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 What's New?   Last Update: 9/26/2006

1/12/2011:  Updates!

Holy cow!. It's been five years since the last update to the website! A lot has happened in my life since then. First and foremost, I'm now married!! I've been meaning to get Brenda's family tree merged with mine for some time now, but just now got around to it. So, the familiy tree grew by about 600 new names! Be sure to check out Brenda's family!

I'm also in the middle of making some other changes. First, I replaced the current spam-filled forums with the latest version of the forum software and just started over. To avoid spammers, I wrote a CAPTCHA program that creates pictures with surnames from the family database. I had a more primative version of this for the Guestbook, which I replaced with this one, and that seemed to eliminate all the guest book spam, so... keep your fingers crossed. You must now register (it's free, as always) in order to post on the forum, and in order to register, you have to pass the CAPTCHA test...

If you want to check out the wedding website I created, you can find it here

11/11/2006:  New Forums!

Yet another in a veritable string of new enhancements... OK, that may be pushing it, but I have finally added forums to the website! Yes, you can now sign in and post messages to any of a number of forum categories. The link is at the top (with the cute explosion animation). This is such an major enhancement that I also added a whole section about it on the home page. The forums have lots of options and features, and I tried making it look as much like the main website as I could without actually modifying the code (that'll come later). Let me know what you think!

9/26/2006:  Guestbook Safe to View Again!

Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven't been updating the website lately, so you may be shocked to read this new news item. But... I've made a modification to the website! For anyone who has read the guestbook in the last year or so, you may have noticed that spammers had posted all sorts of random junk in it. I'd clean it out, only to have another 500 items in it the next week. So, to thwart their pea-brained (and automated) scheme of cluttering up my guestbook, I've added validation. You'll now see a little picture with some text in it (you'll recognize the text) on the guestbook signing page. In order to actually add your entry, you'll need to enter the text before hitting the Sign button. I'm hoping this will stop all this clutter. You'd think these people would have better things to do then spam my little website which only has a handful of people actually using it!

10/16/2004:  Still Making Changes

Just a note to let everyone know that I'm still here, making changes, and updating my tree. I fixed (I hope) the last few places where the privacy filters weren't being applied. I've also added pictures to the family sheets. Basically, if a picture exists for an individual, then the picture's thumbnail is displayed to the right of that person in the family sheet. See my dad's family sheet for an example.

I've also been making some headway with the Martin family. I've managed to trace Matthew K. Martin's descendants past 1880 into Missouri. Most of his sons died right around 1892 or so, and unfortunately I haven't been able to trace his grandchildren into the 20th century. However, I am getting some good feelings as to who his family might be. Two good candidate for his father are James or Nathaniel Martin, sons of David Martin of Washington Co., VA. When or if I get some more solid information on them, it'll start to appear in the tree.

6/14/2004:  Random Sundry Changes

A few changes have been made to the site. First, and most obvious, is the home page tribute to our late, great president, Ronald Reagan. I'll be keeping this up for a few weeks at least. Also, I made some enhancements to the tree generator. I can now add a "fact" in my tree software (Family Tree Maker) called "Privacy" and give it a variety of settings. This will allow me to keep my private tree info intact while allowing individuals to request that their private stats not be shown to the world on the website. We've had only one complaint about this so far, but it had been in the back of my mind for some time. The "New Updates" button should now also work; before, it was always showing as new.

Also, please feel free to give me some feedback on whether or not you'd like a private login for the site. It already saves cookies for a few minor functions, but a password-protected login would also facilitate the future addition of message boards. Send comments to either the webmaster or to me directly.

2/24/2004:  New Domain!!!

Yes, I finally did it! Paul's Family History now has it's very own domain! And, as you may have guessed, it's www.paulsfamilyhistory.com. It took me awhile to get this up on an actual domain. Many of you may have originally gotten on this website by using an IP address. Unfortunately, the IP addressed changed everytime a new cable company bought my ISP. With the new domain, this shouldn't happen again. At most, I may be down for a day or two if Comcast decides to change my IP address again. To add a bookmark to the new website, click here.

8/14/2002:  First Anniversary!

Well, the site has been up over a year now and has turned out a lot better than I had originally planned.  Everything except the individual family histories are now in place (to see a preview of what this will be like, go here).  During the past week, I've also done some sprucing up, including adding a links page and displaying the most popular surnames in the tree on the home page. This last bit, I admit, was mostly for the benefit of search engines, but is also very useful to the user.  I've also gotten a bit tired of explaining what all of those "little icons to the right of the names" on the Family Sheet are for, so I included some explainations of this in the Getting Started section.  Anyway, I hope everyone finds this website useful!

2/15/2002:  GEDCOM Export has arrived!

I finally got around to designing a component to export my tree database in GEDCOM format, which now completes all major portions of the website that I originally set out to accomplish.  To download an exported portion of the tree as a GEDCOM file, click on the diskette icon that is now to the right of all individuals in the tree.  This will bring you to the export page.  Select the number of generations (relative to this person), whether or not you want ancestors or descendants, whether or not to include siblings of ancestors, and what type of end-of-line character you want to use (generally, the default of CRLF should not be changed).  Then download!  I've tested these GEDCOM files in Family Tree Maker and they work without any errors.  They include all pertinent portions of my tree, such as individuals, families, sources, events, and notes.  If you encounter an error during an export, please let me know.

