Greatrix-Thacker Family Tree Website
Blog ( or ĎThe waffles of lifeí )
08.10.21 Not A Great Time
Recently, itís been a tough time. My dad passed away in August and I just havenít got stuck into the tree the way I used to for a while, but Iím back on it now and working hard.
Then the software I use to create the site, and indeed use as a digital scrapbook when researching ceased to work when my webspace was renewed (may be coincidence but something wasnít right). The site is so huge it just ceased to cope with the volume of pages and insisted it wanted to update the whole site each time, then crashed when it tried. I trawled through to find replacement software but none suited my needs so I have gone back to basics and am using MS Word, and to be honest, its working out quite well! †Because of the way the previous software worked this means re-creating/ formatting each page on the site again (around 3000) . Working full time too, itís a monstrous challenge so I have decided to continue the research alongside formatting each page as I go along. The links will still work to the old pages so there may be variation in the design of pages you view until Iíve updating each one. Everything should still be functional although a couple of the main menu links might not work as Iíve scrapped them! Your patience is appreciated.
When I met my husband for the first time in Rugeley, we were unaware of the strange twists and turned that had entwined our two familyís years before. We were complete strangers then yet fell almost instantly in love and have been happily together for almost 25 years now! Learning his mom was born in Norton Canes and born and bred there myself I expected that the families may have crossed paths from time to time but was very surprised to discover that we shared the same 4th great grandparents on his paternal side and on my maternal side! My maternal 2nd great grandparents, the Scotts, were also next-door neighbours to the Taylors! Today I also learned that Gaz's 2nd Great Uncle, Charles Taylor, married Florence Sanders, daughter of Mary Jevons, who was my 3rd Great Aunt!
I have had a great time over the last couple of days exploring Isaiah Whitehouse, Gaz's 2nd Great Grandfather. Isaiah fascinated me when I found him as he comes from a family of travellers and there was a lot of mysteries surrounding him to be solved!
Piece by piece we have put together an outline of his life and whilst some mysteries remain, we now have a good profile of his life! I have found that with each person I've researched, as you discover more about them you develop a bond with them and see the person behind the name. Always thinking I didn't really have a large family I've realised that it was actually a huge family and its somewhat comforting to know that! It has also become a way of personally honouring a personís life and ensuring the memory of them is preserved for generations to come.
I have decided to add a blog to the site as there are so many comments, I want to make about the research into the tree but have nowhere to put them! Itís been a real learning curve, and this is how I started...
For many years we have wanted to start researching our family trees but each time we started we either got distracted by life, had little time, or did not have enough information or resources to really get a good base started.
Earlier this year (2019) I decided I was going to join ancestry.com and try again. This time we approached it differently, gathering small amounts of information and slowly going through the process of verifying and endorsing it.
One of the biggest problems I found on the site was that a lot of people weren't verifying people that were suggested as relations on there and it was easy to be misled if you used their information. I now only look at other peoples trees when I'm at a dead end and don't add directly from them but view the relatives they suggest as options instead, to be verified or eliminated.
I also learned that itís better not to add anyone than to take a chance on someone being correct! I was convinced we had the correct Mabel Barlow, Gaz's Great Grandmother, and followed her line back two or three more generations only to discover a few months later there was another match for Mabel and this turned out to be correct! I had to rewind back to base and start her line again from scratch, but it was an valuable lesson learned!
I also found it was difficult to flick between relatives etc on the site so printed off everything I already had (lots of folders) but due to the volume of information that too became difficult. I tried databasing the tree in access but abandoned that as I could not really share the information with anyone easily without training them to use access! There were also complex relationships and some gaps which caused problems. Having done web design previously I decided to put the tree online. Not having software anymore, I started to do the site in word which wasn't ideal as anyone who has done a website will tell you. Word has a mind of its own and is really not designed for website construction. It was slow and tedious to say the least.
I then looked at opensource software and found openElement. Having previously used Macromedia Dreamweaver it wasn't long before I got to grips with it and for the past couple of months, I have been putting the basic structure together and adding in all the pages for relatives and their corresponding links.
Over the last week, now all the links and pages are in place I have gone back to the research and am adding content for individual people. The bonus is, where multiple people are on one census I can cut and paste the censuses into the relevant peoples pages so when I come to analyse their specific page a lot of the information that I already have will be there for them ready to build on! It also helps when you find new information which can be easily added into the relative pages!
As well as ancestry the internet has been a wonderful source for discovery as well as many hours spent around local cemeteries reading each gravestone and photographing those of possible significance. I intend to add all these photographs to the findagrave site which may help other people.