Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Friday, April 23, 2010

This past week has been filled with technology challenges: 1. Corrupted Database: In the past few months I have started using AncestralQuest 12.1 to synchronize my genealogy database with On April 15th I discovered that my AQ database was badly corrupted. Attempts to repair it only created other problems. It added inappropriate parent relationships such as Sealed or Guardian, and after each of these incorrect relationships no further children were linked to these parents. (If the parents had 10 children and the error occurred with child #1, children #2 through #10 were no longer linked to the parents.) Suddenly, hundreds of people had no parents! Yet, when I checked the April 10th version of my database in PAF, the relationships were there. I wasted hours searching for and re-linking children to parents in AQ, and went to bed for the night feeling exhausted and frustrated. The next morning I decided to take a different approach. I checked the 10 April version in PAF and found 4 errors with bad pointers. As an experienced PAF user, rather than run PAF’s Check/Repair function, I exported the database as a GEDCOM file, created a new PAF file and imported the GEDCOM. All was well. There were no errors and the children were all linked to their parents. But what of the 50 or so people I had added after 10 April, and the other people whose information I had updated from the Broughton Story, etc? I tried AQ’s Compare/Merge Databases for over an hour before I realized that I was hopelessly lost! The next day I wondered whether the PAF Insight program on my old computer still worked. It did! In 10 minutes I had imported the new data from the April 14th database into the April 10th database. I now had a good and up-to-date database! 2. Uploading HTML files to my web server: Now it was time to generate a new HTML version of my database for my website. This time I used PAF, and then uploaded the files. For some reason, the name index file (which was complete on my local computer) was only partially uploading. I switched from AceFTP to FileZilla to upload the offending (but crucial file). No go! Well, maybe the web server’s own tools would do the job? Again, no joy! In the end I made two copies of the file, and deleted names M-Z from one copy and names A-L from the other. This gave me two smaller names index files (index_A-L.html and index_M-Z.html), which were duly uploaded to the web server. I then tinkered with the page that links to these indexes and other things as needed. The new online database was … ONLINE! Surely there must be a better way! I generated the pages with AQ and the results were the same … I was not surprised since PAF5 and AQ12 both descend from the old AQ3. I tried four free programs I found on the web, but have found nothing that meets my needs. I want something free that generates HTML files that are less that 1 MB in size. Do you know of anything? Please let me know. My database is over 21,000 people, and many of the free products seem to be designed to handle a few hundred at most. 3. Google accounts suspended. I went to sign into Gmail yesterday morning and the Dell partner page reported “The Gmail gadget does not support the "Always use https" preference that you selected in your Gmail settings. If you would like to use https, please open Gmail directly. Learn more” [Apparently, Gmail globally changed this setting on all accounts.] Further attempts to access my Gmail account and my Blogger account brought up this message: “Account temporarily disabled We apologize for the inconvenience. Accounts may be disabled because of a perceived violation of either the Google Terms of Service or product-specific Terms of Service. Learn more” Ouch! I sent Google two emails assuring them that I have never used my accounts for anything improper, and asking them to re-activate my accounts. Today I tried another method provided by Gmail, by requesting an automated telephone reply giving a validation code. I immediately received the phone call and had my account reactivated in about 2 minutes, with a much more secure password (as requested). I love happy endings. I hope I will always be grateful for those that come with less effort!


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