Tag Archives: chart

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 52)

20 Dec

I didn’t get a lot of family history done this week, what with Christmas and my final week at work. I am worried that me family tree chart is not going to be ready, I only have two and a half days left to get it printed.

  • Add some headshots into my family tree chart
  • Create a PDF of my family tree chart and get it printed

Anything else that I manage to do during the week will be a bonus, but I am not expecting to have much spare time. However I do want to start looking ahead to what I am going to do next year.

My Christmas Tree Project has thrown up some quite interesting situations, that need further investigation, plus of course there are still three of my 4x great-grandparents that are missing, those will be quite a challenge to find.

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 49)

29 Nov

Most of the week was pretty quiet, but I made up for it yesterday with almost a whole day devoted to family history. My Christmas Tree Project will be my main priority this week, both searching and working on the presentation of the chart.

  • Continue working on the Christmas Tree project, filling in missing details. This week will mainly be the East Sussex side of my tree, around Framfield, Blackboys and Buxted. I noticed the other day that I am missing lots of death dates for my ancestors from there.
  • I still haven’t prepared a plan for a visit to the London Family History Centre. I put off a visit this weekend to give me more time to prepare, but I am rapidly running out of time.
  • I need to create headshots of my ancestors to appear in my Christmas Tree chart. Cropping the photos I have and linking them into Family Historian. Also create a generic “missing photo” headshot.
  • I also need to work on the text scheme for the chart boxes, trying to make the data I have look neat and tidy, be easy to read and informative.
  • Try and clear some more paper from the stuff to sort folder. There are no large collections left in it now, so it is just a question of picking out one page at a time and deciding what to do with it, before I throw it away.

Fiddling with my Christmas Tree

26 Nov

Last night I got distracted and started fiddling with the layout of the chart for my Christmas Tree Project. I was mainly looking at the layout within the boxes on the chart, experimenting with some different options and wondering about whether to include photos or not.

My big concern is that I don’t really have enough photos of my ancestors, so those ancestors that I do have photos for will stand out more (and receive more attention) than those that I don’t.

I had planned to use a headshot of the individual, to try and get some sort of standardisation across the chart, and when I tried it out on a couple of people I thought it worked quite well.

To try introduce some standardisation, I would like to include a generic image of the same size as the headshot, for those individuals where there is no actual photo. The next question is what should that image be? The size of the image will be 120 pixels by 150 pixels, the same as the photos. The problem is that I can’t decide what to put in image.

I did think a silhouette or outline of a headshot would be good, but after a quick search online I couldn’t find any that I liked, most seemed to have hats or fancy hair which would make them stand out too much and probably not representative of my ancestors.

I did wonder about a few words such as “No photo available” or ‘”Do you have a photo of this ancestor?”. If the text is greyed-out then it shouldn’t detract too much, but to me it still seems a little too cluttered and not really necessary.

I did think I might just put in a large question mark, greyed-out so it doesn’t stick out too much. I think a question mark would get the message across, that I don’t know what they looked like.

What do you think? Have you had the same issue with a chart? What do you do when you have no photo of an ancestor? Am I worrying too much?

Another Christmas Tree Project update

25 Nov

Time has nearly run out for my Christmas Tree Project, I think I have about two and a half weeks before I have to stop and get it printed.

I did a trial run a couple of days ago, creating a large scale pdf chart that I should be able to get printed, at a normal print and copy shop without too much hassle. Using my Family Historian software it is quite straight forward to create the chart.

The research side of things is still ongoing, I have pretty much given up on find the three 4x great-grandparents that are still missing, although I may still be in with a chance of finding the mother of Sarah LAY if I can find her baptism record.

I still need to order a birth certificate for one of the children of Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN to try and confirm Rebecca’s maiden name, although I am pretty certain it is TOWNSEND it would be nice to confirm it once and for all.

Other than that it is pretty much a case of filling in more gaps. Most recently I have been working through my ancestors making sure I have all the birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial details for them where possible. Most of these are not going to be exact dates, because I can’t afford to buy dozens of birth, marriage and death certificates.

In terms of census details I don’t think there is much more that needs finding, as I think I already have most of them, but I will have to have another check in a week or so just to make sure.

Next week I need to start work on the actual text scheme that is going to appear in the boxes on the chart. I am thinking about leaving out photos, because I don’t have enough of them, but I need to make a decision on that soon.

Even with the information that I have on my the tree so far I think it is going to look quite impressive, or at least I think it will, whether my relatives will be similarly impressed remains to be seen.

My Christmas Tree Project

5 Oct

I have mentioned my goal of having a chart of all my ancestors back to my 4x great grandparents printed in time for Christmas several time recently, but I thought it would be a good idea to go into some detail about my why I want to do this and what I want to achieve.

I have decided to call it My Christmas Tree Project because it is my family tree and I want it to be ready for Christmas, but mainly because I needed something short and simple to call it when I write or talk about it.

The finished product will be a printed chart, showing all my direct ancestors up to and including my 4x great grandparents. I am not sure if it is all going to fit on one chart and still be readable, I may have to have it printed in two halves.

The choice of 4x great grandparents was purely because that seemed the most achievable. I could have chosen 3x great grandparents and printed it tomorrow, but that would have given me nothing to aim for. Instead I now have a challenge to work towards, as well as a deadline.

I want to be able to show the tree around at Christmas when families gather, or visit. It will be a talking point, and whilst I don’t expect anyone to be able to add anything else to earlier generations, I do hope that I will be able to draw out information, and possibly photos of more recent ancestors.

Naturally part of it is an ego trip for me, being able to show off what I have achieved and show that all the time spent in front of the computer or in the record office and library has achieved something tangible.

So far most of my research has been trapped on my PC and more recently with the purchase of a netbook I have been able to share it easier, but I think people will be able to relate better to a printed chart than a small computer screen.

Of course a printed chart will only be able to contain a fraction of my research, for starters it will only have my direct ancestors on it, and I won’t be able to go into much detail on each individual, and will miss out some of the more interesting characters I have come across in my extended family.

The process of researching and preparing my data will also force me to review my data and fill in a lot of gaps that I have either forgotten to finish, or just skipped over on the way to something which seemed more interesting.

Currently I have twelve of my 4x great grandparents still to find, and five 4x great grandmothers whose maiden names I do not know yet. This week I will be putting together a plan to identify each of these seventeen individuals.

Some will be quite straight forward, such as requiring the purchase of a child’s birth certificate to provide the mother’s maiden name, but some are going to be more tricky because they are before the start of civil registration and detailed census returns.

Over the next couple of months I won’t be working exclusively on this project, and in many cases it will necessary to wait for a certificate to arrive or to get chance to visit a record office, so some of my other projects will get a look in. Also I won’t just stop at my 4x great grandparents, whilst I am at an archive it makes sense to carry on and try and go back further if possible.

Ultimately if I don’t find all 64 of my 4x great grandparents I am just going to have to live with the fact that my tree won’t look perfect, but in nature trees seldom do, so I shouldn’t get too hung up if mine doesn’t either.

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