Saturday, March 17, 2007

So, This Is Very Cool

I got an email this week from Marilyn over at The Hauser House. In her own words, she is a genealogist and history buff and when she gets bored she grabs a family and starts researching, and boy does she ever. She found the bit of information I had on my site that I had done for the Petch Family and just ran with it.

My brother is an avid genealogist as well and so I have some familiarity with what goes in to this. I can see how it can be a bit of an obsession. For me it was like that with stripping wallpaper. In the first year I was in The Petch House I stripped a lot of wallpaper. I just couldn’t stop. I would be innocently passing by a room and catch a little dog-eared piece of wallpaper out of the corner of my eye. I just had to tug at it. The next thing you know, four hours have passed and I can no longer see the floor because of all the wallpaper I had pulled off. I get the feeling searching a family history is similar.

Anyway, Marilyn sent me a GEDCOM file. In the genealogy world a GEDCOM file is sort of the industry standard for file formats for storing family history information. It is sort of like the PDF format in that it has become universal in the field, but it is not a static format like PDF. More than one program can open, read, and modify GEDCOM files.

As I said, my brother is a genealogist and he’s also a computer programmer. He wrote a program called UncleGED (clever, don’t you think) that takes the information in a GEDCOM file and spits it all out into a collection of linked web pages. So I used UncleGED to take all of the Petch family history that Marilyn dug up - and it’s a lot, and it’s very, very impressive - and I ported it all to web pages and posted on-line.

I’ve been so busy I haven’t really had the time to go through it all but the Petch family is big and far flung. I can’t thank Marilyn enough for the work she did. It’s just really amazing. If you want to take a look at it, click on the link below.

The Petch Family


Leslie said...

How very cool!!!

I've had no luck finding the first folks to own this house in any genealogical records or historical records, even though the family is an historically prominant one in this area. I'm still looking though. There's just something very special about having that connection to the first people who lived in your house.

mike & rachel said...

I can certainly vouch for it becoming an addiction! I have an entire bookcase filled with family research. But the experience from that paid huge in learning the skills to find out about the Hall house and even being able to locate descendents (who also are genealogist!) Nice job Hauser House.

Tarr said...

Notes for Thomas Daniel F Petch:
Name: Thomas Daniel F Petch
Born: abt. June, 1858 Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 09, 2007 Alameda Co, CA

He sure lived a long time!

Kristin said...

I'm so jealous! And I totally understand. I go all research crazy on any family I can think of, though I'm sure I'm not a pro at it like Marilyn. I need to get familiar with GEDcom files.