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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Again!
It is good to be home again. Over the past month we have looked Laurel's children, Andrew's house, and Blaine's house. And all of our charges survived: the children, the fish, the guinea pigs, the cocketiel, and the dog. Fortunately they were all easy to look after. The kids were wonderful. I also got to watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" with Laurel's family. I am glad I got to see it. Would I watch it again? Probably, ... at least once more.

Social Media
I have enjoyed access to high-speed internet, allowing me to view online genealogy videos and LegacyFamilyTree allowed me to take part in two of DearMyrtle's live webinars on the beta release of  the Google+ social media service. Now, if I can just figure out how to do a posting ...  OK ... so I missed the first part of the first Google+ webinar ...  :-)  Maybe someone can explain the process to me. I am sure it is not too complex. I like the concept of Circles, where you can share certain things with only the members of that particular Circle. Facebook seems like a free-for all, but it may be a reflexion on my lack of familiarity with how to organize it. On Facebook I am constantly bombarded by game invitations and other things that I find annoying, but I love the access to the latest family news and photos. Maybe Google+ will offer the benefits of Facebook without its draw-backs.

FamilySearch Indexing
I got a lot more indexing done on the Irish Tithe Applotment Records from the 1830s. The records I indexed were all in the south: County Mayo mostly. Still, these records will be useful to other people researching their family roots in Ireland.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Using Dropbox to Host a Personal Website
The quickest and easiest way I have found to put a family history database online is this:

Since I use the free Personal Ancestral File software, I ask PAF to generate a "webpage", then I move the website folder that PAF creates to my Dropbox's "Public" folder. I open the website folder and right-click on the index file, then from the Dropbox menu I copy the ULR. Dropbox automatically copies the website to their servers.

For example, here is a website that I created in about 10 miutes (I subsequently tweaked the index file to add a photo and change the layout sightly, but the original version generated by PAF was perfectly OK.)

This approach avoids the need to find a webhost, install and learn FTP software, and worry about rules that govern the size and number of files you can host, worry about the possible contents of advertizing banners, etc. My largest website is about 50MB, so a free 2GB Dropbox account might hold hundreds of large websites.  I use PAF, but other genealogy software can usually generate websites too. These instructions would apply equally well to them.


For information on using a free Dropbox account to automatically synch your genealogy data across multiple computers, see my other Dropbox article.