Unlike the well-known giants of genealogy this web site is the work of one person, aimed at a small selection of families and contains plenty of unproven content.
Not the best opening introduction - but there is nothing to gain by spinning an attractive story set against some eye-candy graphics.
It all started around 1997 with a PC, a copy of Family Tree Maker and a few names of relatives from my parents. If I had known then what I know now I probably would not have started. But a simple search for grand-parents and their families soon moved to be an accumulation of anything and everything with a Townsley connection.
So what you see here today is just the latest version of a Townsley scrap book that has changed to cope with volume increases and technological changes.
The current version of the site relies on these software apps -
- Family Tree Maker 2005 - used to hold the database of names on my local PC. Newer versions have been tried but failed to cope. The 2005 version is used to help generate the static web pages that are used in, for example, the Locations section. It has been announced that FTM will cease to be sold from the end of 2015. However the requirements for family historians have changed little and even the 2005 version of FTM works fine with Windows 10 - so the software should keep working for some time yet.
- NetObjects Fusion 2013 - used to design, edit and publish the web pages. Newer versions are available but their extra features are not needed for this simple web site.
- GED2WWW - used to create the Townsley Family History Database that is linked to the NetObject Fusion pages. This really is part of PC history being a program that runs in a replica of MS-DOS as white text on a black background under Windows 10. Development stopped in 1999. It earns its kept by creating a complete new web version of the database in just a few seconds - from a GEDCOM file.
- Webtrees - claimed to be the web's leading on-line collaborative genealogy application. It is open source software based upon PHP, MySQL and standard GEDCOM files. It is presently being tested as a modern replacement for the ancient GED2WWW. You can try a pilot version here
The same collection of records has been used to create three other web sites aimed at the village of Brotherton in Yorkshire and two other surnames - Sheeky and Strangeway.
Finally there is second database of records that link various famous families - including Strangways and Towneley - but are unlinked to the commoners covered here. One option being tried is a Webtrees version of this second database but so far not all the data can be loaded. However much of the info can already be found online - as tracing the rich and famous is already a popular activity.