Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photo Pages Added and Restructured Website

I was very happy with the new ancestor tree and decided to add the photo page feature for 25 individuals (66 photos in all). I also created a link to the biographies. This allowed me to restructure my webpages. The old summary page is now the biography index and the homepage is the central page, as it should have been. All the biography pages now have links to the homepage and the ancestor tree.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ancestor Tree Enhancement

I was never happy with the ancestor tree diagrams that I had placed on my website. They were screen captures of outputs from Family Tree Maker and they were static and fuzzy. Additionally, they caused me to split the tree into two images. I had looked at a couple of other websites and decided to evaluate the software that they had used. I downloaded the free version of GedHTree and played around with it. I created a subset of my GEDCOM file with only 219 individuals that I wanted to display. All living individuals were excluded, although the program allows various privacy options. I concluded that I wanted to present the "all-inclusive tree style" that displays all the children of various parents. This feature is only in the $20 registered version, so I shelled it out. I am fairly happy with this new feature, although, the all-inclusive tree may confuse users until they figure it out. For the time being, I have not added photos and there is no linkage to the biographies. However, this feature is so nice that I will be redesigning my homepage and biographies to better coordinate. Try it out at Ancestry Tree.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Probate Documents

Ordering probate documents comes with mixed results. Patience is also required. With Washington County, first you identify what you want. Then they quote you a price based on the number of pieces. Next, you send them a check, wait for the documents and hope they are for the right individual. I ordered the records for James and Thomas McClurken; but, the ones for Thomas were for the wrong Thomas. The documents come on legal size paper so they are too big to scan. Some sheets I took to the copy store and got them reduced. Others I cut apart since they were a collection of small pieces. Still others came with cutoff pieces. Scanning required extra effort to modify the B/W threshold on some pages that were lighter or darker than the average.

In the end, I am fairly satisfied with the Probate Summary of the James McClurken Estate and the James McClurken Probate Documents. The second one is a fairly large file of 32 pages.

I will try again to get the records for the right Thomas.