About this site

How it started

This site was created in 2006.  I had gathered some information about my own family history and that of the Barham family in general and a website seemed to be the best way to make it all, especially "The Barhams of Kent and Sussex ", available to anyone who might have an interest. 

Although I an anaesthetist by profession, I have an interest in IT and had previously created and managed websites (e.g. the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust).

In the 1990s I had started creating websites with a programme called HoTMetaL (brilliant name but somewhat limited) and moved on to Microsoft Frontpage when I started more serious web projects. After a brief dalliance with Dreamweaver I had moved back to using Frontpage when I started this site. At the time I just used the free webspace provided by my ISP - initially with the catchy URL of

Going Live

The site was launched in January 2006 with the work of Sydney Pay Barham (The Barhams of Kent and Sussex) and some of my own rather feeble research. Over the next few months various additions and amendments were made but it was not until July of that year that I received my first email through the site. The  sender was Ronald Barham (who turned out to be a 4th cousin) and this one contact justified in my eyes all the work of launching the site.

Ronald's contribution

Ronald has spent many years researching his family history and as a professional academic his methods were considerably more diligent and robust than mine! He initially politely pointed out an error in my genealogy and quickly provided me with the fruits of his own research which over the following months and years I have added to the site. Another valuable resource that I obtained from Ronald is R.G.Fitzgerald-Uniacke's work "Descent of Barhams of Kent and Middlesex" Ronald and I (assisted by Ronald's son Adrian) have continued to collaborate in the development of our research.

Dot Com

In July 2009 after an exchange with my ISP over their level of service they offered me a free .com domain name and so the site changed its name to This appeasement was short lived however as a year later the ISP disappeared altogther. Strangely my website was still active, although I had no way of updating it (even when I was able to get an alternative broadband supplier). It was only after the domain registration came up for the renewal that the owner of LTT was forced to release the domain name so that I could move to a new hosting service.

Technical Matters

Although there had been no updates to the site in 2010 I had become well aware that the site was in need of a substantial refit. Technically it didn't conform to modern web standards and re-reading my own prose made me realise that  the numerous piecemeal updates since its launch had made it very difficult to read. I had also come across Mandy Willard's website, which despite her own admission of its complexity is very easy to follow. I was at the time looking for software to replace Frontpage and following Mandy's recommendation moved to Microsoft Expression Web. I managed the learning curve with that quite well, but soon realised that far greater pain was to follow as to bring the site up to date I neede to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). I had been aware of CSS since my first attempts to publish in the internet, but had chosen to ignore them. I could do this no longer, but this is not something you can introduce with a bit of software. I needed a book and "The Missing Manual" by David Sawyer McFarland came to my rescue. It confirmed that this was not a trivial task, but nevertheless several months later I had created CSS for the whole site which was relaunched in August 2011.

Content Content Content

I then turned my attention to what really matters, the information carried by the site. Whilst developing the CSS I had been through the "Barhams of Kent and Sussex" correcting typos and other errors so I now turned my attention to the "North West Kent" pages. This was completed in early 2012 and was useful not only in improving (I hope) the readability but also was an opportunity to review all the research and its provenance. Having done so I realise that this is something that I need to do regularly as it uncovers some new material and some new aspects on the old.

To do

There is much more to do.  I need to update the pdf version of "The Barhams of North West Kent" and add some information about later generations. I also need to get in touch with the many contacts I have made in genealogy and hope that they may give me some critical feedback.  The research continues and I will also develop the pages devoted to other families on which I have material, particularly photographs.