Frequently Asked Questions
What was your motivation to do this?
I'm an active genealogy researcher. I found a
critical link to my
lines in the Hearne book about 10 years ago. It was actually
quite serendipitous, because there was no index in Hearne's
I found there was at least one other line where I also connect. I
immediately became very appreciative of Hearne's book, as I found these
names in the counties I was researching.
Later, my mother ran onto an original of Hearne's
1895 version of the book being sold on a discount rack at a research
She snapped it up. Later still, she obtained a reprint of the
version. I sweet-talked her into letting me care for her copies
The book intrigued me. I spent hours
in it. I could also see it's value because it was information
in 1900, second hand from people with first-hand knowledge. I
I would do a little more connecting the dots in my lines. But
was still no index.
I tried making an index of the names I'd seen,
it was a lot of work. I came upon the idea of using computers to scan
text so I could have a text copy that I could search using a
I thought I would share it with others after it was complete, because I
knew how hard it was to find anything in the book, and how hard it was
to obtain a copy of the book. After many pages, I decided it was
going to take a long time. I decided to share the parts I'd
I came upon the idea that others might actually help, if I could
a little. So, I decided to share what I had with others as I
and transcibed it, and I asked for
volunteers. Half a dozen people found the
site and helped do the transcription. I wrote special
to format the pages for the web.
So, I guess it has been a labor of love, both on
my part and on the parts of the other volunteers. We've had some
really wonderful letters of thanks from people who have read about the
book as a reference, but been unable to obtain the book or a copy of it.
What improvements are being made to the site?
- 811 pages, including the 753 pages of the 1907
book, and the 58 pages of the 1912 addendum are transcribed.
- The photo pages are much slower, and being
done as I have time. If you have a specific photo that should be
there, let me know and I'll move it to the front of the queue.
- Sometimes people send me additional
information that adds further detail to Hearne's work. I've been
adding this in the notes sections.
- I'm currently adding the information in the
addendum to a comprehensive Hearne database.
Where can I get a copy of "Brief History and
of the Hearne Family"?
A reproduction of Hearne's book can be ordered from
Books for about $95. It is photoreproduced on acid-free paper
with a Class A archival quality hardcover binding.
You can get an original antique first edition
of Bamborough Castle (shown on page 14)
Books for about US $20. Go to their web page, and find
You can order a Hearne Coat of Arms
Geoghegan's Coat of Arms page.
Are you going to publish a book or paper version
No plans. Producing a book of 811 pages, even
at 5 cents a page is $36, plus $10 for a binding, plus $5
Gets expensive quickly.
Can I get the information on CD?
You can, if you wish, get the entire content of
the site on CD-ROM. It includes all
the text, images, notes, and
GEDCOMs available on the site. The information on
the CD-ROM is the site content on the day I burn the CD -- there is no
more or less information.
- You can get a
CD at no charge if you send me a blank CD and a stamped, self addressed CD
mailer. Make sure you check the postage on your
mailer, because I just burn the CD and drop it in the mail assuming the
postage is correct. It might be a good idea to buy the
mailer, put the CD in it, and take it to the post office along with the
unsealed envelope you are using to send the mailer. That way you
can weigh the CD and mailer, get them stamped, put them in the sending
envelope and drop it in the mail to me.
because getting a mailer, a CD and correct postage can be a hassle, if you prefer you can send a check for $4
and I'll provide the mailer, CD and postage.
Here is my contact
address. Write me if you have questions.
Who owns the copyright to Hearne's book?
The copyright for "Brief History and Genealogy
the Hearne Family" has expired. The copyright was
in 1907. Copyright extends 75 years for books published at that
When copyright expires, the book becomes "public domain", and anybody
reprint the material or store it in alternate formats.
such as Higginson Books
, depend on this legality to do their business.
I do however copyright this site. I can't
Hearne's original writing because it's in the public domain. I
copyright the way I present the information on the web pages and all of
the hyperlinks and new footnotes that are added. This is
a money making thing for me, but I reserve the right to control that
else makes money from it.
Why are some photos nice and others ugly?
I have two copies of the book. I have an original of
the 1895 version. The photos in here are rich, warm and clear. I have
these photos whenever they match the 1907 edition. Where I don't have
to scan, I use my 1907 version, which is a photocopy reproduction.
pictures just don't look as good because of the reproduction process.
If you have any original photos which match,
What OCR software and scanner settings did you
I used Xerox ScanSoft's TextBridge Pro 98. I used a
Visioneer PaperPort 3100B scanner and scanner black and white at 300
This gave me about 60 errors per page. I created a special training
and added almost every new word to a Hearne dictionary. This brought
up to only 40 errors per page. Accuracy improved when I used advanced
as set brightness to -45. This brought accuracy up to about 20 errors
page. (On some pages as few as 6 errors).
There are several things I would do to improve
Pro, but Cuniform and ProOCR 100 didn't even come close to the same
You have all the images, why bother with
Images are nice because you see exactly what was in
the original book. However, it was impossible to find anything in the
book. W.T.Hearne had no apparent order to the 753 pages. In order to
something, you need an index. An index can be created by hand, but in a
big book like this with lots of names, that would be an even bigger
than transcription. Computerized indexing seems the best answer, but
takes a transcription.
Another advantage of text is the size of the
Images are 40,000 bytes per page. Transcribed text is 3,000 bytes.
would you rather wait for?
What is your connection to the Hearnes?
I am a descendant of Hearnes through Sarah
(Sallie) Hearne and James Fleming Thompson, of Bland county,
Both of them are descendants of Hearne. More details are
Copyright (c) 1999-2003 Brian