Genealogy Webmaster’s Journal

Collaborating with Family Tree Maker

Others may have a better solution to this issue. I welcome suggestions. Meanwhile, here is my plan.

I have a Family Tree Maker database. It’s inside my copy of Family Tree Maker for Windows 2014. It’s also linked to an online tree at

When I get updates from other people, the normal procedure is to re-type the information. Merging information is ALWAYS a bad thing. However, I’m now faced with a different situation: Transcribing our paper and manuscript information into Family Tree Maker. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm

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Starting a Family Tree

You have seen the commercials about exploring your identity. Great! Where to start?

At this point you need to consider your customer requirements, where YOU are the customer. What’s your level of interest? How deeply do you want to dive? Do you want to connect with other relatives’ information? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 11:20 am

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WordPress NextGEN Gallery Tips and Tricks

My son Jakob Barnard recommended the NextGEN plugin for WordPress. If you’re pressed for time in learning to use it, I recommend you find a tutorial via Google. I found

The WordPress Ninja tutorial gave me a great overview of what the workflow is in setting up a gallery. The video tutorial was well worth the additional 12 minutes. The author takes the time to generate errors and show how you see what is going wrong. Very helpful!

Having just put up my own first NextGEN gallery, I have additional tips for you.

Fix For NextGEN Gallery Slide Show Not Working

A google search showed numerous complains that the Slide Show feature was not working. Answers included conflicting plugins and Go Daddy hosting. My solution was quite simple: Work your way through all of the NextGEN settings! I’ve gotten spoiled by all the great plugins out there and have begun to expect everything to work well enough “out of the box.” Wrong answer! Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 21, 2012 at 6:00 am

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Multiple Backups with Apple Mac OS X Time Machine

I find Apple’s Time Machine backup system to extremely annoying. After five years, it finally paid off!

Hard Drive Failures Do Happen

To be sure, when my MacBook hard drive failed four years ago, restoring from backup was extremely easy. Getting the hard drive replaced was, in theory, easy. I went to the Apple store at the Mall of America and they replaced it under warranty. Unfortunately this was the same weekend the iPhone 3G was released. We spent all day waiting for the hard drive replacement!

But once I got my MacBook home, I plugged in the backup hard drive, which is maintained by the Time Machine backup system, and it restored everything from there. I lost up to four hours’ worth of email, but absolutely everything else was preserved. Nice!

How does Time Machine work and why do I find it so annoying? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 20, 2012 at 6:00 am

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Quick Fix For Atahualpa Theme Sticky Posts

Today I upgraded the The Strong Family Association of America, Inc. theme. I use Atahualpa, and it’s been years since I updated the theme. I needed to move my favicon and logo from theme folder atahualpa333 to atahualpa. Fortunately, the theme carried my options forward to the new version.

Here is a hint: Turn on Firebug and let it tell you what images are broken or missing!

I found that the sticky note graphic was missing. Here is the fix: Go to the Atahualpa theme options. Click on the section Style POSTS & PAGES. The second section is POST Container: STICKY. There is a space in the background image url. For my site, it reads:

background: #eee url(‘ /images/sticky.gif’) 99% 5% no-repeat;

Whereas it should read:

background: #eee url(‘’) 99% 5% no-repeat;

The problem is that pesky space after atahualpa and before /images/sticky.gif. Remove the space, save your settings, and you’re good!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 19, 2012 at 6:00 am

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SearchStatus Plugin for Firefox Shows Google PageRank

I have been trying out the SearchStatus plugin for the past week, and I like it! It’s been several years since I watched Google PageRank for our Web sites. Google Page Rank is important, but it tends to be invisible. The higher your Page Rank, the more likely you are to show up in Google search results.

SearchStatus sits on the bottom row of your FireFox browser. It shows Google PageRank, Alexa site rank, and has a little icon you can click for a large number of features such as seeing what sites link back to you, keyword density, etc.

There is even a short 4-minute YouTube demo showing how to use the plugin. It’s well worth the four minutes:

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 18, 2012 at 6:00 am

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Technical Skills For Online Genealogy

Introducing the Genealogy Webmaster’s Journal aimed at explaining and advancing the technology underlying online genealogy.

Do the technical details of PHP/MySQL programming have any place on the Strong Genealogy Website? I could easily overrun our genealogy content with gruesomely technical material. This would arguably dilute our site’s focus and purpose.

Genealogy Data Collection Process

Thinking through our collection process for genealogical information

I have come to realize that this site is NOT just about presenting the authoritative Strong Family History online. Rather, this is the online presence of the Strong Family Association of America. Let me explain the distinction!

Genealogy Web Site Becomes Social Online Presence

The SFAA (Strong Family Association of America, Inc.) is transforming itself from 20th-Century thinking to 21st-Century thinking. A major portion of that transformation is this here little ole Web site. One of our major purposes has always been social interaction. These days, much, if not most, social interaction takes place online. “Web site” does not equate to “social interaction.”

Our online presence, therefore, must include social interaction. We’ve been exploring ideas and ways to make that happen. The first step is correspondence and email. I’ll be updating our SFAA Web site to make that as obvious and easy as possible. In the webmaster world, that’s called making the process as “frictionless” as possible. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

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