About Our Family History Pages

This page updated 24 May 2010

Version note: Applies to all versions

People often ask, since I'm such a fan of The Master Genealogist (see my TMG Tips) are our family history pages done in TMG? The answer is – not exactly.

TMG does make web pages, but it makes web pages that are based on traditional paper reports. You can see examples on Lee Hoffman's site. But reports based on traditional formatting don't make the most effective use of web technology, and don't offer the flexibility of tools designed from the ground up to produce web pages.

So I use a program called Second Site, written by John Cardinal, which is designed for this very purpose. John's program reads TMG data files directly, and produces very nice webpages in a variety of formats, with lots of user options. For more information on that program, see his website. For some tips on using Second Site, see my articles on Using Second Site to Share Your TMG Data. Our family history pages are the result of some extensive customizing in Second site, as described in those articles.

My objective in my family history website is two-fold. On the one hand, for lines I's still actively researching, I seek to establish contact with other researchers working on the same lines to exchange information. To that end, I've created my "Outline Section," in which I post just enough information in an easy-to scan format for readers to be sure they have found the right individual, and them encourage them to contact me if they want more information.

On the other hand, there are some family lines which I consider substantially "finished," if one is ever finished with family history research. For those lines I'm ready to share what I've found, so have published my "Narrative Section," which contains extensive narratives about people in those lines, with family background information, photographs, maps, and other aids to understanding the lives of those families.

While very different in content, both sections are created with Second Site, taking advantage of the flexibility of that program to create the two quite different kinds of sites. The data for both comes from my TMG Project. Less than twenty percent of the total number of individuals in the Project are posted in the Outline Section, and far fewer still in the Narrative Section. I exclude from both sections anyone who is living, those too distant from my direct line, or those for whom I think the data is too unreliable. The Narrative Section is further restricted to those from whom my research is substantially complete, and of them to those about whom I have found sufficient information of interest.

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The Second Edition of my sell-out book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is now available.

Details are can be seen here.

 

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