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Cleaning up the database

One of the things I've wanted to do for the past few years is use the domain for my personal research. For those of you who have followed me for a while, that was my business domain beginning in 2007, up until my website software died in 2018. I have continued to pay for the domain and hosting and decided it was time to either use it or let it go. I have "trees" scattered across all of the DNA sites, as well as having added names to the FamilySearch Tree, but I wanted one place to host my Master Tree that I could send people to when they contacted me.

One of the features of my Reunion software is the ability to create a website using the same format as the software. On my old site, I would run the Web Project Report and create the tree. Reunion placed all of the files in a file folder and all I had to do was ftp (file transfer) the file folder to my hosting site (GoDaddy) and link to the Table of Contents document inside the folder and a click opened the Tree. I could update the information whenever I had made major changes. The main couple is in the center with their children below and parents above. You simply click to move through the family. Notice that the information is also on the superscript number to find out the source of the information. I've always been frustrated that when you upload a GEDCOM all of the source information disappears. If you click on the icon next to the get a pedigree chart with that individual as number one. Reunion isn't the only software with this capability...RootsMagic also can create a website.

Piece of Cake, right? Wrong! Wix (my current platform) won't allow an ftp upload to their site. So I've spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how to set this up on GoDaddy. I won't say it's been easy, it's a managed WordPress site, but now that I figured it out (with a lot of tech support help from GoDaddy) the updates should be relatively easy. The site is still under construction, but I got it to go live this past Sunday. If we're related (Mitchell-Beighton) or you are related to my husband (Moughty-Daly) you might find it interesting and I'd love to have you share information with me to fill in the blanks. If you have a chance to view the site, I'm open to any and all comments on how to improve it and how you feel about the user experience. There are still some missing pieces such as the surname index that I hope to have done in the next week or so.

If we're not related the information might be less interesting to you, but you might like the idea of setting up your own website or blog to share information with your family. David Fryxell has written an excellent article at the FamilyTree website on How to Create a Beautiful Family History Website. FamilyTree has excellent articles, but I hesitate to link to them because many require a membership. If you can't get to this article, just google the title and there are other sites with similar information.

The Blog on the site is where I plan to put the family stories, reports and other information. The categories are the family names, and the tags include the localities, so you can search on Mayo, Down, etc. At this point I've only added a few posts, some of which have also appeared on this information to follow.

So back to my database. As I've mentioned, I haven't done a great job of keeping it in sync with my online trees, or working through all of the collaterals for each family. This is going to take a long time. One of the things I discovered on my first pass was that although my software privatizes individuals (those born within the last 100 years with no death date) if there is no birth date, it makes them visible. Not good! For many of the cousin's children I had names, but no additional information, so I had to manually remove them. I've been able to find lots of information online, either through the online databases, or through Facebook which has allowed me to estimate a birth date for many of the individuals. But oh, there was so much more information as I started going through the families and checking hints.

Ancestry tells me I have 4,150 people in my Tree and 14,589 hints! My Reunion database says I have 5,041 people. I've probably cleared a couple of hundred hints in the past few days and I have found some gems. One of the hints was an image, saved by another Ancestry member, of a birth registration in Ireland in 1897. I already had the birth registration but had lost the family after the second child was born in 1899. I clicked on the owner of the tree where the record was shared and discovered the family was in England by the 1901 census, the mother died by 1905 and the father remarried. I wrote to the individual and heard back within hours. The child born in 1897 had emigrated to the US in 1921 and married in New York. The spouse was another individual from the same place in Ireland. Lots to follow up on.

So depending where you are in your research, it may be time to delve into your database and look for some of those collateral relatives to see what you can find. So many little time.

Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!

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