What is Custodian?
Custodian is not a family tree program, but a set of individual databases, each with its own pre-defined form which has been designed to store a specific type of genealogical information (census, parish register, GRO indexes, GRO certificates, monumental inscriptions, probate records, IGI, etc). Input data can be displayed both in the tailored format as well as in an 'Index' display which combines the data held in the individual databases.
Custodian doesn't link relatives but the data held can be sorted in a multiplicity of ways which help to identify possible linkages. I can, however, add codes to individual records which identify those people that I have been able to link and record in my PediTree program. Every genealogist and family historian collects masses of information over the years, not necessarily directly relevant to their own family history, and people undertaking one-name studies purposely collect as much information on a name as possible.
My Custodian Database
At the moment there are 25,629 name/event records on my database - 6,218 are Pluckroses, 13,165 are Plucks and the remaining 6,246 are other names (mainly spouses) . The reasons for specifying the number of records as 'name/event' records is that Custodian's index file will sometimes produce more than one index entry for a specific event. For example, most christenings give rise to three entries in the index: one each for the father, mother and child. Marriages produce a minimum of two, but sometimes the names of fathers and witnesses are also entered.
About 11,300 of these records are taken from the GRO indexes of births, deaths and marriages. There are also about 1100 records taken from GRO birth, marriage and death certificates.There are 3,100 parish baptism, marriage and burial records. All England and Wales censuses are covered from 1841 to 1911 - about 4,500 records in total. The remainder are from military, legal, apprentice, cemetery, school, directory and other miscellaneous sources .
Access to the Database
I am happy to search the database for information about anyone in your family. However, to do this I need as much information as possible. At the very least I must have an approximate date and preferably also a place. To give an example of the problems of searching without adequate information: at the moment there are 625 John PLUCK entries and 419 John PLUCKROSE entries in my Custodian index, so without some sort of place and date information a search could be very much 'needle in a haystack' fashion. Information about known relatives is also very important.
Additions to the Database
All additions to the database are most welcome. Custodian has fields in it which allows me to record the name of the person submitting the information, as well as a note that they are related to the data-entry where appropriate. So, if information emerges later that is relevant to their branch of the family I can get in touch and let them know. I can also help to bring together people who have interests in the same part of the Pluck/Pluckrose family.
The ideal format for submitting data to the database is as you find it and not as a linked family tree, although I can cope with the latter. It just takes me longer to disentangle the data and enter it into the database. Ideally I should have the event, the date, the place, the name/s, and the source of the data, but, of course, I can manage with less. Any type of information is welcome, not just data from the usual official records. Court records, poor-law papers, articles in newspapers, school records - all are grist to the mill.
19 February 2014