History of the FrancoGene Web site (part 2)

First contributions

At a glance:

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1992 (files) The prototype of the FrancoGene site was probably the file GENEALOG.VICAN-QU announced the 4 and being available since theJanuary 6th, 1992 on the genealogy FTP site of NODAK (North Dakota University).  There are statistics for the number of readings of the more popular files for that month and the files are, by number of downloads:
FHSEARCH 66, INTERCON 61, ERNATAR1 56, MAYFNAME 51, OLDPHOTO 33, VICAN-QU 25.  In other words, 25 persons asked to received the file in that month.  What a change with today !

Dated May 1992, the file familles.csr is an estimate of the popularity of each family name in Quebec, according to the number of names in the Hydro-Quebec's list of employees.

I found files from July 1992 with a list of 3000 marriages from Quebec.  It was called project Racines du Québec and some sites still display the content.  The idea was to involve many persons in a central database project.  But participation never started and the project vanished.

End of 1993 Near the end of 1993, I decided to created a French newsgroup for genealogy.  I am not sure it my instinct suggested me to do that, but I proposed at the same time fr.rec.genealogie and fr.rec.humour which helped to have enough votes.  The new forum was first gatewayed to FM-Genealogie and at the end of 1995, the gateway was cut.  In the early days (weeks?), the 2 or 3 messages were mostly from FM-Genealogie and Quebec.  The Frenches became to be quite visible in 1996 when they finally formed the majority of the newgroup readers.  In year 2000, we can say frg is truely about search in France.  The newsgroup is connected since the end of 1994 to the mailing list GEN-FF-L which can be the first list of the new generation of lists linked to a genealogy newsgroup.  Indeed, the link between soc.roots and ROOTS-L was cut in the middle of 1994 because of the many discussions about dividing soc.roots.  The new newsgroups (see below) were voted only recently.  When setting up the new structure, only frg was available to test it.
End of 1994 The subject coming back too often, someone decided to create a committee so as to study the re-organization of soc.roots in smaller newsgroups.  David Chapin organized the committee and after some weeks I was invited to join it because I created frg the year before.  It is not a coincidence if most members of that comittee are now in the staff of the Rootsweb site, the largest free site for genealogy data, this including founders Brian Leverich and Karen Isaacson, as well as Margaret J. Olson, Tim Pierce, Ellen Seebacher, Bill Mills, John Pimentel, W. Fred Rump and other.

The result of this re-organization was to replace soc.roots with sseven newsgroups: soc.genealogy.misc, soc.genealogy.methods, soc.genealogy.surnames, soc.genealogy.computing, soc.genealogy.jewish, soc.genealogy.german, soc.genealogy.french