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Apr 2007

Hmmm. It is now eleven months since the last Report on progress. There have been two site updates since then, in August and December of 2006 but I never got round to an account of what the developments had been. Apologies to anyone who has been an enthusiastic follower of these matters.

Part of the problem is that I have not been doing much work, the vast numbers that I have been able to add in recent years have dwindled to a trickle. I have even wondered at times if things were coming to a total halt. The point is that information only comes from reasonable sources and I have done the bulk of the easily obtainable, and believable, ones. The problem is made more acute by the fact that our 10th great-grandparents take us back to the mid sixteenth century; the known ancestors back to and including them is 670; the total known ancestors is 8200. This means that the overwhelming bulk of known ancestors are from the middle ages and that has to be the most productive area to continue to research. It is also the most difficult as so little documentation survives and that which does is relatively inaccessible to my skills.

I know I ought to put my mind to it and learn to read the old languages and documents. But currently I am not enthusiastic about this and take the view that perhaps this can be left to a later generation of family historians who may take an interest in such matters!

I have instead turned myself to presentational matters. The finest has been that I have acquired a copy of St John's Hope's magnificent book of Plantagenet Garter stall plates. There are, or were in 1901, 87 of these still surviving in St George's Chapel, Windsor that were made before 1485, that is in Plantagenet times. I am not sure how he made the gorgeous colour pages of these stall plates but I have managed to scan those of ancestors and relations; if we add in the few in-laws the number of the ancestors, relations and in-laws of my ancestors is 75, just over 85% of the surviving stall plates. With a little bit of information to go with them, these have made excellent presents for some of my twenty-first century family. The particular charm of these stall-plate coats of arms is the colour and vibrancy of the designs.

My initial resolve when I first constructed this site was to ensure that it was fast and therefore contained simple page design code and the minimum of graphics. My interest in heraldry has not helped this but now that the internet and the machines people use are so much faster, I have taken the liberty of including a few graphic family trees. While they are, together, too large to go on my normal ISP (Internet Service Provider), I have set up a little machine beside me to be directly accessible on the web and to hold these pedigrees. This machine seems fast enough though it won't handle a lot of traffic at once. Try: Pedigrees.

Finally I have recently upgraded my genealogy program from Reunion v.8 to v.9. I think I made a mistake in doing this as there have been a few problems such that within seven week there have been four upgrades. One serious problem for me was that I found that the web family tree that it generated had shot up from 80 Mbytes to 130 Mbytes. This meant that I did not have enought space to hold it and all the other stuff on my ISP. I had to delete the GEDCOMs, etc to free up enough space to load it (apologies to anyone who was trying to access them in mid April). Eventually I was told of a way to get the size down to 90 Mbytes, so I regenerated the web family tree and has to endure again the usual slow process of the large upload to my site. And I have now reinstated the GEDCOMs, etc with the latest versions.

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