Phil Moir's Blog
Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
The British Newspaper Archive
Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?
Over the last few years, content tagging has become more and more common on the web due to social networking, photograph sharing and book-marking sites. Tagging is known by a few different names, such as content tagging, collaborative tagging and social tagging. In general tagging can be defined as the practice of creating and managing labels (or “tags”) that categorize content using simple keywords.
In this blog, I will provide a guide to the two exciting new features we have added to the Genes Reunited website today which will help you better organise your family history research, photos, scans and saved records, as well as share your photos with other members and family through your Keepsafe, and see the relatives from your tree in a completely different way with Relative Profiles.
We have had quite a few releases since I last wrote, and I deeply apologise for this, and for not keeping members updated about progress in other areas of concern. This posting is going to focus on the changes we released this morning that are related to the search. I hope to post a blog later this week that will detail some of the other changes about all the other improvements we have made to the site since mid February and progress on other features.
It has been a few weeks since I posted a Technical Update, and I wouldn't want anyone thinking that we've been slacking. I'm sure you are all very aware that we have made some changes, many have been behind the scenes, some more up front. From a performance and stability and evolutionary point of view they have been quite significant, and looking at the statistics of the site running, and the general volume of feedback from members, we are now heading in the right direction. But of course there will be more improvements coming very soon.
Firstly, I would like to apologise that this blog was not completed until today, and should have been posted over a week ago. Hopefully, despite my negligence, you still enjoy the report. Well, the final day at RootsTech2012 is over (well for me at least), and what an amazing, informative, motivating experience it has been. RootsTech2012? I was going to equate it to the "Who Do You Think You Are" show at Olympia in London (UK), but that would be an unfair comparison. RootsTech is in its 2nd year, hosted by FamilySearch.org in Salt Lake City, Utah USA (and jointly sponsored by brightsolid and several other companies), and is quite unique in terms of content. It is both a genealogy show for genealogists and family history enthusiasts, but also a technical conference where all the major and minor for-profit and not-for-profit companies in the genealogy business get together to discuss new technical innovations that are being incorporated into this field and are discussed openly in the hope that we all rise to the challenge in providing and securing genealogical records, research and discoveries for now and the future. It was so pleasing to see non-technical genealogists showing a a direct interest in the technology seminars, as well as developers and the like attending user focused seminars, and this cross fertilisation of ideas and concepts and requirements between the groups.
We're fast approaching Christmas and one of Genes Reunited's busiest times of the year. Since our last release, we have had a significant amount of support from development resources inside brightsolid, but who don't normally work on the Genes Reunited website. They have made a massive amount of change behind the scenes and while not every bug has been fixed, the stability and performance of the site has been much improved. We know there are still some niggles, such as not being able to print your tree, errors still appear for a few, etc., but don't worry these are not being ignored. So what other things have we been doing. Since my last update we have rolled out 3 releases albeit some were minor bug fix releases, but here's what was included:
Over the last month we have been working on four fronts in the development team. We continue to work on code changes to improve the performance. The final results of this will only be seen when they are fully complete. However, we have also worked on other areas, improving the features that currently exist on the website (this month saw the initial phase of the Message Centre revamp for which Daniele has been responsible), improving features that support the website (including an overhaul of the Hot Matches process that is being championed by Chris, although new features have not been released yet) and we continue to work on adding more datasets and new features (which is where Emma has been working). We did deploy an update a couple of weeks ago, but for performance reasons they were withdrawn, but after further testing we are happy to let members try the new functionality. Read on to see what is included in this release:
Today saw another release of enhancements, changes and fixes to the Genes reunited website. It's been a very busy three weeks, and we've been working very hard to get Parish records included into the Genes search options (and we've made it!). Continue reading for more information.
The last release was performed on 21st September 2011, but am afraid with a few days off sick, and progress being made on the next release, I forgot to post an update of what was included in the last release.
In 1904, Henry B Turnbull boarded a ship in Southampton bound for South Africa, never to return to his home town of Edinburgh and unlikely to ever see his parents or siblings again. Some 43 years later, after both the Great War and the Second World War had ended, he invited his older brother Adam (my great-grandfather who was 82 at the time) to visit him in his new homeland of South Africa. This is the letter written by Adam Turnbull, recounting the troubled decisions he had to make before taking on the flight, the bizarre encounters with people who knew his name, the journey in incredible detail and sadly, only briefly of his experiences in South Africa. Even more sad is the scant mention about his family reunion. And then he recalls the sudden departure by ship because of illness (or home-sickness), his journey through the destruction that was still evident in post-war London and finally his return to Edinburgh.