Phil Moir's Blog
Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
The British Newspaper Archive
Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?
Another cycle of development came to an end today with a new release for the website being deployed this afternoon. As you might imagine, the release includes a few new developments, some fixes, and a few other bits and pieces. Today's release was not announced on the boards as it was done without the site being taken down. In general, we prefer not to have any fixed interruptions and only deploy with downtime, where we need to make critical changes that require all servers to be updated at the same time. Since I last posted on 23rd August, we appear to have had quite a stable two weeks, which has been great for site development, as we have not been distracted by performance issues. So what is included in this release?
Today saw us eventually roll out some changes that we have be trying to deploy for a few (very stressful) weeks now. Again, I'd like to apologise for any inconvenience that this has caused anyone, and I hope in the majority of cases we should see an improvement in service. We are very carefully watching the logs that report errors that occur, and anything that can be fixed quickly will be actioned. I do have to confess that some errors do occur that are not straight-forward and we are unable to replicate. To help us, we have added additional logging of these errors that can hopefully help us to resolve these obscure issues.
On Saturday the 3rd December 1904, the relatively new RMS "Kenilworth Castle" passenger liner (part of the fleet of Union-Castle Line. See also Union Castle) slipped out of Southampton Docks bound for South Africa. Master of the ship for this voyage was Captain J Morton. The ship was travelling with only half occupancy, some 330 out of a possible 754 passengers spread across the three classes and up to 250 crew. The ship would make one stop in Madeira, the small Portuguese archipelago some 400km east of the Moroccan coast in the North Atlantic, where 15 passengers were due to disembark (and a few likely to join), before proceeding onto Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and then finally 49 days after departing from England, it would reach Durban. Of the 330 passengers who originally boarded in Southampton, the majority, some 258 were due to leave the ship when it first docked in South Africa at Cape Town.
Another end to the (working) week, although I appreciate that this is for many of you, your chance to get back into your family history research, but I think it is only fair to give an update on the site.
It's Friday night, and I am just trying to wrap up a number of things on my To Do list. I must apologise that this is not family tree/history related like Estelle and Rhoda's. Mine will come! Especially since the Passenger Lists and other Travel and Overseas records are now available. For those that have received a promotional email for the Passenger Lists, the photos and pictures surrounding the promotional text are courtesy of my great-grandfather's brother, Henry Turnbull (that is him top left), who emigrated to South Africa in 1904, and sent my grandmother a series of photos taken during the voyage. More of that to come.
After 10 years of commuting on the London Underground to work in the City of London every day, I finally dragged my bicycle out from the back of the garage and for the last few months have been enjoying the sun (and wind and rain and traffic) to pedal into the office. Previously I would have read the free morning Metro newspaper or even dragged my laptop out to cram in a little extra work (before I started working for Genes Reunited - who allow me to have a slightly healthier attitude to work). Little did I appreciate how stimulating the cycle would be not just my fitness, but for my mind too. I feel like I am almost reverting into a small child who constantly asks the questions "why", "what" and "who".
Hi, my name is Phil Moir, and I am a developer on the Genes Reunited team, as well as being a keen amateur genealogist. The purpose behind my choice in writing this blog is three fold. Firstly, I want to engage with the members of Genes Reunited, let you know what we're up to and why, as well as finding out what you collectively want from our service. Secondly, I want to help members explore their family tree and family history, with examples of problems faced from my own research. And thirdly, I want to tell my family story, a journey many are only just starting out on. By doing this I hope to enthuse and motivate you all to join in with your own story telling.