GENUKI Family History News 127

  • Posted on: 20 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

On 27 Feb 2003 the popular UK genealogy website, GENUKI, published this very complimentary review of in issue 127 of their newsletter1. A truly fantastic one name website that will be interesting to all family history researchers I am sure. The site is dedicated to the Thrale family, and is one of the best designed websites I have seen in the family history sphere. Soft and easy on the easy and extremely easy to navigate the designers of this site should be very proud of themselves. The site also contains an awful lot of information, including trees, wills, civil records, stories of the family, and their connections. I found the background information highly entertaining and informative and truly wish more sites could be like this. My only quibble was being unable to view the tree online – there was an error on this, but that was a small problem on an otherwise excellent site.


I just read this thanks to Rob Thompson's UK Family History News. Your site has given me a lot to think about. The first thing that comes to mind is the table to organise the page rather than using frames. I had not thought of doing this before, although I know lots of advice is against frames but I
still wanted a nav-bar at the side. I can see now how to do it.

I am also interested in your choice of PHPGEDCOM Viewer to display your tree. I have tried others but this one seems good. What made you pick dark grey instead of black for your main text? You say it is easier to read but where did you get that from?

Thanks also for all the other leads and connections. I have not explored all of them but will be investigating.

Thanks again for all your information.
Kate Britt-Hazard

David Thrale's picture

Kate. I'm delighted that my guidance on building websites has helped someone. I can't recall where I read about dark grey being easier to read than black. However it is definitely true and I have seen it used on several other sites.

I am likely to replace the excellent PHPGEDCOM viewer with an even a different PHP family tree script that looks even better called The Next Generation.

If you would like to send me the URL of your website, I'd be glad to have a look and offer you a few tips and pointers. Good luck. owner: David Thrale | My blog | Family motto: In cruce confido

I agree with the GENUKI newsletter - is exctly the kind of site I would aspire to having. I don't get lost looking for things and it's all clearly explained. Thank you.

Sharon Marshall.

I went to your site because of the review in the Genuki Family History News. is an excellent site and as the review says extremely good for a family history based site.

I have been looking at many sites over the past year in an attempt to decide how to set out my Searle family history and at the same time publish material I have in my possession in my role as on line Parish Clerk for a few parishes in Devon. I have had a go using Front Page but it is not what I want and looks tired after a few weeks. has a vibrancy, ease of use and the encourages further investigation of the sub pages. I think lifts family history and genealogical sites to a new dimension.

Did you design yourself? Do you use a commercial package? I would be grateful for any advice you could give me as to how you formulated your site. Hope you don't mind!

Many thanks in anticipation.

Keith Searle

East Sussex, England

Rob Thompson mentioned your web site if his GENUKI FAMILY HISTORY NEWS No. 127 dated 27 February 2003. I agree with his comment

A truly fantastic one name web site .....

I'm ready to set up my own family history web site and wonder if you would mind if I ask you what program you used to design yours? I have already designed some web sites for members of my family history but as an amateur I recognize that I could make them look much better if I had some advice from someone like yourself. Hope you don't mind me asking.

Patrick Holland
Perth, Western Australia

Congratulations on, a marvellous site, and an inspiration. I really like the simple, clean-cut layout of the pages. And congrats on an honourable mention in Genuki's Family History newsletter, which is how I found you.

One quibble. Perhaps more serious than a quibble for potential users who don't have a choice of browsers. The site works with no problems in Internet Explorer 6.0, but the links in the left-hand margin don't come up as hyperlinks in Netscape Communicator 4.7, and some of the layout goes to pot.

Stephen Benham (GOONS 3620)

To borrow your words ... "Anything and everything Benham"

David Thrale's picture


Many thanks for the kind words about I was surprised to hear that you had problems with Netscape 4.7. I try to test in different browsers and avoid techniques that require new software or fast connections.

I have downloaded 4.7 from Netscape and see what you mean! It doesn't like style sheets very much and hates DHTML. I checked my server logs and fortunately only 1% of users use a browser older that v5. However, I'll see what I can do to resolve the problem.

In the meantime, the best way to get around would be to go to

I'll let you know when things are improved. owner: David Thrale | My blog | Family motto: In cruce confido

Congratulations on a good review. I agree with it as well.

I came across your website through the GENUKI e-newsletter. Congratulations on a very interesting site.

Regarding the coats of arms that bear the Thrale name. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, cities, boroughs, counties, states, provinces, corporations, institutions, nations - but not families, so all of your Thrale arms are correct as they pertain to the individuals they were first granted to - and their descendants who inherited them.This rule applies in all countries that have a heraldic culture.

Keep up the good work.

Always yours as aye,
Wayne Laurence
New Ulster, New Zealand