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Page History

For those of you who might like to know how this site has evolved:

Mar 07 - Aug 07
Major Structure Change
The site is getting a complete overhaul. I suspect that previous visitors will see the new structure as a disappointment. In a way I share that disappointment although I deem it necessary.
  • Only the McCaughan branch that I belong to will be supported.
  • The other 46 branches will be removed.
  • Website will contain no trace of living people.
  • Only name, sex, birth, marriage, death, and burial information will be on the site for deceased branch members.
  • Additional information request will have to be submitted with required information to be considered.
There are several aspects to my decision to make the change. If you are interested you can read about them here.

Sep 06 - Mar 07
Modified my program to re-generate my web pages at the click of one button. Incorporated new command line feature of "2ndSite" to recompile all 47 branches "hands-off". Added code to all pages to allow visitors entering site from search engine results to go directly to their desired page. Fixed problem with using links with IE6. Problem is due to quirk of IE6.
Added another ~300 images to my branch. Added photo index to provide direct links to all people who have one or more pictures available for viewing.

Jul 06 - Aug 06
Finished the creation of my program to re-generate my web pages at the click of one button. Make's it a lot easier to keep track of where I am at and will be able to do on-line updates more often (just did one this afternnon). Added 5 more branches on-line. It takes about 2-1/2 hours to upload a total update from my computer to the Rootsweb server; and that's with a DSL connection!

Mar 03 - Jun 06
My wife's step-father passed away in Nov 03. We spent half of 04 getting his affairs settled. We decided to move here (Abilene, Tx) instead of going back home (near Beaumont, Tx). The dry air here seems to help my energy problems a little and it absolutely helps my wife's sinus, as well as mine. In Apr 04 our 9 year old granddaughter came to stay with us and attend school here. She's a blessing but does consume time.
Finally got my corrupted files problem resolved. However, my wife and I have discovered numerous old photos that need to have the people in them identified by the few remaining people that can. That takes time also. As a result I have done little to add any new branches to the website. I am currently in the process of updating the pages for the website. The on-line number of people will increase from about 46,000 to over 120,000 people. I've changed the menu system, yet again. I have added code to all the pages to allow Google and other search engines to scan the site. Hopefully that will increase the number of visitors. The first batch of images (300+) that are tied directly to individuals will be included. And.... I have reworked the site search engine to make the search engine indexes smaller and therefore faster to load. The number of indexes increased from about 300 to over 2500.
And finally, I have added a 'cookie' to the site to encourage users to sign my guestbook and share information.

Dec 01 - Feb 03
Been out of town for a year helping my wife take care of her step-father.
Main genealogy file corrupted. Backups were also corrupted. Having to rebuild data from a large assortment of places. Still have over 1,000 names to go through. Disability limits how long I can sit at the computer and update information.
When I finally get back to were I was over a year ago I'll start putting additional branches on line. I'll also be able to update what is already on line.

Jun 01 - Nov 01
Created new version of web site and relocated to new server at Rootsweb. Added many more branches on line. Added search feature to site. Setup mailing list for McCaughan surname at Rootsweb.

Jan 01 - May 01
Focused on off-line database for my line. Tried several different web page looks. Been off work because of health for 9 months. Found a new program to generate html code for the tree portion of the site. I modified the code to my liking and then wrote a separate program that generated a matching site index that should make searches faster. These efforts should allow me to update the site quicker and on a semi-regular basis in the future.

Jun - Dec 1999
Got to feeling too bad to do anything. Found out blood sugar too high (480+) and bypasses plugged. Lot's of pills everyday. Feeling much better now. Finished my daughter's house finally. She's almost moved it. Did a lot of work on a search engine for my page but couldn't get it to work like I wanted. Finally gave up on the idea and just put in alphabetical indexes for the site. Hope they are liked.

May 1999
Added script to most pages to automatically indicate the last time they were updated. Working on a search engine to allow visitors to search my pages for a name. This will allow them to find which branch of the tree they are in a lot faster.

April 1999
Added numerous more branches of the tree. Added a page for pictures. Added a page showing medals and ribbons from my AF years. Added map pages showing information about Northern Ireland. Changed the background on the intro page. P.S. I still haven't finished my daughter's house.

Feb-Mar 1999
Implemented new version of menu system along with Patrick line. Decided that applet menu was too slow. Found another I like and modified for my use. It's not as slick but it is much faster and more stable. Added several branches to the tree. Got rid of applet that displayed data in tree format. Not much bang for the buck. Way too slow for the little pleasure it brought. Discovered that menu didn't appear correctly when using Netscape. Downloaded Netscape to my PC so that I can check in the future. Let me know about these things. P.S. I still haven't finished my daughter's house.

Jan 1999
Software vendor e-mailed me new version of program to fix bug. Adapted new version for my needs. Working on Patrick McCaughan line.

Nov-Dec 1998
Web page work placed on hold. Working on daughter's house full time.

Oct 1998
Started loading new components of my 3rd web page at the new web provider site and began beta testing.

Sep 1998
For various reasons I withdrew my name as webmaster of the MacEachain Family Association of North America. Found a menu system I liked and began modifying it to suit my needs. Found a shareware package that not only displays individual data about family members with the appropriate hyperlinks between individuals, but also displays graphical ancestor and descendent trees which may be printed. Began extraction of sub-families from my master database. Since the size requirements for the web pages exceeded what AOL allowed I began searching for free web space.

Apr-Aug 1998
Focused on entering names in my database. Now over 279,000. Experimenting with ways of putting information on the web page where people can see it easily and still offer some protection to family members privacy. Purchased my 3rd set of "Family Tree Maker" CDs. Became interested in the "bells and whistles" that can be added to a web page and still keep the response fairly fast.

Mar 1998
Totally revised the web page and included the following:

Web Page Updated!
For those of you who have visited here before you will notice a major change in our web page. The original version was my first attempt at constructing a page and you, as visitors, suffered the consequences. On my computer the page loaded in mere seconds. However, a friend loaded it on an old 486 and we used a sun dial to measure his progress. For those of you who suffered through that I apologize. I am now making every effort to provide the most amount of information in the least amount of time. I encourage any suggestions that you may have.

Jan 1998
Completed my 1st web page and registered it with several search engines. Received my first non-local family entries in my Guestbook. Purchased my 2nd set of "Family Tree Maker" CDs.

Dec 1997
Continued entering family history. Several 1,000 names by now. Work was progressing with the design of my 1st web page. Continued to improve my ability to search the net. Purchased my first set of "Family Tree Maker" CDs.

Nov 1997
Purchased "The Master Genealogist" software and began entering family history. Started playing with the idea of a web page on AOL. Started surfing the net to find everything I could concerning McCaughans. Agreed, with Minniebell McKaughan Perkins, to having the web page be the "official" page for the MacEachain Family Association of North America.

Oct 1997
Renewed interest in our family's history. Treated myself to a new computer (possibly the 7th or 8th since my Commodore VIC-20 nearly 20 years ago). Decided to see what this internet business was all about.