Make your own free website on

webGED: Progenitor 2

NOTE: You can use the "PRINT" feature of your browser to obtain a hard-copy version of this information




"webGED:Progenitor" is a program that facilitates the preparation of a world wide web site from a standard GEDCOM file. The output of Progenitor is a set of files that you need only upload to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to have a fully functioning set of web pages containing the GEDCOM's information - in a conveniently searchable format.

"Client-Side" Advanced Technology

The site pages generated by Progenitor use a set of original "Java applets", which download an index file whenever an Internet visitor views these pages. This "client-side" technology gives any visitor the ability to conveniently search the names in your files, build charts, etc. without requiring you to install any scripting (e.g. cgi) programs on your Internet Service Provider.

Supplemental Soundex and Surname Searching

In additional to "full-name" searches, Progenitor will generate sites that give viewers the option of supplemental searching using lists of distinct surnames - either sorted alphabetically or in Soundex order.

Family/Ancestors/Descendants Views

Registered copies of Progenitor add additional information concerning family relationships to the Java applet's data-set. This permits visitors to these sites to select a specific individual and the generate an on-the-fly view of that individual's Family or Ancestors or Descendants. The Ancestors and Descendants charts cover all generations available in the data-base. Within these views, convenient commands are provided to facilitate the navigation across various relatives.

Visitor-Printable Data

Any of the Full-Name, Surname, or Soundex Lists can be printed out locally by any visitor to your site. If you are using a registered version, your site-visitors may also print out any of the Family, Ancestors, and Descendant charts they have generated from your data.

Full Integration of HTML data and Applet data

A visitor to your site can transfer immediately from a searchable list or an advanced view to a corresponding individual in the HTML detail records. Similarly, the visitor may also immediately transfer back to any selected searchable list or advanced view from a detail record entry on an HTML page.

Additional Text Information

You may optionally enter a short text paragraph and/or a JPEG photo that Progenitor will incorporate into your "Introduction Page".

Progenitor also allows you to optionally include a separate page of additional text information about your family that can be easily accessed by any visitor. You can include this text by directly entering it or by cutting and pasting from an existing document.

Individual and Marriage Notes

You can choose an option, using Progenitor, to include individual and/or marriage notes contained in your GEDCOM in the resulting web pages.

Estimated Birth Dates

Progenitor automatically computes rough estimates of birth dates for those individuals who have no information given in your GEDCOM concerning their birth dates. In no case, however, is any birth date information explicitly given in the GEDCOM ever modified or over-ridden.

Birth Year Filter

You can also optionally choose a year threshold in Progenitor such that entries associated with anyone born later than that year will be excluded from the generated site. Those excluded can still, optionally, be referenced as the children, spouses, etc. in the entries of those born earlier (but with all date information stripped from these references) or you can have all references to the excluded individual completely supressed in the entries of others.

Exceptions to the exclusion can also be optionally be made for those individuals who have explicit death information recorded in the source GEDCOM.

Customizing Options

Progenitor supports extensive options that permit you to choose background and font colors and/or background graphics for each type of page in your generated site.

Alternate "Surnames Index"

For those viewers who may not have Java-enabled browsers (and thus can not take advantage of its advanced searching features), an "surnames index" page is generated by Progenitor as an alternate entry point into your genealogy pages.

GENDEX Index File

Progenitor will optionally generate a suitably formatted index file of all the individuals in your site so that it may be registered with the GENEX data-base.

contents - top of this - previous


Installing Progenitor

Progenitor requires the Windows 95 or compatible operating system. It has been run by users with no problems under Windows NT, but it has not be tested in that environment by the developer.

The first step in installing Progenitor is to place the installation program, "prgntr20.exe" temporarily into a directory on your hard disk. Then "run" this program, either by double-clicking on it in Windows Explorer or from the "START/Run" diagalog box, using its full path name. After the installation is complete, "prgntr20.exe" can be deleted from the hard disk.

The installation process will prompt you for a directory to place the Progenitor sytem. On the completion of the installation, a folder will have been created for Progenitor and a short-cut placed on your START menu for both Progenitor and for this Help file. The complete set of Progenitor files occupy about 530K bytes

An uninstall program has also be placed in Progenitor's directory. Using Windows Explorer, you can completely uninstall the Progenitor by clicking on "Unwise.exe" in Progenitor's directory. No short cut to this uninstall program is created during the installation process.

contents - top of this - previous


Overview Of User Decisions

The process of building a genealogy web site with Progenitor takes several steps, each requiring decisions to be made by the user:

  • Producing an appropriate GEDCOM file
  • Choosing among the Progenitor Options
  • Customizing the output Site Pages
  • Producing a GEDCOM File

    The process begins with the production of a genealogy file that contains the required information. Most genealogists desiring to build a web-site will have their data maintained in files under one or another of the common genealogy software packages, such as Family Tree Maker®, PAF®, etc. These genealogy packages almost always have the capability of exporting all or part of the native files in one or more varieties of a standard "GEDCOM" format.

