I would like to keep the number of groups on this site fairly small, but I am willing to entertain suggestions for new topics. I won't be adding surname groups, because once I start, I'll never stop.
I will be adding a Colonial Ancestors group, because of the special challenges faced by those researching 17th- and 18th-century Mainers, as well as a group for researchers with seafaring ancestors. I'm also considering an Island Ancestors group, for those whose forebears lived offshore.
The more groups you add, the more choices need to be made as to into which group an item should be placed. For instance, let's assume you have a 'Civil War Group' and a 'York County Group'. My g-grandfather lived in York County, and Served in the Civil War ... into which group should I place his information? How do I avoid double posting (I hate double posting). And then, if someone comes along and is searching for my ancester ~ but doesn't search the Civil War Group ~ which is where I posted the data ~ that someone may not get the appropriate 'hit'.
Or, as another example ~ the post I made concerning my 'Boyers' ancestors ... Their roots are in Ireland, but the children were born in England. Where do they fit?
If the search function works across all groups ~ it is less of an issue. But .. if it doesn't ... well, then less is more.
For instance, rather than having a 'Group' for each war ... maybe they should all be combined into a 'Military Service Group'.
Lastly .... keeping the 'How do I search for .... " Question at the top of the FAQ is very important.
Thanks for your comments. I considered creating a single general military group, but worried that it might be too broad. I have many ancestors who served in the Revolution, but none who served in the Civil War. And the methods of researching military service can vary greatly from war to war.
Deciding which conflicts deserved their own groups was tough. World War I was a borderline case. I probably won't create groups for post-WWII conflicts, since researching a Maine relative's service in, say, Vietnam would not differ greatly from researching the service of someone from California. I will create a War of 1812 group, or an Aroostook War group, only if members request it.
I don't like double posting either, though it's sometimes inevitable in genealogy. The search box on the front page, and the one at the top of every page, should work across all groups, forums, etc. I'll add a site-specific FAQ page at some point to help newbies find their way around. Understand that, since this is an "off-the-rack" network, my ability to customize the site is limited.
I'm fine with keeping the groups to a manageable number, Chris. For example, I have a lot of
surnames as well, but they all lived in Oxford County, so rather than start a new group for
each name, I'll use the Oxford County group.
Since this is the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, that might be a good topic. I know Maine militia and sailors defended the coast. Can you recommend a book that might list the names of those who defended the homefront?