STIRNET HISTORIES is being replaced by a section that will contain pages that are more relevant to supporting Genealogical Research. This exercise was started in August 2015 and may take some months before it is completed. I apologise should this lead to any confusing loose-ends in the interim.

Peter Barns-Graham

Welcome to Stirnet Histories


As pre-warned (in a News post last year), I am simplifying the site in order to focus it more on Genealogy. I have decided to put aside most of my aspirations for the site to cover Social History in a novel way. Whilst that is very disappointing, it is only realistic and it is necessary to ensure that I can continue with the FAMILIES DATABASE for many more years (and, indeed, set it up so that the database may be taken over by someone else when I am no longer able to keep working on it). It will take a few months for everything to settle down so please excuse it should you find cross-references to pages that have been suspended and other such inconsistencies. Just to confirm: these changes will not affect the FAMILIES DATABASE which is the part of the site that well over 95% of the site's visitors look at.

PCBG, 19th August 2015


Time to move on

My last post, ‘Save our Democracy’, was a departure from the normal content in this site. After an initial (single) ‘keep out of politics’ response, the comments received have all been very supportive. Thank you. It is time to move on but the political situation is so bizarre that I suspect that I will be pulled back time and time again to cover the many issues involved unless I ‘get it off my chest’ and try to ‘put it all to bed’ in this type of post. I start by setting the scene.

(1) A determination to avoid future wars in Europe led to the development of the European Coal & Steel Community and then the European Economic Community. The political and economic sense behind those moves was self-evident. The idea of transforming the EEC into a loose but slowly getting-closer European Union was a good one, but it should not have been rushed, just gently encouraged to evolve at a steady pace. * For some countries, the natural pace towards federalisation was fast (in particular, Belgium required a forum in which it need not fall apart and Luxembourg was desperate to preserve its status as a country even though it is nothing more than a county) but for others, including the UK, the natural pace was slow. * With different agendas, too many politicians in too many countries wanted to accomplish too much too quickly. I have never understood why so many were against having a ‘multi-speed Europe’ as that seemed to...

Save our democracy!

Whatever your views about Brexit, if you are British and are upset by the idea of a Prime Minister (of any political party) ignoring the wishes of Parliament, I suggest that you look at and (if you are eligible) support that Petition. Those of you who know me will probably be surprised by my doing anything so 'political' as providing this message but this really is a step too far. Do not think of this as just a Brexit matter. Once a precedent has been set, future Prime Ministers could attempt to abuse their position even worse than this!

Some might argue that preserving the result of a referendum that involved millions of people is more democratic than giving precedence to the views of a few hundred MPs. However, that argument (which in theory I could otherwise support) fails when it comes to a simplistic 'nuclear options' referendum that was hastily called for narrow party-political purposes, that was heavily influenced by blatant lies that would never pass any modest advertising standard, and that has left us in a position that has already proved to be very different from what was promised. The fact that the referendum could be used to change the vary basis of our democracy, being that we are a parliamentary democracy and not one that should normally be easily swayed by potentially short-term populist sentiments, was certainly never given the attention that it merits. There are arguments for and against Brexit. There are no arguments...


Welcome. If you are new to this site, please note that the Families Database is the focus of the site and that I use the Latest pages released page to advise people on what is going on with that database. That page is accessed through the Families Database Menu at the top of each page and (unless you are viewing this on a tablet or smart phone) in the Families Database - latest link at the bottom of each page. Do explore the pages linked to from that menu. Also: if you have any queries, check out the FAQs pages linked to from the top of each page whilst, if you have any problems, check out the Support pages.


Milestone reached

We have reached the milestone of having launched 6,000 pages into the database. That is made up of 5,842 pages in the main section of the database, that on British families in Medieval Renaissance & Modern periods, plus 94 'Continentals' (Medieval & Renaissance) and 64 'Ancient & Mythical'. It excludes 198 draft & temporary files (196 in the British section, 2 in the Continental) much of which could be launched into the main part of the database albeit often as sections within 'miscellaneous' pages.

Is there an end in sight? No! Strangely enough, you may think, one of the things that has kept me going with the database, and which encourages me to want to keep working on it for many years to come, is that it is a never-ending subject with almost limitless scope for expansion and improvement. However, the main thing that keeps me working on it is that it is something that should last for the long-term and which is under my own control. Having spent many years during my 'main' career working (very hard) for other people on things that were not under my own control and that subsequently were closed down or otherwise were lost, with almost nothing left to show for it all, this site represents something that should last and which I can keep improving. Sometimes the improvement is substantial, sometimes it is trivial, but every bit of work on the database improves it. That provides some satisfaction and also the incentive to keep...