Finding your way around the site
I have laid out a basic structure around the eight surnames found in the navigation bar on every page. The surnames are those of the parents and grandparents of the writer and husband. Everything will grow from this.
Rather than clutter up each page with a confusing list of names, there is also an index page - Surnames - which lists all the surnames making an appearance in the website. This list will grow as stories and information are added. You will be able to click on any of these names, either on the index page or on the list of names on each page, and go to the ‘home’ page of that surname. On that page there is general information about the surname itself, a link to a family tree for that surname (still being added) and a list of all the known holders of that surname. If there is more information about a particular person, clicking on their name will take you to their story. Not all of the names listed have a story on this website. This is still very much a work in progress.
For the bulk of the site will be made up of the stories of our ancestors. These stories will be written in no particular order, just as the fancy takes me. They will also vary in the amount of information they hold, as some people have proved easy to trace, some near impossible. Some have just one page, others will have many with links to lead you through their story. I have also provided links to sites of relevance to the story being told - it might be to information about a place, a profession, a period. It depends on the story. I have also played with different styled templates for each story - mostly just because I get bored with the same format, but also in an attempt to give each person their own image.
If there is one thing I have learnt from my forays into family history research, it is that these people are ultimately unknowable. Unless you have known them and had the foresight to quiz them about their lives, and have lots of written mementoes - letters, diaries, then we are generally left with the barest of facts - birth, death, census information (not nearly as detailed as we are asked to provide today), and various other things like wills, apprenticeship records, directories, legal documents. And when your ancestors are generally poor, general labourers your sources are few indeed (unless they were criminals too!). So I have done my best to construct an imagined life from the facts to hand, though, hopefully, never presenting those imaginings as fact. It has been interesting to me that some people have somehow conveyed a personality to me - albeit an imagined one - and others have not. Why is that I wonder? It is certainly not related the amount of information I might have about them.
This site will obviously never be finished. How can such a project ever be? I may not even get very far, but hopefully you will find something of interest in its pages. And do contact us by sending an email if you have something of interest to add, a correction to maker or a question to ask.
It’s easy really ...