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What's New?, 432 Threads

List of new features added. If you have a question or comment about an item here, reply to it! For potential new features, check out the list and add your votes.

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ThreadStart DateLast PostMessages
*SYSTEM UPDATE*12-7-2011 by Ray Gurganus12-7-2011 by Ray Gurganus1
The website is finally back up and running.  Thank you for your patience.  A brief explanation...  There was a system error with one of the tables storing the data, and I needed to request that part of it be restored from a backup copy.  This is relatively easy to do, it just took the website hosting company a few days to get to it.

Because we had to retreat to a backup copy, there may be about a day of work done on the site that was lost, but only between this past Saturday and Sunday morning.  However, I do have a list of anything that was done during this time period, and will send to each of you what you changed during this period... and if needed I can work with you to restore these updates.

I will also be looking into other ways to add more redundancy to the existing backup capabilities to avoid potential issues in the future.  Again, thank you for your patience.

Also, I did take advantage of the downtime and have been preparing some exciting new features to come soon, once I can get caught up with everything.
18601-18-2014 by Ray Gurganus1-18-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
Up until recently, the 1860 US census at familysearch.org only showed one name in the household, the name you searched for.  So you couldn't use this to find a person's parents, children, or other relatives.  But it looks like now they have updated it, so that any name found will also show the rest of the household, like it does with other years 1850 and later.

The 1860 census and other censuses are searchable from here by going to any person's record, to the "link" button at the top fo the page, to the census year.

Just to repeat previous pleas...  Most people living in the US between 1850 and 1940 should be found in at least one census, giving you an approximate birth year and birth state.  So there's no reason not to fill in these blanks if they can be found.  Pretty please?  Thanks!
2 New Options6-15-2016 by Ray Gurganus6-15-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
  • In the "Sources" section of the page, a small green and yellow pie chart will now show, indicating the percentage of person's information that is completed, counting these items:  first name, last name, birthdate & place, death date & place, marriage date & place, grave place, cause of death, find-a-grave button, and one or more tags or offices.

    If something is not applicable, like a marrage date for someone who is not married, this is part is counted as complete.  If only part is filled in, it will be mostly yellow.  If all are filled in, it will be all green, and a chocolate chip cookie will pop out of your computer.  (Ok, not really, but I would if I could).

    Hover over the pie, and it will tell you what is missing.  Hopefully this will reward you for being thorough?  Other ideas are welcome.

  • In the daily email that tells you what was updated the previous day, this will now include Find-a-Grave sources that someone may have added to your people -- so they can get credit for their work.
2 preset search options3-21-2010 by Ray Gurganus3-21-2010 by Ray Gurganus1
Added to the menu under "Search" are two new preset search options.  Having them defined for you may mean that you'd be more likely to use them....
1 - Orphans:  Finds anyone in your branch who does not have any parents, spouses, or children.  While these may be legitimate, they are often mistaken entries that can be deleted.
2 - Too Empty:  Finds anyone in your branch who has neither a birthdate nor birthplace defined.  At least an approximate birthdate can often be estimated based on the dates of spouses and children.  Filling these in helps in finding duplicates, errors, and new connections to relatives.
4 new partner counties7-16-2012 by Ray Gurganus7-16-2012 by Ray Gurganus1
A few more county pages have been setup linking to Our Family Tree information.

Collin Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txcolltp
Fannin Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txfanntp
Tarrant Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txtarrtp
Lubbock Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txlubbtp
Dallas Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txdalltp
Rusk Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txrusktp
Hunt Co, TX -- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~txhunttp

Anyone visiting these pages may find your people.  So if you have people in these areas, look and see if you have more that can be added.  If you have other information related to these counties, feel free to submit it to the county coordinator for posting there.
A couple military updates11-20-2015 by Ray Gurganus11-22-2015 by Ray Gurganus1
  • Added to the list of pre-defined sources you can copy & paste into the "Site Information" field is the record page on the website of the DAR, for example here:  http://services.dar.org/Public/DAR_Research/search_adb/?action=full&p_id=A060684   You can copy & paste the full address, which has the DAR ID # at the end, or just copy & paste the ID itself (including the "A")
     
  • When you do this, will appear under the sources, linking to their page.
     
  • On the page listing military people by rank or regiment, there is now a DAR column you can add to the page, showing the DAR link if it has been defined for that person.  To add this column, go to the top, to the button, and drag up the "DAR Link" to the column position where you want it.  Note that this should only show information for the US Revolutionary War -- so you can choose to see it or not see it as you like.

  • Also added to the list of column choices above is the option to flag people who have been added or updated in the past 30 days.  To enable or disable, go to the same list above, and drag up or down "Update Status".  The order does not matter for this one, as it will always appear in the column with the person's name.
A few minor updates5-18-2016 by Ray Gurganus5-18-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
  1. On the search results, descendant, politician, military, tag, and organization pages, added is an option to include a column for the Cause of Death (C.O.D.).  Go up to the checkmark button at the top, and drag up in the list "C.O.D."  (and drag down something else, if your columns are too crowded)
     
  2. In the editing page, added hotkeys to make it easier to navigate existing events using the keyboard.  Alt+E (or Opt+E for Mac users) will go to the first event.  Keep pressing the same, and the focus will move down the list.

    To expand the selected event, press just about any non-letter or number key (period, slash, dash, equals, etc. -- whatever is convenient), and that event will expand.  It will then position the cursor to the first empty field for that event.
  3. In the "Site Information" box for adding sources, Billion Graves is added.  Just copy & paste a person's Billion Graves webpage address here, and it will be added as a source with a small button.
accessing links while editing10-4-2011 by Ray Gurganus10-4-2011 by Ray Gurganus1
When editing someone, the button for accessing website links is now available.  Note that this is not available when adding a new person, and when editing, it's based on the previously saved values.  So if you edit someone's name, and access one of the linked pages, the data used to access the page will be what was last saved, not what was typed but not yet saved.
Add / Edit Page1-13-2010 by Ray Gurganus1-15-2010 by Nina Cobb2
After getting a new laptop with a smaller screen, I saw that I had to scroll up and down too much on the main editing page.  So I squeezed things together a little more to save space.
Added a new link8-18-2014 by Ray Gurganus8-18-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
In the list of links under the button is added a link to search the Family Search Trees database, named "FST - Family Search Trees".  This may require you to create a login, but it is free.