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

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Website

Over the past 15 years I have had a personal website, especially for family history. I have used free web hosts, which have the obvious benefit of being free. But free web hosts have major disadvantages as well. They often go out of business, or a company may decide to discontinue that particular service. An additional problem is that free web hosts tend to not only attract innocent hobbyists like myself but also a coarser element of society. Hence, "guilt by association".

My personal website went offline without warning about a month ago. I was given no reason and no remedy. is no longer there. (You may remember that my site at from the same web host vanished a few years ago, with no explanation or remedy.) For all that, served me well for about 10 years. And they did it for free.

Fortunately I have copies of all of the files, but my web presence has disappeared. I have not had the time to find another suitable web host. Some of my files are too large for some of the free web hosts and I have too many files for others. I have not had the time to find another web host.

In the meantime, I have copied the files to the public folder of my Dropbox account, accessible at:

I am sorry for the inconvenience. By the end of November I hope to have my site back online where Google can index it. But for now there are vegetables to be harvested, and two new people to train for telephone support in along with my usual work in FamilySearch Support, Riverbend Family History Centre, etc.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Creating a Family History Book

My cousin Barry asked how to create a family history book. This was my reply:

I used [my free genealogy software] to create a modified register report with photos and notes.
I selected "print to file" and to add an index.
Then I manually added additional pages and deleted the birth date and birth place for living people.
I also added material and deleted material from the notes.
This of course threw the paging off, so I needed to edit the index.
It was time-consuming but not as big of job as you might think.
(You may find that a modified register report will accomplish your purposes without editing, and in that case, you can produce a book in a matter of minutes!)

I plan to only print 4 copies: one for my mother, and each of her 2 surviving sisters, and one copy for me.
When I had it in the final form, I "printed" it to a [free] PDF writer to create a PDF version. This is a much smaller file size, and looks identical on all computers.
I added it to the public folder of my Dropbox account, and sent out an email to about 30 Ing relatives and invited them to download the file and let others know. They can print it if they wish.

The technology has changed. Back in 1985 I edited an Ing family history book and printed boxes of books. This time around, people can print their own copies if they want one. Or they can take the file to Staples, where it may cost $35 to have it printed. [203 pages, including text, photos, and maps]