Category Archives: Site Updates

Any news relating to the website and its various components.

What’s New – March 1, 2009

Facebook

It’s the beginning of a new month and changes for the DoddemaGen site.  One should have been immediately noticeable and that would be the new header created by my friend, Cathy.  There’s still a few tweaks that I would like to have done but send your feedback.  I’d like to hear what you think.  DoddemaGen is constantly remaking itself and that’s no more evident that in our new Facebook page.

Why Facebook?  It’s one of the biggest social networking sites around and more than 100 Doddema’s are members.  Since I’ve placed DoddemaGen there, I’ve added an entire family line that I didn’t have before and that’s exciting.  I’ve made it possible for all new blog posts to be posted to the Facebook page as well so users there can be directed here to look over the site and hopefully (fingers crossed) become more involved in our project.  Currently, all photos have been uploaded on the Facebook page and are being redirected here on the “Photo” page.  See how it’s all tying together?!  Since DoddemaGen is becoming more socially integrated, I’ve added a plugin that will allow users and/or visitors alike to either send the post to their social network or print/email.

As DoddemaGen is a worldwide community, it would be the height of hubris for me to think that everybody who comes to this site would speak English especially considering most of the Doddema’s in the world are located in the Netherlands.  I’m neither bilingual or multilingual.  My Dutch vocabulary extends about as far as the basic genealogy terms that I’ve had to teach myself as well as copying/pasting into online translators.  Most likely, those from different countries have to do the same thing to read this blog.  No more!  I’ve added a plugin into the sidebar to the right that will allow you to choose the language that you want.  It translates the entire page!

Why all these changes?  While I would love to have more participation on this site (whether commenting, writing articles or providing genealogy information), DoddemaGen is just trying to expand to meet everybody’s needs…currently and for the future.  We’re still growing and learning.

Forum Offline

The forum is offline for the moment until Mr Papa can look at it. Since he’s currently in Washington, D.C. for work, I don’t know how long it will be before it’s back up.

I’ve been getting errors every time I try to post to it. I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, I’m putting together a few articles that will be posted in the next couple days. Thanks for your patience.

Little Updates

It’s been awhile since I last wrote.  One holiday has come and gone and others are fast approaching.  In fact, today in the Netherlands is Sinterklaasavond! Usually my family does a little celebration of this by giving some small gift, usually costing less than a couple dollars.  Some of the Doddema family have submitted their Sinterklaas memories (check December 2006 archives).

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve created a Facebook page.  I remember reading somewhere that it was a good way to advertise.  I was amazed to see so many Doddema’s.  I’ve been able to correspond with some of them and have gained some valuable information, mostly corrections at this point.  One of my Dutch relatives also suggested a Dutch version of Facebook called Hyve.  It’s pretty similar to Facebook but alas, in a different language which makes it a little more difficult for me to use.  I’m pushing through though.  There are over a hundred Doddemas on the Hyve network!!!!!  Most of them are teenagers that I have never heard of.  What an amazing find!  Thanks goes to Dievertje for that one!!!!

I’m currently at work on integrating my genealogy page with my WordPress theme which means I need to update TNG (my genealogy software) to the latest version.  Expect this to be finished by the end of the month.  One integration that I have already added is a WordPress widget that allows you to search the genealogy database from the sidebar.  Very nice!  It looks like it needs some CSS work but otherwise works great.

I’m also going to be changing how I handle tags.  Tags will now be done using surnames making it easier to find posts related by surname.  The categories will become a little more expanded to fill the gap.

While I’d like to add some additional plugins, I’m going to wait until the release of WP 2.7.  No reason using something for a week only to find that it won’t work after the upgrade.  The theme will probably have to be modified to allow for the comment threading and whatever additional changes.  I am looking forward to 2.7 though.  It looks like it incorporates many “friendly” improvements.

Lastly, my wife is going to be taking over the our family posts.  I figure people have heard enough from me.  I’ll continue to write about site updates, genealogy news and finds.  Until next time.

Sourcing – Lessons Learned

When I first started tracing my family line, I didn’t concern myself with keeping track of where I got my information.  At that time, I was just interested in 4 generations on either side.  Most of my information I received was from my grandparents.  Once my grandparents passed away, I lost a lot of my sources all from interviews.

As time went on and my family line grew, I couldn’t remember where I got the information i.e. names, dates, etc.  I started receiving conflicting information.  I then attempted to do some minor sources to help me keep better track.

Once the website went up and I started becoming inundated with names, I started to take sourcing seriously.  Within the last 6 months, I purchased “Evidence Explained” by Elizabeth Shawn Mills so I could use the genealogical standard for sourcing genealogical information.

I’ve recently upgraded to the newest version of Legacy Family Tree (v7) mainly because of the new source-writer templates that utilized Elizabeth Mill’s system as described in her book mentioned above.  Unfortunately, it’s not a straightforward conversion.  I basically have to redo the whole source so it’s a slow time-consuming project as well as highly frustrating.  While the templates help, I’m amazing by how little I tracked where I got my information.

One example would be emails.  Within the last 2 years, my old laptop died taking all my email addresses and conversations with it.  Because I didn’t keep the address in Legacy, I lost valuable contacts.  The conversations were important because of the information contained in those emails.

Due to the above-mentioned problems, I’ve been printing out the important emails with genealogical information.  To handle the loss of email address, I’ve started including them within the Legacy database as well as my Address Book in a subgroup “Genealogy Contacts”.  I’ve also been considering using GMail exclusively for correspondence so if I ever do have a laptop problem, I won’t lose valuable information.

Lessons learned?  Plenty.
•    Keep track of emails through Legacy and Address Book
•    Print correspondence with important genealogical information
•    Source information correctly using the source-writer templates
•    Use Gmail for all website related issues such as correspondence, etc.
•    Use forums when possible to post genealogy information
•    Teach those interested in genealogy the importance of sources

Hopefully by doing the above, I’ll cure my “genealogy blues” and do the work right.  Lots of work has gone into this project and I don’t want it to be discounted because of my lack of foresight in not tracking sources properly.  If I haven’t cited your contribution, please let me know.

Thanks for your patience as DoddemaGen continues to grow into a truly worldwide entity.

Update

First, I’ve uploaded an updated genealogy database.  I’m a statistics kids of guy so here’s what’s changed.

  • Old
    • Individuals: 3522
    • Families:     1515
  • New:
    • Individuals: 3886
    • Families:     1650

That’s over 300 individuals added within the last 2 weeks. How?  I’ve been putting off adding more of Kuhn’s history for the last 4 years because I’ve been so intent on the Doddema line.  Since the my Internet is down, I’ve had loads of time to add this information in.  I’m sure there will be an update to the update once families look at it.

I’ve recently upgraded to the newest version of Legacy (v7) which now has templates for sources that follows the genealogical standard so some of the sources that you find may look different to you.  Give me some time and all sources will be changed over to the new system.

I mentioned the Internet.  I’ve already put it on Twitter but since we moved, I changed from cable modem to DSL.  Big mistake.  Super slow.  Since I play World of Warcraft and do genealogy, I need fast access and DSL just wasn’t cutting it.  So I made the decision to go back to cable modem.  2 weeks ago I called the cable company and was told that the fastest they could come out was September 8th.  4 weeks to receive service!!!!  That’s ridiculous but there’s nothing I can do about it.

Until then, I’ll be using the local public library which interestingly enough, whose wi-fi was down earlier this week.  Go figure.  I’ll be checking emails and such throughout the week, probably every other day or so so don’t give up on me.  I’m still here and very much dedicated to DoddemaGen.