Q: I know my ancestors were born in the Outer Hebrides but I can’t find them on your website. Why?
A: The records included within Hebridean Connections come from local historical societies who are full members of the project. Records of people who lived in areas not covered by these societies are unlikely to feature at the moment, though we hope that more societies will become members in future.
Q: I’ve checked your map and confirmed that my ancestors lived in an area covered by your project, but I still can’t find them on the website. Why?
A: Our members are at different stages in terms of digitising the information held in their physical archives. However, we have recently imported a large number of records that are currently waiting to be verified and published, and we expect the number of published records to grow substantially over the next few months.
Q: I can’t find information about living people on your website. Why?
A: For data protection reasons we have decided to create records only for people who are no longer living.
Q: Some of your records have blank descriptions. That isn't very helpful, is it?
A: There are several possible reasons why a record might have a blank description. It may be that we have no information other than what appears in the record summary. It may be that a description will be added later. It may be that the links with a record are more important than the record itself: for example, in the age of online information there is little point in our compiling a description for a town in England or a Canadian province, but the list of people associated with these places may be of great interest to family researchers.
Q: I submitted new information about a record on your website in the past but the record is unchanged. Why?
A: We have copies of all feedback submitted since the original Hebridean Connections website was launched, and this feedback is being processed by the historical societies at the moment. Thus there is every chance that your information will soon appear on the website. However, please note that we sometimes encounter difficulties because sources are not given for information, or there may be inconsistencies and contradictions, so we would encourage everyone to quote sources for any information they provide.
Q: I have found an error in a record on your website. What should I do?
A: Given the volume of information that has been processed in order to create the website, it is inevitable that some errors will have crept in, and we are keen to correct these. Please use the comments facility to inform us of what you think is wrong and why, and we will correct the record in due course.
Q: When I look at a record, the name of the historical society responsible for maintaining it is represented by a code. How do I find out what these codes mean?
A: The list of societies on the home page includes their codes.There is also a 'HC' code, which stands for Hebridean Connections and refers to records that are maintained centrally and have no particular relevance to any individual historical society. The codes are also shown on this map.
Q: I can no longer find a record that I know you had on your old website. What has happened to it?
A: There are two possibilities. If it was a record of a living person, it may have been removed for data protection reasons. Otherwise it has probably been edited and is waiting to be validated before it reappears.
Q: Why do you spell ‘comann eachdraidh’ in so many different ways?
A: In accordance with current Gaelic spelling conventions, we generally use the word ‘comann’, plural ‘comainn’. Until not so long ago, however, these were usually written ‘comunn’ and ‘comuinn’, and the official names of some individual societies retain the older form.