How this web site came about
In March 1992 my Aunt Ivy Nicolson,
nee Willard died. She was a widow with no
children and so my Dad and his younger sister and brother and myself
sorted through her things. We found a photograph dated 1892 and
taken by a Tunbridge Wells photographer. Dad and his siblings
remembered their Granny Warman had come from Wadhurst and it was assumed
the photo was of her with her mother, younger sister and 2 brothers
(later confirmed). But what was her name and that of her mother?
... And so I was hooked.
Within a year I'd discovered the GRO indexes and spent
a fortune on travelling up to London buying certificates. I'd also
found my way to the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester and a very
kind archivist there got me started and was so very helpful - I'm afraid
I don't know his name (he retired in about 1996/7). I also visited
the East Sussex Record Office at Lewes, but that wasn't then very "user
friendly". I was also very lucky in that at the time we lived in
Durrington and nearby Worthing Library held a copy of the IGI on
microfiche and lots of other bits and pieces to help on my ancestor
hunt. I also joined the Sussex Family History Group.
In 1995 we moved to Bexhill. Chichester then
became a bit too far and so the Lewes RO became my second home.
We'd had a home computer since 1989, but it wasn't
until January 2001 that we got internet access at home. Soon after
I made contact with my Mum's cousin, John Machin,
in New Zealand and he suggested I download Legacy, which was
and still is free for their standard version. I then spent ages
inputting all my findings and considered creating a web site using one
of the Legacy templates.
At about the same time I discovered Malcolm
Hupman's wonderful web site, which he had created from scratch
using MS Publisher. As I also had Publisher, I decided that I too
would create a web site that way and Malcolm gave me much help and
instruction, resulting in my first web site being uploaded to the web in
May 2002, hosted for free at RootsWeb.
So why did I decide against a Legacy created web
site? Well, for me, I found the templates to restrictive. By
creating a web site with Publisher I was able to put in hyperlinks where
ever I wanted and create my own layout.
Once my Publisher web site grew to about 400 pages it
started to become unmanageable and took about two hours to upload to the
web. In early 2005 I bought MS FrontPage - I did consider
Dreamweaver, but that was twice the price.
FrontPage requires the host server to have FrontPage
extensions (not always necessary), which RootsWeb didn't. I then
found free space at Lycos, but it wasn't long before I had out grown the
available space and so made the move to FastHosts (costing me about £50
per year) and got my
www.mandywillard.co.uk domain name.
It took months teaching myself how to use FrontPage
and in January 2008 I upgraded the software to Expression Web, and so
yet another learning curve!
So what's the future of this web site? Hopefully
a long one. As and when time permits I will keep on amending and
adding to the content. If you've all ready browsed my site, you
may have found that I don't just stick to my own direct ancestral line,
I enjoy finding all the little convoluted links between the families.
I consider my web site to be a giant scrapbook. Some bits have been
very thoroughly researched, whilst others are just a collection of names
and dates from the IGI, awaiting the day when I have more time to give
them further consideration. I'm sure there are many errors and
wrong assumptions, so please don't take what you find within this site
as gospel. Please, please, please, check all the data for yourself
against original records.
Best wishes to you all,