Technical Details


Software

The underlying genealogical information is maintained using the LifeLines, a program originally developed by Tom Wetmore and now maintained by the user community. This is running under the Linux operating system. Both LifeLines & Linux are freely available software.

Extracting the information to create the individual WWW 'People Pages' was done with home-grown software written in LifeLine's report programming language. This extracted information is then post-processed by a custom program to produce the actual HTML pages.

Information on the included maps and photos is maintain in a MySQL database.

Index, Photo Album, Map room, and such were created using custom written Linux programs.

Scanned Images

Development History

There is always an on-going stream of minor enhancements an corrections being made to both the web pages and to the genealogical information as more becomes available. But occasionally something more significant happens. This page chronicles those events, from most recent back.
  • September, 2018
    • Flag distant yet blood relatives with a brown 'LED'.
  • March, 2014
    • Generalized software to support companion site of Swedish genealogy.
    • Include image source information on map pages.
    • Ignore diacritical marks in the sorting of place names.
  • February, 2014
    • Improved relational descriptions of how each individual fits into their family tree.
    • For baptisms, include any family relationship between baptismal sponsors and the baby or baby's parents. E.g., "... (the mother's sister)".
    • And, on the godparent's own page, include their relationship to the child. E.g. "Godparent when ... (her brother-in-law's son) ..."
  • November, 2013
    • Allow inclusion of witnesses to events, even if we do not know their full name, if they can be described by their occupation.
  • March, 2013
    • Support selecting photos for people's pages based address or agency of the event.
  • August, 2010
    • Include GedCOM 'TO ...' dates in timelines as "Until ..." and include such dates in computing the residency date ranges shown on village pages.
    • Include any 'whole village' images in the timelines of people living in that community.
    • Express dates with full month names rather than 3-letter abbreviations (on newly updated pages).
    • Add "Siblings"/"Children" headings to the family group display on 'people pages' where ever there is no corresponding parent(s)/spouse listed at the top of the section.
  • July, 2010
    • Improved placement of photos on 'people pages'
  • March, 2010
    • Use new bookmark icon on updated pages.
    • Spell out full words 'Kreis' and 'County' for better search engine visibility on updated pages.
  • November, 2008
    • Updated home page design.
    • Added research area entry for Eastern Mecklenburg.
    • Added family area entries for Hartig/Burmeister and Roloff/Glei.
  • July, 2008:
    • Added more details to census information.
  • June, 2008:
    • Updated the 'look & feel' of the internal pages, including making the navigation bar more visible and moving it to the left side of the screen.
    • Added occupations to pedigree chart entries.
  • April, 2008:
    • Added a new family area for the ancestors of Charles Hartig, and expanded the Kreis Parchim section to be "Western Mecklenburg".
  • November, 2007:
    • Include both 'create' and 'update' dates on page footer on any newly updated pages when both are known.
    • Improved wording on surname index pages.
  • October, 2007:
    • Content improvements to 'A-Z' pages.
    • Improvements in how place names are presented in people's time-lines.
    • Made place names on photo pages hot links to maps when such exist.
    • Dates on photo pages now more 'human readable'
  • April, 2007:
    • Add family's explicit child count (NCHI, as described below) to the mention of a husband or wife in the listing above the person's timeline.
  • February, 2007:
    • Increased allowed size of displayed pictures.
  • October, 2006:
    • Allowed descriptive narrative text to be inserted in people's time lines.
    • Add family's explicit child count (NCHI) to marriage description when either zero or greater than the number of included children shown.
    • Improved punctuation within time-lines.
    • Added 'LED' to top line of newly updated people pages to indicate their level of relationship to the family.
  • September, 2006:
    • Improved the 'relationship description' algorithm so that a better choice of wording is chosen when a person may be reached by more than one path.
  • June, 2006:
    • Improved grammar of imputed occupation displays
    • Removed 'pedigree' link button from any updated pages of people not specifically listed on a pedigree page
  • May, 2006:
    • Improved display of date ranges on items in people's timelines
    • Improved computation of the range of years a person is a resident of a given location as reported on the 'village map' pages.
  • April, 2006:
    • Improved estimates of person's ages on timelines when their date of birth is inexact
  • March, 2006:
    • Included Education events in people's timelines
  • December, 2005:
    • If a person has a known occupation and is associated with just one location, append " in ..." to the occupation shown at the top of their page.
    • For once-married women with no known occupation of their own, show an occupation of 'Wife of a ...' prepended to their husband's occupation.
  • November, 2005:
    • Major reorganization of support software to decouple genealogy processing from Web 'look and feel' issues
    • Page 'Last update' dates have been enhanced to keep minor editing from affecting the update date of the contents. Minor editing now affects only a separate 'edited' date
    • Improved sorting of umlauted names and names with alternative spelling on 'A-Z' and similar pages
    • Improvements in bracketing which Time Line events should be included within the a person's estimated lifespan
    • BEF (or AFT) DATEs now reliably displayed before (or after) that same specific date; BEF/AFT inexact dates (year or month-year) now properly interleave between specific dates
