Monday, February 13, 2012

Twigs of Yore site makeover – getting started

It’s time for a makeover!

My genealogy research website runs on software called The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG). TNG has recently released version 9, which seems a fitting time to think about a makeover for my site.

It is especially suitable as Kathleen Moore at "Moore-Mays.org Misadventures of a genealogist" is posting a series of tutorials as she redesigns her combined TNG/blog site.

Kathleen’s site is one that I especially admired when I first set up my own research data site. I particularly liked how her research data and blog fit so nicely under the same interface. Such a presentation seemed beyond me so I was content with keeping it simple and just making my research site and blog as consistent with each other as possible.

So far, as I have followed along, I have started thinking about what I want and don’t want on the site. Yes, actual planning. I have also set up a test site for myself to experiment and try things out. I can’t wait for each next instalment!

I’m not sure yet how far I will go with my own redesign. It could be anything from just tidying up the current customisations, to a complete overhaul! I keep on imagining soft silvery colours, like a misty eucalyptus forest… Blog and research data integrated on the one site…?!?!?

For the sake of documentation, here are screenshots of my research site and this blog a few days ago. My research site now differs slightly as I made a bit of a mess of the upgrade and I haven’t completely fixed the customisation again.

This blog, prior to any changes

image

Research site, prior to any changes

image

image

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Update on my genealogy world.

There are a few things happening in my personal genealogy world at the moment.

DNA – Around about New Year, my father agreed to genealogy DNA testing! I purchased him a kit on special from Family Tree DNA. His sample is now at the FTDNA lab with results due back at the end of March.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results. At the very minimum they will show which side (maternal or paternal) my matches come from.

More DNA – I’m also excited about the news that Family Tree DNA is accepting uploads of 23andMe data. This is, for now, at the bargain price of $50. I encourage any genealogist who has tested with 23andMe to submit their data to FTDNA as well. Note that FTDNA does not have an ongoing subscription fee. There’s more information on the Your Genetic Genealogist blog, which is where I first saw this news.

TNG – TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) is the software that I use for my family tree site, www.twigsofyore.com. Version 9 has just been released. I have purchased the upgrade and am thinking of giving both the site and this blog a makeover at the same time.

See Jill Ball’s Geniaus blog for her interview with the developer Darrin Lythgoe at the recent Rootstech 2012 conference. Go Jill!

Desktop software – I have deliberately avoided customising my Family Historian software until I became more familiar with it. Now I think it’s time to start setting things up to suit myself. I’m starting with setting up a property tab for convenient entry of probate records. I have at least half a dozen probate records or letters of administration that need to be entered so I will be able to put my customisations to the test.

I have also been doing bits and pieces of research, but not in a very focussed way.