Monday, July 16, 2012

Following up old contacts

This site has now been up and running for over ten years and in the last few days I have had two requests about out of date contact information. The first was for Matt Wheeler, who was the very helpful curator at for Dacorum Heritage Trust at the time, and often commented on posts on this web site. He moved on to the Salt Museum, now the Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, of Northwich, Cheshire, and in the last year has become the curator and manager of the Irish Agricultural Museum at Wexford, Ireland.

The second related to the request by Catherine, in 2001, about MAGOR, Redbourn, late 19th century, where unfortunately the contact email address is no longer valid, and I have no later email address. This request reminded me how out of date some of the early pages on this site are - as so much more information has become easily accessible since 2001. For instance it now only takes a minute to find the family in Redbourn in the 1891 census. In this case it supports my original suggestion that the parents were in India at the time of the 1881 census - with two children being born there at the time. The census returns also show that the family had moved to Ingatestone Hall, Billericay, Essex, by 1901. A few minutes more and I established from online trade directories that Richard Blarney Magor was still at Redbourn House in 1895. (Full details have been added to the original page.)

These requests highlight two problems. The first is that the oldest answers on this site are date because, for example, they were done before any of the censuses were available online, and in most cases it would now be possible to give far fuller answers in less time than the original answers took. The second is that many of the contact emails are now no longer reaching the original enquirer. In some cases the enquirer will have passed on, and in other they will have changed their address, perhaps because their ISP went out of business. 

So if you have contributed to this site and have changed your email address make sure you let me know so I can update the contact information. In the 15 years I have been online discussing Hertfordshire family history matters I have corresponded with thousands of people about even more different surnames. Occasionally I get an email which is addressed to "all my friends" and which gives a new email address and is signed with a Christian name only.  I cannot possibly chase through 15 years of records to find out why I was in your address book, or whether I need to update one of the nearly 4000 pages on my web site with the new address. This all means that normally if an email contact address is not valid I will not have a more recent address - because if I did the contact would have been updated online.

1 comment:

  1. The other thing one can do with greater confidence than in 2001 is Google. The first hit for Richard Magor gives you the history of the Williamson Magor Group and puts the family in their Indian context. Anthony


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