Monday, October 1, 2012

Updating my Online Genealogy Ancestral Reports

I have had a free website with my genealogical research online for over 12 years at  The free website had a limit of 10 megabytes allowable file space, and I managed to squeeze many files into it in HTML format. There were no sources in these files.  The last time I updated the files was in 2005.  The best thing about it was that the information in the files were searchable, and researchers who found the files were able to contact me via email.  These contacts provided me with additional information, and I provided more research information to the contacts if they desired it.  Frankly, this website has been my best "Cousin Bait" for a long time.

I wanted to update the files because I have added so much more information to my genealogy database, but I wanted to avoid paying for a website if possible, to be able to post more reports, to be able to include source citations, and to have the material searchable and easy to access.

Last week, Heather Roelker wrote Tuesday's Tip - Inserting PDF files in Blogger with Scribd on her Leaves for Trees blog.  See Heather's blog post for the steps to create a free Scribd account, and to upload documents to it.  

This sounded exactly like what I wanted.  I tested it to see if some phrases in one of Heather's reports was searchable using Google, and it was.  Cool, what's not to like - free, searchable, easy to access?

I registered for a free Scribd account, and figured out how to upload files.  

The next step was to create the ancestral family files to my liking.  I used RootsMagic 5 to create 10 generation ancestral reports for my eight great-grandparents, with a title page, index and source citations, but no notes.  I saved them to a file folder on my computer as PDF files, and then uploaded them to Scribd one at a time, added a title and some keywords, and had them online.  The problem with these files is that they are big - the one for my great-grandfather was over 800 pages and 19 megabytes in size.  

I tested the same file creation process in Family Tree Maker 2012 and Legacy Family Tree 7.5.  The FTM 2012 file for my great-grandfather was 402 pages, 3.7 megabytes, and put all of the source citations in Endnotes.  The same report was only 302 pages and 0.87 megabytes in LFT 7.5.  I liked the file format in LFT 7.5 the best also, and it permitted me to add text to the Title page.

So I uploaded my 8 great-grandparent ancestral report files to Scribd, and they are available for persons to read or download:

Clicking on the link to the first report on the list, here is the Title page for the report:

Anyone can download this file as a PDF file or print it out from Scribd.  Or a Scribd user can put it in their own Collection file on Scribd.

Further down, here is page 4 (of 204 pages) of the report showing the typical report content - names, vital Facts, children list and source citations as footnotes:

Much further down, the Name Index starts in my preferred format (selected in Legacy Family Tree 7.5):

I need to double check after awhile that this content is searchable with a number of search engines.  If so, and if this continues to satisfy my needs, I will create more reports (for my Seaver, Carringer, Vaux, Auble and other one-name studies) and put them on my Scribd page.

Note that the genealogy and family history information in these reports may be unsourced and even wrong - I am not finished, and there are many ancestral families to keep track of.  In general, I have done very little original research on many of these families.  Instead, I have collecting the best genealogical information I could find.

My thanks to Heather for the idea and demonstration.  I welcome any further suggestions in order to make this task as easy as possible.

Eventually, I will have links to all of them on my Randy's Genealogy page on Genea-Musings.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Randy said...

When I had my info online I received many more contacts from spammers than serious inquiries. This method does look interesting however.

Magda said...

This is fantastic !!