Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Hull Royal Genealogical Database

The database at Hull generates a significant amount of email, much of which can be answered by this FAQ document.
  1. I'm an AOL user and I can't seem to access individual records any more.
  2. Do you have any more information on a person?
  3. Where did you get the information you have on this person?
  4. Please tell me what your database says about my name?
  5. Can you tell me how I am related to royalty?
  6. As a well known and well qualified genealogist and historian please answer this difficult historical point for me.
  7. Can you send me a GEDCOM for your data?
  8. Your database is inconsistent with my data.
  9. Your database contains fiction, fantasty and legend.
  10. You have omitted obvious children/spouses/ancestors of people from your database.
  11. I get a search timeout message whenever I use your database.
  12. The database access is so slow, can you make it faster?
  13. I have a large GEDCOM of related data, shall I send it?
  14. I mailed you a question yesterday/last week/last month/last year, did you get it and when will I get an answer?
  15. What do all these titles, Duke, Earl, Viscount actually mean and how does one get them?
  16. Can you settle and argument and answer this piece of Royal trivia?
  17. I'm having trouble contacting you, What is your email address?
  18. The data about me is not correct.
  19. If you cannot answer many questions why do you supply your email address?
  20. My school homework/project is to learn about this historical person in your database - can you help me?
  21. I would like to email/write to a member of the royal family, can you tell me their address?
  22. Can you pass on a message to the Queen for me please?
  23. Can you help me with my research into families local to Hull, East Yorkshire, England etc.?

  1. I'm an AOL user and I can't seem to access individual records any more.
    It seems the new version of the AOL browser isn't patient enough to wait for the data from my server. Netscape and Internet Explorer and other browsers work fine however.

  2. Do you have any more information on a person?
    No. All of the data that I have on a person in the database is contained in the database itself. I have no further, hidden, pieces of information that that I can reveal to you in answer to an email request. What I have is shown in the database. There may be more information that could be obtained by further research, but I am simply not in a position to perform genealogical research on demand to assist enquirers. I have a full-time academic position teaching and researching Computer Science and only get to augment the genealogical data in my spare time. I already have enough lines of enquiry to last me many years.

  3. Where did you get the information you have on this person?
    The sources I obtain my data from are listed in the database bibliography. The annotations in the bibliography should help guide you on the source I used for each lineage grouping. In many cases the database explicitly shows a source for a persons data or a whole lineage.

    Much of the data comes from standard works of reference such as The Complete Peerage, Europaisch Stammtafeln (Freytag) and for modern data Burke's Peerage, Burke's Landed Gentry and Debrett's. The topic of source attribution in this database is also covered in a further discussion document.

  4. Please tell me what your database says about my name
    The purpose of my database, beyond its computer science function, is to allow individuals to consult the database themselves directly, without my help and intervention. I hope that by using the indexes and help texts provided you can readily find any links between your own family lines and those recorded herein.

    For further details on researching your family lines, and links to Britain and what British sources are available you should consult the main UK Genealogy Page.

  5. Can you tell me how I am related to royalty
    It is not uncommon for people of British ancestry to descend from some Royal or other. It has been said by some that all English descent from Edward I and all Scots from Malcolm III. Therefore there is no particular cachet in having any royal ancestors, but proving it is another matter entirely!

  6. As a well known and well qualified genealogist and historian please answer this difficult historical point for me
    I do not have the professional expertise to offer myself as a consultant genealogist or historian. My paid employment as an academic Computer Scientist does not give me the time or resources to perform any research at your suggestion.

    A good place to ask your question, where it can be answered by several recognised experts in the field of Royal Genealogy is on Usenet. The groups soc.genealogy.medieval and alt.talk.royalty are best. It is also considered good ettiquette to read the group for a while before asking your question. An archive of discussions from these groups can be consulted via a service such as Dejanews, and these may already answer your question.

  7. Can you send me a GEDCOM for your data
    I do not currently make available in GEDCOM form the whole of my database, but there are available GEDCOMs containing royal genealogies. This issue is discussed at greater length in this discussion document.

  8. Your database is inconsistent with my data.
    Not unlikely. With so many people, so many sources and so many opinions that is quite common. We may have used different sources, or I may have made a typo.

    You are welcome to bring the inconsistency to my attention, quoting your source attributions, and I will be able to file this information for the time I next update that area of information. I cannot provide and instant response or opinion on the discrepancy. Some of the questions I receive take more than a year to research properly.

    I also have a computer generated list of inconsistencies that you may wish to consult.