    GEDCOM is the name of a standard that describes a specific tree structure format to be used in the representation of various genealogical data and relationships. Unfortunately, the GEDCOM standard has evolved over time and the later versions of the standard are incompatible with some of the earlier versions. Progenitor was designed to be fully compatible with GEDCOM version 5.5, but will likely accept any GEDCOM formatted file corresponding to version 4 of the standard or later.

    If your genealogy package supports extracting a subset of the individuals in your full file before exporting it, it is generally wise to use this feature to narrow the scope of what you will present on your generated web site. Although Progenitor has no practical limit on the size of the genealogy file it can handle, the mechanics of downloading information from a web server to a visitor's browser may cause many interested visitors to lose patience with sites containing information on a very large number of individuals.

    When first contacted by a visitor's browser, an index file containing the entire set of names of all individuals in your site is downloaded - in addition to the usual page information overhead. If you assume that the visitor has a 28.8 KB modem (and that your ISP's server can match that speed), about 150 index entries or so can be downloaded in one second. Thus, a site with over 4,000 individuals is likely to take over 30 seconds to initially load, under the best of circumstances.

    Deciding on the Progenitor Options

    Progenitor offers several choices in defining how it will convert your GEDCOM file to a web-site.

    Short Title

    One of the first choices to be made is the "Short Title" to be used on your site's pages. This title must be twenty characters or less in length. It is displayed in the frame that holds the individual data on your site's main page. It is also embedded in the hidden "Meta" tags on your page that are used by AltaVista® and other net-wide search engines to automatically index your site. Generally the name of the principal family in the genealogy file is used as the short title. (See also: how to enter)


    Many GEDCOM files contain "notes" that have been entered in association with specific individuals and with specific marriages. Progenitor offers you the option to include none, one, or both of these sets of notes in your site. These notes can provide invaluable additional information and serve to bring the individuals in your file to life. Some thought should be given, however, as to whether you wish to make these notes public. In some cases, genealogists record their speculations and personal opinions in these notes in a way that others may cause others to take offence. (See also: how to enter)

    Additional Information Page

    You also have the option to generate an additional "Information" page for your site, linked to your site's Introduction page, that contains any additional text you wish to include. It generally should be used to hold additional information pertinent to the site as a whole, e.g. some history of the family's migrations, relationships among its earliest members, etc. Progenitor has a simple word-processing capability built in, so you can enter your text directly into Progenitor from the keyboard and/or cut-and-paste from an existing document. Progenitor does not support any special formatting for this text (beyond simple paragraphing), but permits you to include most HTML tags explicitly in the text. You are on your own if you start inserting HTML tags, however, since Progenitor performs no edits of these tags. (See also: how to enter)

    Birth Year Threshold

    One of the more significant decisions a user has to make is the choice, if any, of a birth year threshold to use in filtering the GEDCOM's data. In general, your GEDCOM file will contain information on individuals down to the present day. Some of these individuals may still be alive and not share your enthusiasm in publicizing their personal data, such as birth dates.

    Progenitor gives you the option of excluding from your site information associated with individuals born after a threshold year specified by you. You can optionally chose to modify the scope of the filter by exempting individuals who are shown to be be desceased in the GEDCOM. In all instances, the birth and death dates associated with any "filtered" individual will be removed.

    For the filtered individuals, you can choose to exclude: 1) their own detailed information entry and all references in the entries of others, or 2) their own detail entry, leaving intact references to them in the entries of others,, or 3) just their dates, both in their own entries and in references to them.

    This does not guarantee that all personal information on these individuals will have been excluded from the site, even if the exclude all infomation option was chosen. The Individual Notes and Marriage Notes (if you have chosen to include them) of others may contain references to excluded individuals, as may any "additional text" page that you might have added. You should also note that, in filtering on this birth year threshold, Progenitor will use its own estimate of a birth date if none is contained in your GEDCOM. While these are generally good as rough estimates, they may be significantly off the mark in individual cases.

