I have learned a few new bits of information about my Ely ancestors. My great grandfather, Glenn Ely married his wife, Violet Mae Aldrich (that’s her in the picture at the top of this post), on 5 Oct 1908. He was 21 and he was 17. I remember them both from my childhood, and of course I thought of them as being quite old. It’s strange to think of them being so young!

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Now that I finally have all the photos from my old website available here, I can get back to researching again! Since I haven’t done any real research in years, I’m finding new tools on the web and new information that wasn’t available previously (or at least was much harder to find…) Ancestry.com is a good source of information, but quite expensive to join! I did join, and it’s yielding some great information, but I was disappointed in the difficulty in pulling information off the site to include in my database.

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Those of you with long memories may remember my first family website, which was taken down some years ago. I have finally loaded all the pictures from that website onto this one! This took some time, since I wanted them to be larger and had to regenerate each one from the original scans. Many of them were in bad shape and required quite a bit of work to make presentable.

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There is a family story that the Baker family, headed by my great-grandfather William Henry Baker, had originally planned to come to the United States on the Titanic, but had changed their plans and come on different ship. While I don’t have any documentation of that, I believe it to be true, since my grandfather, Idris Baker, told me about it several times. He should have known whether it happened or not, because he was there; he was about 8 years old when the family made the trip.

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I have expanded the site to support photos. There are not many available yet, but more will be appearing over time. Also, I’ll be working on improving the layout in the future. As I scan them into the database, they will appear in the Photos section near the bottom of each person’s page. They are displayed using PhotoSwipe. Hovering over each photo displays the caption, if any. Clicking on any photo displays a gallery of all photos on that page.

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In this post, I’ll talk about the technical details of how I am generating this website. I am a software engineer by trade, so of course I’ve come up with the geekiest way possible to build this site. If you aren’t interested in the geeky details, read no further! Instead, why not go explore some of the families I have been researching? I’ve been wanting to build this site for some time, but I don’t usually develop websites, and most of the work I have done has been with Wordpress.

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The Idris Project is my experiment to present the information I have collected about my ancestors and extended family over the years. The project is named after my grandfather Idris Charles Baker, pictured to the left, and also after my father, Robert Idris Baker. I started researching my family several years ago after I found and rescued several boxes of hundreds of family photographs that my mother was storing in her garage and was planning to throw out.

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