2/13/2002:  New Pedigree Charts!

They're here!  Yes, I've added pedigree charts to the website!  The icons next to an individual's name now include a blue tree icon.  Clicking this icon will bring up a pedigree chart for that person.  You can choose from 2 to 6 generations to be displayed.  In each entry, the person's name may be clicked to bring up the family sheet.  Or, a small blue tree icon to the right of the name may be clicked to bring up another pedigree chart for that person.  Let me know if you find these useful.

11/8/01:  About Me Section Improvements

I've been doing some improvements to the "About Me" section for the last month or so.  I've added quite a few new things:

  • There's now a "Pictures" section with pictures of me throughout my life
  • I've included a little essay that I wrote a couple of months ago for some people at work who were becoming citizens.  It caused some memories to come back to me and for me to reflect what it meant for me to be a citizen of our great country.  I was told by a number of people that they really enjoyed it, so I'm putting it up here.
  • A quotes section!  Just a few quotes that I like from a variety of different people.
  • I thought I'd start some poetry off with "IF" by Rudyard Kipling.  I've always liked this poem and it's a great blueprint for leading a good life.
  • Finally, I bought a webcam, so I thought I'd put it online :-)  I'm kind of camera shy, so don't expect to see too much of me.

8/2/01: Guestbook

Yes, I finally added a guestbook.  This acts much like any other guestbook you've probably used.  You can view entries by clicking on the "Guestbook" button in the top banner.   Going through the entries works similarly to going through people in the Individuals page.  To add your own entry, click on "Sign Guestbook" right above the list.  Besides your name and comment, you can put your email address (your name becomes a link to the email), your home page, city/state/country, how you discovered my corner of the web, and a surname list.  The surname list just allows you to enter all of the surnames you're interested in.  When the entry is viewed, I create a link to perform a search on all of your surnames.  Just separate the individual surnames with a comma.  Now we'll see who will be the first to sign the guestbook!

7/28/01: Relationship Calculator

I was playing around a couple of days ago and came up with a way to calculate relationships between two individuals (son, father, cousin, uncle, etc.).  It's not the fastest algorithm in the world, but it works!  To get to the page, click on the little people icon next to the main person's name in the Family page.  You'll be allowed to search for individuals to perform the calculation on.

There are a few limitations, however...

  • Only the closest relationship will be shown (multiple relationships due to intermarriage won't be shown)
  • Spouses of relatives will not show a relation (in other words, Uncle Richard, my Aunt Alice's husband, will show up as "No Relation")
  • I don't check for adoption status, so any adoptees will show up as if they were related naturally.

7/14/01:  Format Modification and "About Me" added

You may have noticed there's been a slight modification to the format of the home page.  It was getting too cluttered, so I made the buttons on the side display different sections instead of just jumping to anchor points.  It should hopefully clear things up a bit.

If you've been wondering what that "About Me" thing at the top was all about, then wonder no more.  I'm not finished with it yet, but it'll contain things I'm interested in.  Currently, all that's there is my spiel on politics.  I'll eventually put up info on computers, science fiction, and other things that catch my fancy.

I've also added a section to the home page on my family.  It introduces the different members of my family and tells you a bit about each of them.

7/12/01:  Search is working!

I've finally added search capabilities to the site!  To the left is a "Quick Search" on just a person's given and surname.  For more complex searches, including name, birth, death, places, spouses, parents, and marriage information, click on the "Search" button in the header.  Please let me know if something doesn't work the way it should.

7/7/01:  More New Features

I've added some more features to the site:

  • Events/Facts:  By clicking on the Events/Facts icon to the right of the individual or marriage title in the family page, you will get a list of events and facts associated with that person or marriage.
  • Source Citations:  Events and facts (including birth, death, marriage, etc.) are now sourced.  A source citation shows up as a superscripted citation number next to the event or fact.  Clicking on it will bring up the source info, including name, date, author, etc., depending on what information is currently in my tree.
  • Pictures and Documents:  I'm now including pictures and documents, again associated with individuals or marriages.  The icons will be next to the Event/Fact icon on the family page.  Clicking on the icons will bring you to the Files page and will display thumbnails for the files, a date, and a caption explaining what the file is.  Clicking on the thumbnail will show you the complete image.  On the botton, clicking on the "View All Types" will show pictures and documents together for that person or marriage.  Clicking on "View All Files" will display all of the files currently in the database.  You can also access all of the files by clicking on the "Files" option in the header.

7/3/01:  Working on stuff

I added a number of new people to the database related to my great-grandmother, Modeste Marie Landry .  So we now have a few more Louisiana lines!  Thanks goes to our cousin Dave Clark for all of his hard work in researching Modeste's family at the Baton Rouge Library.

Also, I am going to be switching the database over to a new format.  I've created my own GEDCOM to Database converter which fixes a few little things in the previous one I was using.  I'm also hoping to get full sourcing in the new database.  The one I was using before was called Family Access Web, created by Bill Leagans.  It's a great bit of work and can be found on Bill's website.

Anyway, the upshot of this is that things won't work too well until the conversion is complete.  So if you get weird errors, just try back later.

6/30/01:  Just started!

What's new?  Everything is new!  This website is just started today.  Anything new that is added or changed will go here.

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