    Site Owner ID and Return E-Mail Address

    In general, one of the purposes of displaying your genealogy files on the Internet is to make contact with others researching the same families. Progenitor will allow you the option of placing the name of the site-owner a "Return E-Mail" link on your site's Introduction page, if you so desire. If you provide the E-Mail address to be embedded in the link In general, this should be your own E-Mail address. (See also: how to enter)

    Registering with GENDEX

    Another decision you should make is whether you wish to register your site with Gene Stark's GENDEX data-base of genealogy sites. Doing so will permit others to search that data-base for your entries and jump directly to your site if they find one of interest. Progenitor can optionally generate a GENDEX compatible index file that will facilitate the registering your site.

    Customizing Your Site's Pages

    The output files generated by Progenitor will produce an attractive and highly functional site. The various options provided in Progenitor give the user some control over certain specific features of each of the page types, including a background color and/or graphic and a font color. The Introduction page can also optionally include a short welcoming text paragraph and/or a photograph.

    Those users having a desire to customize their site even further (and also having the necessary HTML skills) can modify any of the ".htm" files produced by Progenitor by use of any text editor. In doing so, however, care must be taken not to disturb the elements on the pages used to search for and link among the various individuals. In this regard, please note that none of the "anchors" associated with individuals may be altered in any way without running the risk of making the site's search features inoperable.

    Unless you are highly skilled in HTML (and are extremely motivated to make the desired changes and love to insert obscure tags by hand), it is recommended that you leave well enough alone in this regard.

    contents - top of this - previous


    Main Screen

    When the Progenitor program is invoked, its "Control Screen" is presented to the user.

    The Control Screen is divided into three sections: 1) the Project Data panel, which relates to the specific project you are currently working on; 2) the Directions/Status panel, which guides you through the site building process; and 3) the Command panel, which invokes the commands needed to choose the options and build the site. The Command panel is not visible until a Project has been initiated.

    contents - top of this - previous


    Opening A Project/Site

    Progenitor stores the files it generates for each of the user's "sites" in a separate sub-directory of the user's hard-disk. The user is required to "name" each of the "projects" that build a site and it is that name (with a ".wbg" extension) that becomes the name of the associated sub-directory. This sub-directory is attached to the directory in which the Progenitor program resides.

    To create a new project/site, use "Project/New" on the menu. This brings up a dialog screen which prompts the user for a Project Name. The name chosen must be all alphabetic and not include any spaces. It should be chosen to be different than any existing project names. You can check the existing project names by use of "Project/Open" (see below). This name is only used to identify the project internally and is not used anywhere on the generated site pages.

    To open an existing project/site, use "Project/Open" on the menu. This displays a sub-menu of the existing projects. Selecting one of these will load all of the Progenitor options that were last saved under that project.

    To delete an existing project/site, use "Project/Delete" on the menu. This will erase all traces of the specified project and remove any of its previously generated files from Progenitor's file area.

    To save a project/site's Options, use "Project/Save" on the menu. If you have not already saved these options, you will be prompted to do so when you open a new Project or exit Progenitor.

    A Change GEDCOM button is provided in this panel. Clicking on this will permit you to replace the Project's current GEDCOM without another.

    contents - top of this - previous


    Specifying Options

    Clicking on the Choose Options Command button brings up the Option Screen. A line of tabs across the top of this screen groups the options in several classes:

    Clicking on a Tab will switch to the corresponding Options page.

    GEDCOM Data

    Include Notes

    Independent checkboxes, instructing Progenitor to include Individual and/or Marriage Notes from the GEDCOM in your site's Detail Record entries.

    Date Estimates

    Independent checkboxes, instructing Progenitor to 1) use a Baptism date, if available, in lieu of a missing Birth date; 2) use a Burial date, if available, in lieu of a missing Death date; and 3) not include the Progenitor generated birth date estimates in the "life-span" associated with any individual. (Note: If the birth date is omitted in the GEDCOM, Progenitor will ordinarily show its own estimate in its place, prefixed with a "*" to show that it is a Progenitor estimate. This is often a considerable help to your site's visitors in locating a specific individual when they may be several with the same name in your file.)


    Filter Those Individuals . . .

    A check box to indicate that Progenitor should filter individuals in the file based on their Birth dates. If no Birth date is explicitly given in the GEDCOM, Progenitor will estimate a birth date based on other dates associated with that individual, such as marriage date, parents' birth dates, children's birth dates, etc.

