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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
Events update2-17-2014 by Ray Gurganus2-17-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
Another round of updates: I have taken the lists of political, military, and religious offices that appear below a person's information, and merged this into their main list of events, but keeping all of the information. They are shown as "Occupation" or "Military" types of events, and are sorted into the proper order based on date.

It was getting confusing having them separate when there's a good amount of overlap in what they mean, and in some cases, information being added to both places.

For adding and editing, you still do it THE SAME WAY -- go to the ADD button, to "Office or Role" or "Military Role", not by editing the person. This is so that anyone is still free to add these roles to a person, without needing permission to edit the person.

A few other changes...

  • For military officers, there is now a date field, if it is known when they had that office.
  • If a date is not defined, but a war is, it sorts into the events based on the date of that war. For example, a Civil War General record will show at about 1861, relative other events listed.
  • When going to a family map (click the globe on any family page), this will now include political offices, pointing to Washington DC for Presidents, Cabinet Officials, and people in the US Congress. For governors and state legislators, it will point to the state capitol, once I have been identified the coordinates.

As always, questions and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Adding and Editing Children2-15-2014 by Ray Gurganus2-16-2014 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood2
Under Actions > Add / Edit Children are a few addtions:
  • You can now use this to add children.  Below the existing children is a line for a new child's name, birthdate, and birthplace.  As soon as you start entering one person, an empty line will be added below it for another child.

    Any other information for the child has to be entered on his or her individual page.  After saving, click into the child and edit the information there.

  • Below the children is an option to add a residence record, for each of the existing or new children selected with the checkboxes on the left.  So if  you're adding children as listed in a census, you can add the year and location for the census here, and it will show for each child.

Keep an eye on what you put in, to double-check that all is saving as it should.  Let me know if you have any questions or problems.
Scheduled Maintenance2-9-2014 by Ray Gurganus2-9-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
I just put up a lot of changes, but all behind-the-scenes to make things a little more efficient.  If you see anything not working, or different than it used to be and there are not any good reasons, let me know.  Thanks!
Update to entering events1-29-2014 by Ray Gurganus1-29-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
A small change in how events are entered --- previously, if you had several events to enter, you might have to save, and edit the person again to get more event fields.

This is now changed so that a form will start with only one blank event showing, but as you begin entering that event, a new blank event will be enabled below.  Then if you start entering that event, another new one will be enabled, and so on.  So you continue adding an infinite number of events until you're ready to save.

Let me know if you have questions or if it gives you any problems.
Two new search options1-28-2014 by Ray Gurganus1-28-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
In the drop-down list of searchable options, two new options are added:

1) Needs Census:  For the year that is chosen. it will return a list of people who were living before this year, and living after this year, but who did not have a "Reside" event for this year. They may have had reside events in other years, but they weren't necessarily in the same place in this year -- so it seems logical that you might want to search the census for this year to find the family, and record where they were living.

This lists only the years 1790-1940, and restricts itself to the United States.  If you want to use this for other census years, or for other countries, let me know and I can expand the options.

2) Findagrave:  This is more helpful if you choose it with the comparison option of "blank", returning those people who do not have a Find-a-Grave number entered.

Also, I don't recommend linking "Burial Unknown" records -- these may disappear from Find-a-Grave at some point.

For both options, if you have a large amount of data, it makes sense to further narrow it by state, by timeframe, or by surname.  Then the result list will be shorter, and you can feel like you are accomplishing something.

Also for both options, after you click one name, then at the top of that person's page are arrows to go forward and back through the results -- so you don't have to go back to the list.
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!
several updates1-12-2014 by Ray Gurganus1-12-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
  1. On the pages listing politicians, mayors, professors, and military officers there's now a button at the top which will enable adding or removing some of the columns on the page. 
    -- The first few columns at the left are fixed, and can't be removed, but the rest can. 
    -- The two new options available so far are for the death place and grave place.  Other column options can be added as needed.
    -- It should remember your choices for each page.

  2. On the above pages (except for military officers -- coming later), there's now an option to view the list plotted on a map, for each person's birth, death, and grave places.  Obviously, this will only include those for whom their birth, death, and graves places are defined, are more specific than just a state or country, and have latitude & longitude coordinates defined.  So you can use the options above to show these columns, and then fill in any gaps you see.
list of school presidents and professors1-11-2014 by Ray Gurganus1-11-2014 by Ray Gurganus1
Like the lists of politicians, there is now added the option for college and university presidents and professors.  Instead of the state flag, it would be to nice to show the school's logo, but there are copyright issues.  So it will at least show a plain image with the school abbreviation, in school colors.  These will be added as new schools show up in the list.  See here:  /organization.php

Note that the fields on the entry form have moved around a little to accomodate the options.  But all should still be there.

At some point it may make sense to merge these lists with birth & death events, as there is a significant overlap -- both have dates, places, etc.  Something to look into down the road...
Out of town12-30-2013 by Ray Gurganus12-31-2013 by Ray Gurganus3
FYI -- I'll be out of town (and out of country) January 6th - 11th.  I may be checking email, but otherwise won't be involved in managing the website.  The website should continue working fine in my absence.  If you have any questions, just post them to the message board here, and/or to the Facebook group (see the link at the bottom), and others should be able to help.

If you have any questions you've been meaning to ask, do it now, rather than waiting. :)

Happy New Year!
Descendant page updates12-7-2013 by Ray Gurganus12-7-2013 by Ray Gurganus1
For both versions of the descendant chart, the options for what to include or not include are changed.  At the top there is now one button.   When hovering over the button, a box will appear for which options to include or not include.  New to this list are the Find-a-Grave icon, Notes, Other Events, and ID's.

As soon as you check or uncheck an option, the corresponding data below will appear and disappear.  When you finish checking options, these are saved for the next time you visit a descendant page.

Other options can be included if needed.