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October 2005

I am late; apologies to anyone who might have been waiting. This latest update of the main database has taken me over six weeks to achieve. The problem has been partly my indolence and partly the enormous mass of excellent research being published on the medieval genealogy newsgroup.

The people on the medieval newsgroup have extended my knowledge of the Bassets, Coggeshalls, Rempstons and Vernons; many thanks to them all. As ever the sheer quality of the research is a transformation from what was done three or so years ago. Much of this is due to the on-line availability of the transcripts on the A2A database, but I note that some contributors are obviously digging up rare and standard references from major libraries.

In addition I have been continuing to explore my Quaker ancestors. I have been intrigued by this as they are, to me, such attractive people and they open a whole new set of documents to become familiar with, the Digests of the master records submitted to the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings. My last Quaker ancestors, Alfred Harris and Anne Elizabeth Dearman, both dying by 1880, seem both to have been active Quakers until early middle age but then retired to join the anglicans. But each of them came of families that had been Quakers from the earliest days in the seventeenth century. I have added an account of this research to my site; it is accessed from the main genealogy section. I still have more work to do but each family needs a thorough exploration of one or more films of the Digests and I don't get up to London to see them that often. Currently some 25 of our direct ancestors were Quakers.

I was trying to find a box to parcel something up in and emptied a small one that I had taken from my father's house at least three years ago. I was astonished to find an old black and white reel of film therein, even more important it contained pictures of various family portraits that had been stolen in the 1970s and 1980s. What excitement! Anyhow I eventually got hold of a USB scanner that would read negatives and would work with my new (well two years old now, rising three to be precise) Iyonix RISC OS computer. But I could not get the scanner to handle films via the Iyonix, nor, though it was close, via my even newer Mac Mini so I was reduced to connecting up to my dead cheap Base Unit PC and was pleased to find the software worked. Perhaps two days later I had some usable images, now backed up on a spare disc here and on another one kept in the garage apart from the house. Very shortly I will get round to adding these pictures to my ancestors display that is run on the RISC PC that is a pictures internet server and chugs away quietly beside me. My fond hope is that one fine day these photos might lead to the recovery of one or more of the purloined items.

Let's hope I can get the next main database done a bit quicker than this time; and I hope to break the (humungeous and psychological) 20,000 barrier of total people in my database, including the living of course and most of whom you do not see on the public database.

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