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


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...

New visitors

Welcome. Those of you who are new to the site are advised to keep an eye on the Latest pages released page which I use (more than this note) to advise site visitors on what is going on with the Families 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.


Greetings and Review

I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I do hope that 2018 will be a happy, healthy & successful year for you and for all of your family.

2018 will be quite an important year for Stirnet as I really must get to grips with the upgrade to https (not as much progress has been made on that as I had hoped) and generally find a way to deal with those annoying browsers which keep changing and making things difficult for small commercial sites such as this one. I suppose they mean well but ...

I will not reach the target of 300 new pages for the Families Database in 2017 but there have been many non-Stirnet distractions, not least the birth of a second grandchild. However, many improvements have been made to existing pages. They are important to me also so I think that overall it has been a quite good year from the Database-Development point of view. Nevertheless, the problems with the Login & Registration module (which I think are due to changes by the browsers) have reduced the number of subscriptions received, which is a bit concerning.

The number of people visiting the site in 2017 is up compared with 2016 but the number of pages viewed is down, probably affected by the above-mentioned problems. I do not report much on the site's statistics, there is just a section called Statistics low on the History of the site page, but you may be...

Changing to https

I have started preparations for making a number of changes to the site. In particular, I am preparing for it to be operated under the https:// protocol instead of the http:// protocol which is what we operate under at present. I am not sure how long this will take not least because I have yet to find the right programmer for the job. [Any suggestions? Most of the work will be done remotely but I will want to meet him/her on odd occasions so that means that he/she should be in travelling distance from Herefordshire.]

Why am I doing this? I have taken note of the recommendation by various of the 'major Internet players' that sites should change from the longstanding http:// protocol to the https:// protocol, which is viewed as more secure. I understand that the additional security comes through code being encrypted in a way that should keep information safer from hackers. For a site such as ours, which receives only basic logging-in information and keeps away from online payment details (which are handled by PayPal), the only potentially-sensitive bits of information we receive are your Name, your email address, your Username, and the Password you use to log into the site. Of these, I'd guess that the only real issue could be with the Password and that would be a potential issue only if you use the same Password for this site as you use for other sites in which you do store sensitive data (such as bank details). [Incidentally, I...