Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you, or are you, going to charge for access to the information on the site? If I submit information or certificates to the site will you then charge others for accessing them?
No, I have no intention of charging anyone for access to anything on easterbrook.org.uk. The site is free and will remain so.
However, there are some areas where information is restricted due to factors not under my control:
- Information about living individuals is either not displayed at all or is obscured (usually by only using an initial) on the public website to protect the confidentialiy and privacy of those individuals and to abide by the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. This information is available on request to genuine researchers who can show a relationship.
- Documents or other sources that may be subject to copyright or have been obtained via a chargeable service are not shown on the website unless requested. Sharing or copying a few pages to assist in research is usually considered fair use, re-publishing everything is almost certainly not permissible.
- Commercial use of the information is strictly forbidden. I reserve the right to charge for unauthorised commercial use. This charge will be greater than the commercial value of the information.
2. How do you protect the privacy and confidentiality of the families you are researching?
By following the principles in the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communcations Regulations 2003 which protect data gathered and stored about living individuals: The data must only be used for the purpose for which it was collected and must be kept secure.
This public website does not display any information that can be used to identify a living person: Mostly living generations are excluded completely, but where this is difficult living individuals are only displayed as an initial and a birth to the nearest 10 years. It is only possible to identify a living person by knowing considerably more about them than is available here.
The private database used to generate the public pages is only available to genealogists researching the Easterbrook family and who are resident in the EU. Export from the EEA of the personal data is forbidden. Access to the EU located database from outside the EEA would be considered exporting.
UPDATE 2015: With the release of the 1939 Register and the public on-line availability of many other 20th century documents, I am now considering events before 1940 as historical and can be fully published here. Furthermore, any information already in the public domain right up to the present day may be published unless I believe it inappropriate to do so, however, I do not actively analyse Births newer than 70 years and marriages newer than 50 years.
UPDATE 2018: There has been debate about the processing of information in the public domain and whether the combining of such information can break privacy. The concern is the collection and processing by large internet companies but could apply to the building of family trees. The amount of collation on this site is minimal and should be covered by the research exemption, however, I will be monitoring the situation.
3. Why have you created the site?
I started researching my own family tree and often spent considerable time trying to prove that a particular person was or was not related. It was easier to research each family as much as possible so that when a member of that family came up in a search I could eliminate them immediately and concentrate on new discoveries. Initially I only had my own family line on the website, but after being contacted by other researchers of the Easterbrook name I decided to put some of the other families on the website as well. When this started to generate leads that helped my own research I expanded the website to contain all of my genealogy research.
4. Can you put the all the certificates and other documentation on-line?
The UK certificates and census pages are subject to crown copyright (and non-UK are usually similarly protected), and most other sources are also restricted in some way, so I cannot just put everything on-line. If you let me know which family you are researching I will make available all documentation I have in electronic form on the understanding it is for genealogy research purposes only. However, I am unable to send anything relating to a living person outside the EEA because of UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communcations Regulalations 2003, and I also reserve the right to withhold any documentation if I believe it would break the privacy and confidentiality of anyone still living.
5. What application do you use to create the web pages? How do you create the family trees? How do you manage to keep it up to date?
The website is built on a Linux (SuSE or Ubuntu) system using mostly standard Unix-type command line tools and scripting languages. The main build scripts takes the variable content for each page and automatically adds the headers, footers, and contents navigation. The trees and reports are generated by using wget or curl to the http interface to my genealogy database, GeneWeb. A set of sed, awk or perl scripts format the data appropriately and remove or obscure living individuals. The source for each page consists of the static content and instructions to wget/sed/awk/perl to include the dynamic information. The contact page is PHP scripts based on publicly available example code but significantly modified to prevent abuse by spammers. If you are Linux literate and wish to do something similar I am willing to share my code.
6. Why is my family not listed? I cannot find my family but I know they lived in/came from X?
This site is a work-in-progress and a long-term research project. It is unlikely to cover most of the known Easterbrook families in the British Isles for many years. I started seriously researching the Easterbrook name at the end of 2005 and most of my research takes place during the winter months. At the current rate of progress I might be close to having most families in the British Isles by 2015!
A rough guide to the level of coverage is:
- My own family line and families living in the same area are well covered. This is Holne (Devon) before 1820, Clerkenwell (London) 1840-1850s, then Charlton (Kent) and Lewisham (was Kent, now London).
- The 1941-1901 censuses backed up by civil registration and other sources mean that the latter half of the 19th century is better covered than other periods. Pre-1940 depends mostly on parish records which vary considerably in quality and availability. The further back in time you go, the more difficult it becomes.
- For post-1901 I depend mostly on descendants sharing their own family trees, so coverage is best for families that have an active researcher. Data about living persons are excluded from the public website so there is little information after the Great War.
- Coverage of families varies widely depending on the availability of source documents and ease of research. Areas with relativily few Easterbrook families have been studied first.
- I am only activily researching the British Isles. Details of families living elsewhere in the world have been donated by other researchers for which I am grateful. Only information that can be verified against the source material is included.
UPDATE 2015: The site is still mainly centered on the British Isles as I still have a large amount of material still to analyse. In recent years information is becoming easily available at a faster rate than I can process it.
UPDATE 2020: I have started to add significant research from non-UK records starting with Canada. There are still many UK records to analyse but as I am now getting to the more difficult to analyse records they are now background to the primary records from the rest of the world.
7. Can I/you put my family tree on your website?
If your family tree is relevant to the website, in other words you have a link to an Easterbrook, I am happy to put it on this website, subject to the following caveats:
- It must be accurately researched and supported by original certificates and documents. This is to prevent misleading or incorrect information appearing.
- I am able to publish it without showing any living persons. Anyone born after 1900 must have at least an estimated birth date, and a date of death if no longer alive. Generally there must be links back to before 1900 to make it worth publishing. (You don't need to exclude living persons from anything sent to me as long as there is enough information so that I can exclude them).
- The tree is supplied in a format that I can use. Documents should be PDF, RTF or another portable format. Scanned material should be JPEG files or similar, and not embedded in a document. Data from a genealogy program must be in a GEDCOM file. I work with Unix/Linux and am not able to read some material created on a Microsoft or Apple platform.
UPDATE 2020: The tools I use have matured so that I can read most documents generated on Windows and Apple. I still prefer documents in portable formats though.
8. Can you find someone? Can you put me in touch with someone? Can you research my family?
I sometimes get requests for research of a friend or family member who might still be living. The answer is usually no because I mostly research historical records for family history and genealogy purposes and such requests are more appropriate for a private investigator. I have to be sure any information I provide is totally genuine and not for any illegal or immoral purpose and does not put anyone in danger. Some people deliberately break contact to avoid abuse. If you can convince me that your request really is for family history and the results can be used to add to the families whose research I have displyed here, I may consider using my resources to help you. I am able to research families not connected to this site on a commercial basis: please email me for details.