    • Undated events folded into timeline in appropriate sequence
    • Various minor wording and linking improvments.
  • August, 2005:
  • March, 2005:
    • Improved calculation of ages of people references in other's timelines
  • December, 2004:
    • Removed person's age from events that occurred after their death
  • April, 2004:
    • Improved listing of person's home village(s) on A-Z index pages
  • October, 2003:
    • Reorganized the three separate web sites into one consolidated site with 6 sub-areas: 3 focused on geographic research areas and 3 focused on family genealogy
    • Added new over-all home page for the consolidated site
    • Added new FAQ section
    • Launched web site under new http://ahnen.ctrpnt.com address
    • Added alternate village names to map pages and map index
    • Converted to using full state names rather than 2-letter abbreviations
  • July, 2003:
    • Added cemetery pictures to people's time-lines when available
  • May, 2003:
    • Added home village(s) to the names in the A-Z index pages
  • December, 2002:
    • Eliminated obsolete HTML elements
  • November, 2002:
    • Began adding Contact Author buttons to page footers
    • Added any Agency information to events even when Place is not specified
    • Improved reporting of stillborn children
  • February, 2002:
    • Various minor improvements to the listing a baptismal sponsors, to the village map pages, etc.
    • Began adding pictures of the appropriate church to some time lines where a christening, confirmation, of marriage is mentioned.
    • Added local pictures to some village map pages
  • January, 2002:
    • Converted to an SQL database for managing the maps.
    • Added any stated occupation and/or residence information for all sponsors in baptisms and similar events. (Previously, this was only included when the sponsor them-self was not in the database.)
    • Began adding blinking 'LEDs' to indicate the person whose page is currently being displayed.
  • November, 2001:
    • Converted to an SQL database for managing the photos.
  • October, 2001:
    • Increased the sizes of the images on the photo pages
  • August, 2000:
  • July, 2001:
    • Added nick names and removed women's married surnames for pedigree chart listing and to assorted portions of newly updated people pages
    • Added nick names to people's listing in calendar pages
    • Merged this Development History into the Technical Details page
  • May, 2001:
    • The 'LED' beads are now also included in the "Related Families" section of the village map pages.
  • February, 2001:
    • Added 'rufname' aliases to people's names in the alphabetical index pages
  • December, 2000:
    • Added time-of-day to some time-line events
    • Added 'ca' (circa) prefix where any approximate dates are expressed in the form 'birth-year/death-year' in A-Z indexes, people pages, and pedigree page.
    • Allow events with date ranges rather than just specific dates to appear in time-lines and changed display of time-line dates to make them more 'human readable' and less GEDCOM-ish
  • November, 2000:
    • Added baptismal sponsorships and other cases of a person serving as an official witness to their own time-lines.
    • Trimmed time-lines shorter for persons with no events since childhood.
    • Changed Map Room to display smallest area maps first
  • August, 2000:
    • Combined alternative spellings of surnames into single entries in the 'Related Families' section of the village map pages, as they are in the A-Z index
    • Added grave marker photos to 'people pages' where available
    • Suppressed non-informative individual 'people pages' for stillborn children, etc.
  • July, 2000:
    • Added 'Agency' information to Time Line events on 'people pages'
    • Any undated burial details are now appended to death event in Time Line
    • Eliminated the pages for small, isolated groups of people not connected to the main tree
  • June, 2000:
    • Added nickname/rufname to the person's name displayed at the top of 'people pages'
  • April, 2000:
    • Now including META tags when updating pages
    • Improved syntax of place names appearing in time-lines
  • March, 2000:
    • Replaced the single, long A-Z Index with a one-page Surname Index with a separate persons listing for each letter of the alphabet.
  • December, 1999:
    • Added Map Room
    • Added wedding attendants to marriage events where known
    • Added new sister web area to document Pommern ancestors
    • Added additional detail to description of place names
    • For privacy reasons, suppressed exact birth dates of living persons from being mentioned in their family members Time-lines
    • Added new page of links to other genealogical information
  • November, 1999:
    • Added new page containing a Pedigree Chart of direct, linear ancestors
    • Added names of Godparents to the baptisms listed in people's time-lines
  • October, 1999:
    • Added a description of each person's relationship to the area's root person/people to the top of their 'People Page'. I.e., "Friederike's first cousin three times removed's wife" Smile
  • July, 1999:
  • June, 1999:
    • Added maps for many of the ancestral villages. Clicking on any blue place name on a people page gets the viewer to a period map of the named place including a table of which surnames are associated with that place.
  • May, 1999:
    • Chronological calendar expanded to include events where only the year or month and year are known.
  • April, 1999:
    • To aid in navigation, there is expanded the use of the colored 'LED' beads to classify how closely we are related to each individual. Now yellow indicates a direct linear ancestor, orange indicates their siblings, red indicates the siblings children, and un-lit indicates anyone else. I.e., the brighter the color, the closer the relationship.
    • The 'LED' beads are now also included in the Calendar entries.
  • January, 1999:
    • Added each person's occupation, if known, to the top of their People Page
  • December, 1998:
    • Added Calendar pages
  • November, 1998:
    • Initial version