• Reading time:5 mins read

Ola. Hope everyone is safe and well in these weird times.

Eyes down for another mega update which has been over a year in the making.

It all started with a 1589 reference to William Close (1598) in Leeds, Yorkshire and went rapidly downhill from there. From Leeds, Yorkshire it branched into Manchester, Lancashire, Westmorland and America, where I finally tracked down the source of Close Brothers, the Merchant Bankers.

Unfortunately, part-way through the meander, I accidentally slipped into the rabbit-hole which is the Clowes family of Nantwich, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire. There are literally hundreds of them, ranging from Earls to paupers. I’ve had to cut this short because after a year of trying to finish the original update I was just digging a progressively deeper hole. As far as I can tell (so far) they’re not related to the Close families of Yorkshire. There’s plenty more work to be done here, for anyone with a strong constitution and a plentiful supply of red wine.

So, unsurprisingly, after a 400 year meander, there are a few memorable facts and figures, including:

  • 1955 new People
  • 2819 new Images
  • 1571 new Sources
  • 36 new Hall of Fame heroes, some of which didn’t make it out alive

All these are now online through the Close Ancestry Trees, with the recruits also available in the Close Hall of Fame on the main site.

Again, unsurprisingly, there are a lot fragments and dangling names at the top of the trees (John, Son of John really doesn’t help when you’re back in the 1600’s). I’ve done my best to join up the (fairly) obvious branches, but I’d rather leave them unattached than try to force speculative connections. If anyone can help to join up the dots then I’ll be very happy to add the information.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to rationalise and tidy up the trees, which were getting a bit unruly; be warned that this may have broken a few links if you’re pointing at anything in the trees. There has also been a huge Webtrees update that I’ve finally got working (I think). The upshot of all this is that there may be some weirdness knocking around that I haven’t noticed. So, if you do spot anything that looks a bit screwy wabbit, then please let me know.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this and thanks to everyone who has sent me mail over the past year. It’s great to hear from you all and I try to respond to whatever comes down the Close Ancestry pipe. Everything you send me is stashed away for a time when I can do it justice. So, please bear with me, I will get around to it eventually, but in the meantime please keep the mail coming.

And … you knew it was coming … my annual plea for a few quid towards the site upkeep. Given that we’re now heading towards 300,000 page views, which sort of implies that it’s adding some value somewhere and that people are liking it, how about sending me a fiver towards the site costs? If you try to buy a BMD certificate, you’ll be looking at £20, just for one … we now have tens of thousands of images online that you can access for free! … just as an aside, if you’re looking for a BMD certificate then drop me a line before you buy it online because I can almost guarantee I can beat Mr Bandido’s price!

So, anyway, anything you can spare will be gratefully received and put to a good cause. I don’t do this to make a profit. Just go to www.CloseAncestry.com and hit the donate button at the top of every page.

Now, I’m going to have nice lie down.