Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Family Myth or History? Nov 15, 2011

This guest post is written by an avid family history researcher and collector extraordinaire.   

Perhaps you've heard the expression, "Genealogy without documentation is mythology." I recently found inexpensive software for organizing genealogy content and
am impressed with The Next Generation (TNG) features and results.

After touring about a dozen large-family sites built with this software, my favorites are A Bisbee Family History, the Devantier Family, The Wallace Family of Moore County, NC, and The Sprague Project (where I found common ancestors). Isn't it amazing how they neatly organize content about thousands of relatives?

TNG users choose from design templates or customize their web site. The developer has live data on a Demo, and there's a list of other TNG User Sites here.

TNG requires PHP and MySQL; Google Sites does not offer support for those programs. To use TNG software, we need another hosting service, and volunteers familiar with PHP and MySQL. For more info, please read TNG version 8 FAQ.

If you're knowledgeable about PHP and MySQL and compatible hosting services, please send advice via Email the author link below.

You might also like

Message Boards can facilitate genealogy research on Big Family Forum here
Using Census Records in Your Family Research on Big Family Forum here

What ways do you like to document our family history? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments.


  1. As of Oct 2, 2011, the Sprague Project contains data for more than 352,000 individuals, including some of our relatives. The developer of http://sprague-database.org/ posted the data I contributed and sent me a nice reply and file document. For info about our big family connection, or to exchange genealogy research, please contact me via Email the author. j

  2. On Nov 16, 2011, I sent Email to 8 relatives who I suspect know something about PHP and MySQL, or will know someone who does. So far, the 3 West Coast contacts replied, and I look forward to hearing from the 5 relatives in the NE, SE, or Midwest. j

    Did you know you can easily follow this discussion? Just use the link at the bottom of this post. Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)

  3. Relatives may Sign-in at www.bigfamilynews.com for details in our Online Team section.

  4. Simply Hosting is now offering TNG purchasers a free month of hosting (coupon code tng) and free TNG installation.

    Please Note that Simply Hosting does not offer support for TNG related issues.

    TNG Support can be found through their community forums (TNG Forums) or through TNG directly at http://lythgoes.net/genealogy/software.php.

  5. Just sent Email to 9th relative who may know PHP and MySQL.j

  6. TNG developer assures me family volunteers who work on the site will only need to know their way around web forms, i.e., enter data and click Save. j

  7. To size this project, please estimate the number of document files and images in your collection, and Email the author with those stats. Also, include the number of ancestors in your research. Thanks,j

  8. How did I miss this? Find personal genealogy site of TNG developer at http://lythgoes.net/genealogy/index.php.

    For example of how your PHP and MySQL programming could help us, visit Darrin's About Us, Features and James Lythgoe's Missionary Journal Pages. We have handwritten family record dated March 1898, that could be displayed. If you have specific programming questions, I believe Darrin Lythgoe will be responsive. If you have not replied to my earlier direct Emails, please take opportunity to Email author now. Thanks! j

  9. Anyone use WordPress? I think TNG is compatible with it.

  10. Thank you, and from TNG site: When used with a freeware add-on program, also works as a Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, or Zikula/PHP-Nuke/CPG Nuke module!j

  11. I am a happy and very satisfied user of TNG
    Look at
    and everybody can see for themselves why I am so satisfied with theTNG program. A great genealogy program, very fast, well done, with a lot of possibilities and of course the languages. I’m getting a lot of compliments about my site. I always refer them to Darrin Lytgoe of TNG and tell them that without his excellent program, after sale service, support and help with the TNG scripts I could not have made such a professional looking website. It is the best program I have seen yet for genealogical websites and the price is a bargain!! You can quote me on that!”

    1. Thank you for sharing your TNG experience with us. To follow-up, how many relatives are involved in creating and managing your site? How many had prior PHP and MySQL experience?

      Aside from buying TNG software, what suggestions do you have for a startup site?

      Many thanks for contacting us and leaving your comments.


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