Posted by: Christine | December 17, 2013

Too Many Websites

Family Historians nowadays spend a lot of time visiting numerous websites. Flitting like butterflies from site to site, collecting a tiny piece of genealogical nectar from each, to build up our family trees. I expect newer members to our hobby wonder how we ever managed to do any research before the internet! The answer is: slowly but possibly more thorough.

But that’s not that I want to blog about here. A few days ago I was talking to my son about something I was doing and he asked “How many websites do you have now?”. I had to stop and think about it. This post is the result.

The first website I set up was in early 2002. Some members of Rugby Family History Group decided it would be a good idea to set up a website. Of course we set up a committee and our then Chairman, Harry Batchelor, read a book “Teach Yourself HTML in a Weekend” and produced a few pages. This inspired me to set up my own site on the free space provided by my ISP (BT) – it even had coloured pages! This website faded away not long ago when BT stopped providing space, but I had already moved on.

With my “experience”, in 2003, I became webmaster of  After a while I attended a FFHS Seminar for webmasters and was introduced to Joomla! This Content Management System made creating websites a lot easier. As well as updating the group’s website, I set up a new site for my one-name study.

This site is now badly in need of updating. A job which is on my, ever lengthening, to-do list. I intend to put a lot of my information, starting with GRO indexes for Madder into the Guild of One-Name Studies Archive, with a link from my site. I will also provide a link to my Madder DNA study at 

Talking about the GOONS, does my profile page on their site, at count as one of my websites? I don’t really thing so. 

Enough of the advertising. Last year I took over as leader of the Rugby Local History Research Group. They had a website, but it needed updating. It was easier to start from scratch at  (We will be closing down the old version shortly.)

Earlier this year the RFHG website won Best Website, Small Society in the FFHS Geoff Riggs Award

Presentation of the Geoff Riggs Award 2012

Presentation of the Geoff Riggs Award 2012

Notice the carefully positioned certificate to hide my sling! (My shoulder is now fully recovered, by the way).

I should have kept quiet about this award at a recent meeting of the West Midlands Group of Family History Societies. They wanted to set up a website – mainly to advertise the Worcester Family History Fair to be held next August (9th – put the date in your Diary!). I tried hard to resist but in the end I was forced to volunteer. As this was to be a basic site to which several different people could contribute, it was decided to use a WordPress blog. It can now be found at

This was so straightforward that I decided to have another go at persuading some members of RFHG to set up their own Blog/Website. At the following Computer Evening on 29th November, I would set up a blog, from scratch, to demonstrate how easy it was. Unfortunately it was a failure – it was Black Friday and the internet was so busy it was virtually impossible to do anything. I think everyone concluded it was too difficult.

But I did set up that other blog though. I realised that this blog was getting too full of posts about gardens. They have now been transplanted to 

I make that three websites and three blogs – so far. I have been asked to help set up a website for Rugby Archaeological Society. I might as well corner the market in Rugby history websites!

And then there is the social networking.

Two twitter accounts: personal @ChristineMadder and RFHgroup @RugbyFHG (Think the WMGFHS want one as well – it’s on that long to-do list).

Facebook: I’m at and there are pages for Rugby Family History Group and the West Midlands Group of Family History Societies. There is a group for my Madder One-Name Study, but it’s a closed group so not very active, because no one can find it. Perhaps it should it have a public page?

Finally, the writing class I attend (“Writing Fiction” at the Percival Guildhouse) has decided to set up a website to publicise our work. Hurrah! Someone else has volunteered to do it! I will give details of that once it is set up.

So, I think that’s it. I’m off now to prepare a really special post for Christmas. Look out for it here – or somewhere else.

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