Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bunfight 2009 Bristol and Somerset

One month to pumpkin day

Notes from underground: One month to pumpkin day: "One month from today Yahoo!'s magic Geocities coach will turn into a pumpkin, and many terabyes of information on the web will be lost forever.

It's about 10 years since Yahoo! took over Geocities, one of the first social networking sites on the Internet. After destroying the social networking aspect of it (which is was one of the things that gave it its initial appeal) they will be closing it forever on 26 October."Some of the sites that will disappear have information on genealogy and family history. I've listed a few of them here, and anyone who wants to add more links to the list may do so, so that people can find them in the short time remaining.

But that is only a fraction of the information that will be lost.

Three years ago some of us had a synchroblog (the very first synchroblog ever), and my contribution was a journal article I wrote and posted on Geocities. Even if the article is moved to a new location, all the links in those synchroblog posts will be broken.

One of the other victims of this kind of Yahoo! destruction was WebRing. To quote them

It was 15 years ago that Ashland, Oregon, high school student Sage Weil created the piece of script that could link different sites into one ring, into one Web Ring.

Not long after sharing the technology, Sage formed WebRing and witnessed a meteoric rise in popularity. So popular, in fact, that WebRing soon came to be owned by GeoCities.

WebRing too was a form of social networking on the Web, and Yahoo! bought it and destroyed it. Fortunately there was enough of the community spirit left that some people took it back and tried to revive it, and now they are offering to rescue Geocities sites by offering them an alternative hosting site, and an opportunity to try to rebuild the communities that Yahoo! shattered.

Friday, September 25, 2009

London porters

The forgotten story of London’s porters « Zythophile

Almost no modern books on the history of London mention the Ticket Porters and their rivals the Fellowship Porters, not even Weinreb and Hibbert’s 1,000-page London Encyclopedia (which does, however, manage to mangle a nonsensical story about ale conners and the Tiger pub at the Tower of London).

The exception is Peter Earle’s A City Full of People, subtitled Men and Women of London 1650-1750, published in 1994, which leans for its scholarship about the subject on Walter Stern’s The Porters of London, written in 1960.

This lack of general knowledge about the people who played an irreplaceable role in London’s economy from the 17th to the 19th centuries, one that was the equivalent of white van delivery driver, motorcycle courier and postman rolled into one, meant confusion for beer writers in the 1970s when they came to write about porter the drink.

[Middle English portour, from Anglo-Norman, from Late Latin portātor, from Latin portāre, to carry.]

A dark beer resembling light stout, made from malt browned or charred by drying at a high temperature.

[Short for porter's ale.] porter: Definition from

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - The place for original historical documents online Marks Family History Month with 60 Million Image Milestone

Adding more than 1 million new records per month, will mark the month of October, designated Family History Month, with the addition of its 60 millionth image. Since its launch in January 2007, has partnered with organizations including The National Archives and Gannett to digitize and index valued historical documents and photos and make them available online.

“ is more than just a repository of documents and images,” said Russ Wilding, CEO of “It’s a social gathering place where visitors can add photos, documents and other personal contributions, to create a more detailed and rich picture of our past.”

A favorite site of scholars, historians and genealogists has hundreds of rare and unique record collections including:

Included among the millions of records are a number of free collections like the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), which gives visitors the opportunity to create interactive experiences from a simple index. For each of the SSDI records has created a page that features a dynamic timeline, map, photo gallery, and section for others to contribute stories and insights about an individual.

“The SSDI is a very popular database for genealogists and historians,” added Wilding. “What makes the SSDI more powerful on is the ability to enhance the records through member contributions.”

The Social Security Death Index has a span that includes individuals who were born back in 1875 and also those that have died as recently as last week. The index provides valuable information including name, birth date, death date and last known residence. encourages visitors to share and preserve their own family histories, including photos, letters, and documents by scanning and uploading them to the site. User contributions combined with the original documents, is reveals a richer and more contextual side of history that few have seen before.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glamorgan Family History Society

Glamorgan Family History Society:
"G.F.H.S. Open Day 2009

Venue :- Cardiff City Hall
Date :- Saturday 3rd October 2009
10 am. - 4 pm.
Admission :- FREE

On the 20th March 1974 six enthusiasts formed the Heraldic and Genealogical Society, by the AGM in October of the same year the membership stood at 40.

In 1976 the society changed its name to the South Wales Family History society and finally in 1983 to the Glamorgan Family History society.

The society that started with six people now has over 2,500 members worldwide with the majority in Wales. Since then the society has spread throughout the Ancient county of Glamorgan and today has branches in Aberdare/Cynon Valley, Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Pontypridd and Rhondda, and Swansea who hold monthly meetings in their areas.

We also run a resource centre in Aberkenfig. On any Wednesday, there are often more than 30 visitors who are all benefiting from the fruits of the society’s publications and other resources" . . . .
The Research Centre Aberkenfig: "will be open every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, and the LAST Saturday in the month"

Open day venue :-
Cardiff City Hall, Cardiff, Gorsedd Gardens, Cathays Park, Cardiff. CF10 3ND

Nearest Rail Station - either Cathays or Cardiff Queens Street
Nearest Bus Stop - Outside City Hall, Kingsway or Greyfriars Road.

The Glamorgan Family History Society
"Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluol Morgannwg"

Monday, September 21, 2009

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Projectupdated 2009

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: WATKINS LAPHAM updated 2009: "# Name: Thomas Lapham
# Sex: M
# ALIA: Robert Thomas /Lapham/
# Birth: BEF 4 MAR 1798 in Bath St Michael , Somerset, England
# Death: JUN 1846 in Bristol 11 115
# Occupation: 1868 Cutler"

my common ancestor with the scottish LAPHAM

today I am travelling at 17:30 CPH to BHX so may be off line a couple of days