Friday, January 21, 2011

One click for your own pedigree

Since most people's interest in genealogy is primarily in their own ancestors, I've removed the links to the pedigrees of my own mother and father which were in the left-hand menu of the main page and replaced them with a single link called My Pedigree.  If you are a registered user that I've identified on the Benoy Family tree, you can click this link and your own pedigree will be displayed.  This should simplify and speed up the process of keeping your branch of the tree updated.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Links and Pictures

I've added person ID links to the parish records.

I've also started to add pictures.  At the moment, I'm trying to add a good "head-shot" for each person on the tree for whom I have a picture.  I cut the picture on the right out of larger "whole body" picture of  my great grandfather, William Henry Benoy.   Sometimes,  I  need to isolate an individual from a group photo.  If I can't totally isolate the head and shoulders of the individual without including part of another person in the group, I sometimes cut very close to the individual's face (like the picture of my dad's cousin above left).  Even when I don't have a good picture, I do the best I can with what I have because even a blurry or damaged picture is better than no picture at all.  Look for these pictures in the pedigree and descendant views of the tree as well as in the top left-hand corner of the detail pages for the individuals.  If I haven't added a pictures of you or your family, I either don't have any or I just haven't got to them yet.  I'll let you know when I run out of people for whom I have pictures and will put out a call for more at that point - I'm hoping that you'll be able to upload your own pictures at that point.

Once I've finished adding a head-shot for each person, I'll start adding more pictures if I have them.  I'd love to add pictures that tell a story and casual pictures that give a sense of time, place and/or character.

The picture on the left, here, is of me (many years ago) assisting my dad, who was a magician. I just discovered the picture on the right which is of my older brother, Terry (aka Lawrence) exploring the garden with my younger brother, Kevin.

This picture of a picnic on the beach (right) is a favourite of mine. Notice that some of the women are dressed up, hats and all, and others are dressed casually for the beach while all of the men are wearing suits.  It would have been taken around 1923  in Plymouth at the place where the ferry used to leave for Saltash.   After a great deal of puzzling and deducing I believe I've identified most of the people in this photo.   I immediately recognised the man lying on his side and the woman with the goofy expression to the right of him as my grandparents, the little boy in the middle as my father, the man on the far right as Will Painter ( identified from the photo albums that I looked at with my grandmother when I was a little girl and who I now know was the half-brother of my grandfather).  A cousin once identified other photos of the woman in the wide brimmed hat closest to the rocks as Sarah Painter so she was Will's wife.  The large woman behind my dad looks like the picture that my grandmother had, on the wall of her living room, which she referred to as "mother".  Since this is certainly not her mother, who died before my dad was born, I've deduced that the woman in this picture was probably my grandfather's step-mother.  After much comparison to the only other photo and a quick check of the dates, I realised that the older man with the white goatee must have been my great grandfather, William Henry Benoy (this pinned down the year since he died in 1924).  This brought me to the young woman who is snuggled up to him.  If the large woman was his 2nd wife then this woman must be his youngest daughter, Beatrice [Benoy] Harvey.  The little girl beside my dad would be Beatrice's youngest daughter Phyllis who was a few months older than dad.  I'd already decided that the resemblance betweenBeatrice and the woman in white beside Phyllis was strong enough for them to be sisters so that makes the woman in white Sarah [Benoy] Morrison.  This leaves only the two women on the far left unidentified.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Links to Individuals in Family Tree from Civil Registration Data

If you go to the Civil Registration Births, Deaths or Marriages you will find an extra column at the beginning marked ID.  If there is something in this column for any Civil Registration entry, you can click on the ID to take you to the pedigree of the person to whom the CR entry refers.

I plan to do the same thing for other raw data files so stay tuned!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Modified Search in Header

I've added a new input box to the search area on the right-hand side of the header.  The new input box allows you to find a woman by entering her spouse's surname instead of her maiden name.  You can even enter a surname in this box and find women who's maiden names are unknown.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Civil Registration & Census Data

I've been really busy since my last blog entry.

I've uploaded all of my UK Civil Registration Birth, Deaths and Marriages data from the beginning of Civil Registration in 1837 to 1949 or 1950. 

I've also uploaded all of the data that I've transcribed from the England & Wales Census for years 1841 through to 1911 - yes I did say 1911 (the data is not complete but includes name, age, place born and place in which census was taken).  

I've uploaded all of this data to a database so that  it can
  • be displayed in a grid 
  • you can sort the data on appropriate fields.  
  • At some time in the future, I can tie this data into the family tree.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Interactive Family Tree is On-line!

I didn't think I'd make it.  I wanted to have the interactive family tree up and running on my web site by Christmas and I've done it!  Check it out at  This is my gift to you so Merry Christmas to everyone in the family:)

I'm very excited about this particular family tree program because it is interactive and because I can assign varying degrees of access to people who are interested in our family tree:
  •  The casual visitor or family member who just wants to see the information about dead relatives can sign in as Guest using the password family.  This will allow them to view the family tree containing all Benoys and many collateral lines but they will not be able to edit the data or download gedcom files and most of the information about living people will be hidden - this includes people who were born within the past 110 years and I don't know if they are alive or not.
  • If you can find yourself on the family tree, or you can identify one of your ancestors on it, please register for your own account by clicking Register a New User Account on the menu bar (you can do this while you are logged in as a Guest).  If you would like edit access to a particular branch of the family tree be sure to say so in the notes section and I can set that up for you.  I will check new registrants at least once a week and you will receive an email once your account has been accepted.  
  • I still need to do some testing regarding access to information about living people before granting this type of access to anyone.  In order to protect privacy, I want to limit living person access to the specific branch of the tree to which the user belongs unless there is reason to expand this access.  I think it is set up as 'all or nothing' right now so I may have to tweek the program a bit to make this possible - watch this blog for further developments.
  • Those of you who are keen genealogists will want to be able to download gedcom files and may want full control over a branch of the tree or even to share administration duties with me.  All of this is possible so please let me know if you are interested in these options.
I've uploaded some document images including birth, marriage and death certificates but haven't added photos yet - this will come later.  Meanwhile, you might want to check out the following albums on my Picasa page:
The data isn't quite as clean as I'd like it but this will be remedied over time, hopefully with the help of family members who would like to assist me in maintaining the tree.  Meanwhile, let me know if you see any duplications, inconsistencies or out and out errors.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cleaning up the database

My family tree database has become very large and a quite overwhelming.  Over the years, I've incorporated whole branches of the family tree which have been, generously, sent to me by various people with links to one or another of my ancestral lines and everyone has their own way of entering the data.  I need to go through it all and make sure that the data is stored in a consistent manner.  As I'm doing this, I'm watching out for, and  eliminating,  as many errors as possible and also fixing broken links to media files.