Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Interactive Family Tree is On-line!

I didn't think I'd make it.  I wanted to have the interactive family tree up and running on my web site by Christmas and I've done it!  Check it out at  This is my gift to you so Merry Christmas to everyone in the family:)

I'm very excited about this particular family tree program because it is interactive and because I can assign varying degrees of access to people who are interested in our family tree:
  •  The casual visitor or family member who just wants to see the information about dead relatives can sign in as Guest using the password family.  This will allow them to view the family tree containing all Benoys and many collateral lines but they will not be able to edit the data or download gedcom files and most of the information about living people will be hidden - this includes people who were born within the past 110 years and I don't know if they are alive or not.
  • If you can find yourself on the family tree, or you can identify one of your ancestors on it, please register for your own account by clicking Register a New User Account on the menu bar (you can do this while you are logged in as a Guest).  If you would like edit access to a particular branch of the family tree be sure to say so in the notes section and I can set that up for you.  I will check new registrants at least once a week and you will receive an email once your account has been accepted.  
  • I still need to do some testing regarding access to information about living people before granting this type of access to anyone.  In order to protect privacy, I want to limit living person access to the specific branch of the tree to which the user belongs unless there is reason to expand this access.  I think it is set up as 'all or nothing' right now so I may have to tweek the program a bit to make this possible - watch this blog for further developments.
  • Those of you who are keen genealogists will want to be able to download gedcom files and may want full control over a branch of the tree or even to share administration duties with me.  All of this is possible so please let me know if you are interested in these options.
I've uploaded some document images including birth, marriage and death certificates but haven't added photos yet - this will come later.  Meanwhile, you might want to check out the following albums on my Picasa page:
The data isn't quite as clean as I'd like it but this will be remedied over time, hopefully with the help of family members who would like to assist me in maintaining the tree.  Meanwhile, let me know if you see any duplications, inconsistencies or out and out errors.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cleaning up the database

My family tree database has become very large and a quite overwhelming.  Over the years, I've incorporated whole branches of the family tree which have been, generously, sent to me by various people with links to one or another of my ancestral lines and everyone has their own way of entering the data.  I need to go through it all and make sure that the data is stored in a consistent manner.  As I'm doing this, I'm watching out for, and  eliminating,  as many errors as possible and also fixing broken links to media files. 

Redesigning the web site

I'm doing this locally and will update the new pages as I complete them. The look of the site will change a little and the content will change a lot.  I will start by splitting the current home page into various sub-pages with links from a redesigned home page.  This will make it easier to update the content and form of the sub-pages one by one and also to add new sub-pages which will contain exciting new functionality to the site which will include an interactive database (more on this later).


The Benoy Family web site has drawn, and continues to draw, the attention of Benoys and descendants of Benoys from around the world including Canada, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  It is my hope that the site will act as a catalyst to connect the various branches of our family tree both in the genealogical sense - working together to find the links which connect one branch to another - as well as in the sense of establishing communication between the diverse members of our family tree.

I've made few changes in the past 10 years or so and the site does not include all of the data which I have collected over that time so it is now time for a complete overhaul !!!  

Watch this blog for updates on the progress of my genealogy research as well as changes and improvements to the Benoy Family site.