Adventures in Genealogy Adventures in Genealogy

Home Pages

Or "Rednecks, Blue Prints and Cyber Nails"

by Uncle Hiram

Welcome to wood shop 101, I hope yall all brought your tools. What I would like to do is spend a few minutes talking with yall about 1) Why and 2) how to build a genealogy home page. Yes you in the back wearing the Michigan Jaymakers Sweet Shirt? No, I really don’t think we will need a chain saw but thanks for offering yours; I will keep it in mind.

First thing you need to do, is go get some web space. (No, I don’t mean spider webs) You can get free web space from a number of different places:

  1. www.rootsweb.com
  2. www.free.20m.com
  3. www.homestead.com
  4. www.fortunecity.com
  5. www.Tripod.com

And literally hundreds of others they will give you free space. Go ahead, go sign up for one of them, I will wait. (Twiddling thumbs).

OK, everyone back? Good, now the next thing you need to do is deciding what you want to put on the page. Sit down and draw up the page. You aint gotta be a great artist but you want to get the page organized before you start building it. I wanna share my new home page as an example of what you might want to put on your home page. The URL is www.angelfire.com/tx2/UncleHiram/test2.htm

If you notice, I put a family photo on the right side, and all the groups that I am involved with on the left. On the right side under the photo, I put a short bio of my family. In the center I put some of the names I am researching and on the left side I put links to downloadable documents about my family. Now I aint saying you gotta do it this way, or even that this is the best way to do it but it is an easily understood and used format.

Now the how to do it. After you have drawn up your home page, you need to start building it. There are literally thousands of programs out there that will help you build a website. I use Claris and Microsoft Front Page. The first thing you do is pick out a background. Try to pick out something that will compliment the materials and not dominate them. Then put a “Table” on the page. This will give you little windows to place items in. After you put all your items in the little windows, right click on the Table. This will bring up several options, choose Table properties, go in and change the border thickness to “0”. That way the table is invisible.

If you have Microsoft word, you can build the whole page just like a normal document then save it as a HTML instead of a Doc file. I want to warn you though that these web pages get real picky on spelling. So if you want to show a photo called Rufus.jpg, make sure you type it in the exact same way. After you build the whole page and you get it looking exactly like you want it, go in and change all the “location” of all the photos and the background. Instead of the location being “C:/mydocuments/Rufus.jpg” it needs to be “Rufus.jpg”. Another thing to remember is put everything in the same file. For example save the Rufus.jpg and the HTML (That’s the home Page) in a file folder named “My Page”.

DON’T PUT ANYTHING ON THE PAGE YOU DON’T WANT YOUR GRANDMA TO READ ABOUT. Also don’t put exact birth dates, phone numbers or your social security number. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to have that information on any living person.

Coming Attractions: Next Week, I am not exactly sure yet. I am open to suggestions or requests.

- Adios and Keep Smiling!

Return to the Adventures in Genealogy home page.

About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."

- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)

Additional Information
  • Volunteers
  • Collateral Lines
  • George Ferguson, In Person
  • What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
    click to view original photo