February 2010

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mardler
Site Admin
Posts: 267
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 6:28 pm

February 2010

Post by mardler »

With a few hours left in February, at least in the UK, it's monthly update time.

New web pages
It's been another busy month with another 800 people added to the database and a lot more details added for people we already have. The big news, however, is that we have started to redesign the website. Take a look at the new section on what we've called Interesting People, here: http://www.howesfamilies.com/people.php . We have several HOWESes and a HOWSE, with the most illustrious being the latter, a Victoria Cross winner for Australia who was born in Somerset, England. Additionally, we have:
  • a member of the British Parliament
  • the inventor of the Easy-Bake Oven and the Spirograph
  • a second Major-General and several other soldiers
  • a circus entrepreneur and showman well-known on both sides of the Atlantic
  • the founder of the Howes dynasty in Massachusetts
  • a film actress
  • and several others.
Please note that the section is far from finished. I just wanted everyone to see what we had in mind. Do you have other notable HOWESes, HOWSEs or HOWSes you think we should include?

Other website changes:
  • the bulletin board has a new more modern flavour to it.
  • we have changed the color of the home page
  • thanks to Dave Howes in Germany, we have updated our English and Welsh registration data, births now to 1930, deaths to 1935 and marriages to 1940, all for Howes only at this point
  • thanks to Ian Howes in Surrey, we now have Scottish registration data for Howes and more on the way.
  • we've been testing an extra change to the front page. Come back soon
Derivation of our name
I've been doing a bit of thinking too as a result of which I asked the Guild of One-Name Studies to add the surname HOUSE to our study. I'll explain more on the site over the next few weeks, but briefly:
we have found several individuals with names spelled three different ways at different times.
if you make a plot of surname distribution across Southern England, you'll see that the areas dominated by each name are complementary. It definitely appears that we are only separated by strong regional accents!

It's intriguing to think that this kind of analysis is only possible now we have the internet and can see masses of data that was almost hidden in the past when you had to go to record offices or LDS centers to see small amounts of data.

We haven't yet given up on having cousins from Continental Europe. Dave Howes has found a Hau name in Southern Germany and Austria and we know of the surname, Huizen (sounds like How-ze), in the Netherlands. Likely only DNA will tell us whether there is a link. More later.

Next steps
In addition to all of this, now we have such a large amount of data (almost 21,000 names) that it makes more sense to begin to divide people into family groups. Last week, we ran our first analysis on this, to find that we have over 1,300 different branches of our tribe(s)! However, four of them contain more than 1,000 people already and fourteen have more than 200. It's clear too that while most groups have started in Southern England, most have spread to somewhere else in the world. In the next few weeks we'll put more on-line about this.

On a more humdrum level, we have close to another 30 BMD certificates to put online. Some of these I have bought myself to solve puzzles about who belongs where. Others have been sent in - thank you - and others are now available on the familysearch website as of last week.

Thanks
Finally a big thanks to everyone that has sent in data and/or registered on the site in the past few weeks. Hope you get value from your participation.
Paul
mardler
Site Admin
Posts: 267
Joined: October 4th, 2009, 6:28 pm

Re: February 2010

Post by mardler »

Small postscript: Dave in Germany points out that by extending the surname distribution to include House I have missed a second Victoria Cross winner, William House of Berkshire.
Thanks Dave
Paul
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