  9. Your database contains fiction, fantasty and legend
    Yes, In places it does. I do try to make clear when the genealogy does enter the realms of fancy, but try to show the source so the user can make their own judgement. For example I have included the lineage from The Anglo Saxon Chronicles which showns as descent from Adam to Cerdic. I have also included item from A New History of Ireland on early Irish Kings and viking lineages fromThe Heimskringla.

    I agree that there is the possibility that some readers may not see the notes that indicate the source and take the data to be more significant than it actually is. I decided to leave in data from a few sources of this kind, as the serious researcher would want to re-verify anyway, and the less than serious genealogist doesn't care.

  10. You have omitted obvious children/spouses/ancestors of people from your database
    Yes, of course. To enter every ancestor and descendant of everyone in the database would take near infinite time. As the database is a snapshot of a work in progress, then many lines will not be complete.

    When following a particular line of enquiry, if entering ancestors, then I usually only enter particular lineages of parents. Conversely when entering descendants I am likely to focus on particular lines and not show everyone.

  11. I get a search timeout message whenever I use your database
    This is because you ignored the warning, that you should use the precomputed indexes. To prevent computer overload, just using the general, lazy, search does not get you anything. This is a feature.

  12. The database access is so slow, can you make it faster
    In many cases, peoples experiences of slow access are not related to the speed of my systems, but to their local Internet Configurations. You should ensure that you have configured your browser to take advantage of any proxy cache servers offered by your Internet Service Provider. This will eliminate unnecessary fetches of files and indexes over long distances when they can be obtained locally.

    You should also note that there is a mirror server of the database at Edinburgh.

  13. I have a large GEDCOM of related data, shall I send it
    No,please don't. I can only have a measure of the quality of data in my database, if I am aware of the veracity of the sources used. I do not import data into the database at random.

    The Genweb concept is about the distribution and sharing of data. If you have a GEDCOM then you should make your own web pages with it. I can then put links into my database pointing at yours.

  14. I mailed you a question yesterday/last week/last month/last year, did you get it and when will I get an answer?
    I cannot provide a by-return answer service. Due to the pressure of my normal paid employment, and the volume of incoming mail, I cannot always answer each message in a timely manner. It depends on what work I need to do to obtain or supply a reply.

  15. What do all these titles, Duke, Earl, Viscount actually mean and how does one get them?
    These titles are given as a reward to subjects by the sovereign. They can only be gained by being inherited from ones forbears or awarded anew. They cannot usually be purchased. For a fuller discussion see Mark Odegard's, A Glossary of European Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles.

  16. Can you settle and argument and answer this piece of Royal trivia
    No. I do not indulge in trivia quizzes, even if you split the prize with me! I also have enough arguments of my own to win, without trying to win yours.

  17. I'm having trouble contacting you, What is your email address?
    My email address is available all over my web pages, in the signature of almost every page. People who have trouble mailing me, almost invariably, have failed to spell my surname correctly! (It has no H)

  18. The data about me is not correct
    If you are in the database, and I show your details, or those of your immediate family incorrectly, I am happy to hear from you and correct the errors. This is often dues to the age of my sources.

    Several people have been kind enough to update me in this way.

  19. If you cannot answer many questions why do you supply your email address?
    It would be impolite if I did not properly attribute my database to me. Anonymous web pages are so irritating. There are some questions I can answer, but in most cases I cannot be an oracle.

    The main problem for me is the extremely large volume of questions, whose answers are non-trivial and might take many hours of research to answer properly, but even the short replies take longer to type than the time I have available. Although you are only interested in the answer to your question, which might seem trivial to you, from my perspective I suffer from the effect known as being nickel and dimed to death.

  20. My school homework/project is to learn about this historical person in your database - can you help me?
    I have my own homework to do, sorry too busy.

  21. I would like to email/write to a member of the royal family, can you tell me their address?
    No. I am sure the tabloid press would pay me more for this data than you!

    I don't have such data.

  22. Can you pass on a message to the Queen for me please?
    No. Just write direct to Buckingham Palace, London.

  23. Can you help me with my research into families local to Hull, East Yorkshire, England etc.?
    Unless you are directly related to my personal Tompsett family tree, I would be unable to assist you in your genealogy research. I only have a finite amount of library research time. The Main UK genealogy page contains lots of helpful advice for those wanting to conduct research in the UK or find assistance.

    The Hull City Information service has a retained genealogist who can undertake research commissions for those unable to visit Hull themselves. You can read more about the family history services on their web page http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/genealogy/.


Version: 4 Nov 97 Author: Brian Tompsett Back: Directory of Royal Genealogical Data Question?: FAQ © 1994-97
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