Its a small world

Through August I’ve continued to research the occupants of houses but allocating time to the project is difficult when we’ve actually had a summer this year. Perhaps through Autumn and Winter the pace of research will quicken somewhat.

I’ve managed to find a plugin that enables me to include the family history of the people I’m researching, it is called Rootspersona, it isn’t perfect and the developer seems difficult to contact but it is the best I’ve found and serves the required purpose.  So I’ve created a hierarchy to the site to so visitors can drill down and follow family links:

  • The Street pages list individual houses
  • The individual houses contain the list of occupants and any history relevant to the property
  • The occupants link to a page discussing the family
  • Each person listed on the family pages links to a page produced by the plugin which shows that persons family history.

Getting the information into this website isn’t straightforward though. I’ve got a tree on which enables me to keep a record of what I’ve done. To get the information into Rootspersona I’m downloading a gedcom from ancestry and importing it into Rootsmagic, after making a few changes I export a gedcom from rootsmagic and then use that to create or update pages with Rootspersona. I’m hoping to work out how to get a full surname list onto the website as rootsmagic can produce one, but getting that to link to the rootspersona pages might be tricky!

As I work on a number of different projects for people I tend to start new trees on Ancestry all the time, its important to keep a record of what you’ve researched and also ancestry gives you the opportunity of seeing other people’s research which occasionally saves a lot of time.

I recently researched the Hills family who lived at 3 Upper Price Street in 1911, only one of their children (a daughter) was living with them in 1911 but I found that they also had two sons. Whilst looking at the eldest, Arthur Hills, I found he had married a Nellie Hetherington in 1909. After entering the marriage, ancestry told me he was included in another tree so I had a look to see what information was there.

To my surprise the other tree was another of my trees on ancestry! Apparently I’d already researched Nellie Hetherington though I couldn’t remember when. It turns out that Nellie was the daughter of Edward Hetherington and the reason I’d researched her was that Edward was the builder that built 4 Upper Price Street – my house – along with 2 and 6 Upper Price Street.

Nellie wasn’t born when these hoses were built (around 1880) and Arthur was only 3 so I wonder if there was some connection between the families or perhaps this is just coincidence? Whatever, it is a small world indeed.


  1. Katherine Pass says

    Dear Paul, (?)
    It certainly is a small world! I’m so excited to find you! I’ve been researching the life of my great, great aunt, Hannah Hills, nee Anstey, as part of a family history project on the Anstey family of Kenn in Devon. Coming to the end of Hannah’s story, I thought I would just see if there were any pics available of her various homes and found you and you had actually written about the Hills family when they lived in Upper Price Street. As they moved from Manchester to York between 1883 and 1891 and lived in Philadelphia Terrace and Great Russell Street prior to Upper Price Street I don’t think there was any previous connection between Arthur and Nellie Hetherington. Intriguing, though, how do you think they met?William Hills, Hannah’s husband, died at Upper Price Street in 1913 so I presume Hannah had to move out then. I notice many of the other residents were railway workers – does this mean the houses were owned by a railway company? and do you know what the interiors of the houses were like at that time? Did they each have a backyard WC or did they share? Was there a bathroom (unlikely, I think)? I would love a copy of your map of the area, is that possible? I hope you are still working on your project and able to email me.
    Regards, Kay Pass

    • Hi Katherine, Sorry for not replying earlier. The houses were all privately owned and rented out, the first owner occupiers started appearing in the 1920’s. I’ll drop you an email.

Leave a comment: