these great states and their counties. If you are interested in becoming a State Administrator or a County Administrator please contact me, and let me know the state and/or the county or counties that you are in interested in adopting.

There are also some Nation-wide Special Projects you might want to consider joining or contributing to:

Trails to the Past US Ghost Towns Project
Trails to the Past Home Cookin' Project
Trails to the Past US Military Project
Trails to the Past US Forts Project
Trails to the Past Obituary Project

Trails to the Past FAQ

We at Trails to the Past are a very laid back, great group of people whose only goal is to provide free genealogy and history to researchers; to help, assist and aid researchers in their journeys to acquire the information they need to find their long lost ancestors. We do have a lot of fun together and helping each other, but our greatest goal is providing as much information as possible on our sites for you our researchers.

Trails to the Past is all about putting data and historical information online for free access, and enjoying each others company while we're doing it - that's it. We're just trying to do our jobs the best way we know how, with the least bit of conflict possible.

How do I contribute to Trails?

If you can't be a volunteer, but would like to contribute data or information, see our States Table page to find the county or state your data pertains to, and contact the county or state administrator. If there is no state or county administrator yet, see our Districts page and contact the District Administrator for the county or state your information pertains to.

What's involved with being a volunteer?

Trails to the Past has District Administrator's, State Administrator's, County Administrator's, Special Project Administrator's, plus a host of aids and contributors to help.

To be a volunteer host you need to be able to type. Whether you learned in school or use the hunt and peck method, accuracy is more important than speed. You must be able to make a basic webpage and upload it; or use a service such as the free Google or RootsWeb sites to create your pages (below).

You need to have access to, or know how to find, data and information to transcribe or copy for your site(s). Data and information might be found in books you have, at libraries, or found online by using a search such as Google. Obtain and post data and information on a regular basis. The good news is there are no schedules. Many of our hosts try to make weekly updates, some monthly, others every two or three months. Some folks work in spurts as their schedules allow and that is fine too.

Just make the effort to keep the website updated and everyone will be happy. Websites that sit without any new data added to them for extended periods of time quickly lose their appeal to researchers who visit your site often. And the more you put online, the more likely your website visitors will be inspired to contribute data to your site.

Data to be included may be are items such as Books, Census, Cemeteries, Marriages, Deaths, Histories, Biographies, Obituaries, etc. following all copyright laws. A good place to begin is with the documents you already have gathered from your own family research. Putting your own data online will also increase the chances you will meet up with somebody researching your families. If you find information on other websites, put it into your own format before adding or contributing it to your Trails site.

You may add whatever copyright-free or public domain data or information you can find, or if copyrighted can obtain permission from the author to use on your site. Accept data contributions and place them online. If researchers donate their records to your site, it's your job to place that data online, giving a copyright to the person who submitted the material.

Good sources for basic copyright information are Who Owns Genealogy? Cousins and Copyrights; Project Gutenberg's Copyright How-To; and Copy Right, Copy Sense. Cornell University Law School maintains in-depth U.S. Copyright Laws Title 17 information.

What should your website look like?

Our files are mostly in html format, trying to keep the web pages as simple as possible for the fastest loading possible. You can be as creative as you'd like with your pages in the style and color of your choice, making sure to include the following webpage elements:

Links: Required ones are to the Trails to the Past home page from your county, state or special project home page; to your state's home page from your county home page if you are a County Administrator or the administrator of a state-specific special project; and on your sub-pages at least a link to your county, state or special project home page. You may use Trails to the Past National, State, or Special Project logos for these links.

Logos: Your home page must include an official Trails to the Past Logo of your choice. Once you join us, you can visit our Graphics Page to pick up one of the official Trails to the Past Logos. If you are a County or state-specific Special Project Administrator, you must also include a logo for your state on your home page if your state has a logo. If you are a Special Project Administrator, you must also have the logo of your special project on your home page.

If you are artistic you may design logos and ask about getting them approved for National, State, or Special Project alternate logos.

Current email address: Displayed in an obvious place on the home page of your website, or on a separate page linked to from a "contact me" link on your home page, so researchers can contact you with questions or data contributions. You may use the HTML "mailto" tag to link your name to an email addressed to you.

Lists: All members are subscribed to our main TTTP list for general discussion of TTTP business, it is a required list.   TTTP-Chat is an optional list for general chat about non-business stuff.  For TTTP and TTTP-Chat you may receive messages individually, in a daily digest, or opt not to receive messages but read them via the Web at your leisure.

Your site should include a brief history of your State or County, to let visitors know what your State/County was all about. You could write your own, or have a link to the appropriate section of Wikipedia State, County, or other online sources of history.

Visitors appreciate being able to find information on your site, so please include a search engine such as FreeFind. If you have problems putting FreeFind on you site, let your State or District Administrator know.

How do I join Trails to the Past?

See our States Table page to find the state or county you are interested in adopting, and contact the State Administrator. If there is no State Administrator yet, see our Districts page and contact the District Administrator for the state or county you are interested in.

Where do I place my site?

You may host your site where ever you want.

RootsWeb offers free hosting for Trails to the Past members. RootsWeb was one of the original genealogy communities on the Internet and we recommend them. You don't need to know anything about HTML or uploading files, RootsWeb has a full-featured File Manager which includes text, HTML, and WYSIWYG editors for creating pages, as well as tools for managing your pages, and uploading and downloading pages/files. Instructions for requesting RootsWeb sites are below.

Google Sites is also free and offers easy-to-use pre-built templates; text, HTML and WYSIWYG editors, and other tools. If you've never seen a Google Site, here's a basic example.

How do I request a RootsWeb site?

After you have joined Trails, go to Free Webpage Accounts and click on "County, State, World Project Accounts - USGenWeb, WorldGenWeb, ALHN, AHGP, other locality-based projects, etc."

Read the stuff, then at the bottom of the page click on "I Agree"

Fill in your name and email address. Check "Other County/Country/Misc. Project Site (Please explain use for this account in comments box.)"

Fill in:
"State, Province or Region:"

Next, where it says "For USGenWeb, ALHN, or AHGP Accounts" there is a box to check in front of "State Coordinator has been notified of this request", followed by a box to enter "State Coordinator's Email address" (District Administrator if there is no State Administrator).

And there is a "Please describe what this account will be used for" box. That's where you put "Trails to the Past, (and the state or county name)" to make sure RootsWeb gives you a special Trails URL.

Finally, check the box in front of "I/we have read and agree to abide by the terms of the RootsWeb Free Geographical Web Space Agreement" and click the "Submit" button. You should hear back from RootsWeb within 3-5 days, but usually sooner.

We're all here to help you if you have any questions. Either contact your administrator, or feel free to post questions on our main TTTP list.

Who Runs Trails to the Past?

County Administrator's manage their county sites. State Administrator's manage their state sites. Special Projects Administrator's manage their special projects. District Administrator's help State Administrator's and State Administrator's help County Administrator's. Anyone may help with a Special Project.

You may have assistants to help you, or to take over temporarily if you are out of action for an extended period of time. It is highly recommended that you do this, because if we don't hear from you or can't get a hold of you for an extended period of time, a State or District Administrator may need to manage your site(s).

If you have any problems, the District Administrator's are here to help address any problem issues as they arise.

Ready to host a county or state or special project?
Contact Gail Meyer Kilgore for more information