    (year spin-control)

    A spin-control giving the threshold year to be used by Progenitor in its filtering of the individuals in the file. This year initially defaults to the current year minus 75, but can be changed by the user. With one class of possible exceptions, all individuals born after this year will be "filtered".

    . . . except for those presumed dead

    A check box to indicate that individuals with an explicit death date given in the GEDCOM will be exceptions to the filtering.

    For Filtered Individuals, Remove . . .

    A set of radio-buttons, which permit the user to choose to exclude: 1) the filtered individual's own detailed information entry and all related references in the entries of others, or 2) the filtered individual's own detailed information entry, leaving intact references to them in the entries of others,, or 3) just their dates, both in their own entries and in references to them. Note that, in all cases, birth and death date information will be removed from all references to a filtered individual.

    Site Specs

    Site Title

    An edit-box in which you may enter the Title that is to appear on your site's main frame and on related pages. You are limited to twenty characters for this title. This same title will also be included in the (hidden) META tag of the site. This META tag is used by AltaVista® and other search engines to automatically index your site for their customers' searches. If this box is left blank, the default title "Family Tree" will be used.

    Owner Identification

    An edit-box in which you may enter the name of the Site's "Owner". This will appear on the Introduction Page and on any print-outs made by a visitor to your site. If this box is left blank, the fields will be omitted.

    EMail Contact

    An edit-box in which you may enter your EMail Address. This will appear as a "mailto" link on your Introduction Page and be put on any print-outs made by a visitor to your site.

    Background/Title Colors

    A color-control to permit the choice of colors for the site's Main Frame and for the font of the site's Title, which will appear on it.


    A check-box to direct Progenitor to generate a GENDEX compatible index file for this Project's data and include it in the set of its output files.

    Intro Page

    Background/Text Colors

    A color-control to permit the choice of colors for the background of the Introduction page and its text.

    Use Graphic in lieu of color

    A check-box to indicate that a graphic will be used on the Introduction Page in lieu of a solid color.

    Select Background Graphics File

    A button causing a File Dialog Box to be displayed, from which you may choose the background graphic file.

    Use JPEG Photo

    A check-box to indicate that a photo is to be displayed on the left side of the Introduction Page. If the photo exceeds 400 pixels in width, it will be scaled to be exactly 400 pixels.

    Select JPEG File

    A button causing a File Dialog Box to be displayed, from which you may choose the photo file. Only JPEG graphics (i.e. extension = ".jpg") are supported.

    Add Custom Text Paragraph

    A check-box to indicate that a user supplied welcoming paragraph is to be inserted on the Introduction Page. If this box is checked, a text-memo opens up for the user to enter this welcoming text. The entered text can not have any formatting (i.e. no bold, font changes, italics, etc.)

    Detail Records

    Background/Text Colors

    A color-control to permit the choice of colors for the background of the pages and text for the display of the detailed individual records.

    Use Graphic in lieu of color

    A check-box to indicate that a graphic will be used on the Detail Record Pages in lieu of a solid color.

    Select Background Graphics File

    A button causing a File Dialog Box to be displayed, from which you may choose the background graphic file.

    Family Story

    Background/Text Colors

    A color-control to permit the choice of colors for the background of the Family Story Page and its text.

    Use Graphic in lieu of color

    A check-box to indicate that a graphic will be used on the Family Story Page in lieu of a solid color.

    Select Background Graphics File

    A button causing a File Dialog Box to be displayed, from which you may choose the background graphic file.

    Form To Capture Text

    A button which, when clicked, displays the form which is used to enter the text for the Family Story Page. See Creating A Family Story Page for details.
    Note: If there is no text entered. Progenitor will not generate the page and not not make any references to it on the Introduction page


    Use Special Prefix

    A check-box used to indicate that the files generated for this Project should be specially identified. Those files that are common to all Progenitor Projects will still have the standard "wg_" prefix, but those files that are unique to this Project will not have the default "wgA" prefix. Instead, these unique files will all be prefixed by "wgX", where the X stands for the identifier choosen by the user (see below).

    Choose Prefix

    A spin-button to permit the user to select a special identifier that will be unique to this Project's files.

    Rename Entry Page

    A check-box used to indicate that Progenitor should not use the default name, "index.html", to identify the Project's entry page, but rather use a User's chosen name instead.

    New Entry Page Name

    An edit box where the user can enter the new name for the Project's entry page. This choice will initially default to "wgXentry.html", where X is the Prefix chosen in the panel above it or to "a" if no special prefix has been selected. The user may change this default choice, taking care that the new name is a valid HTML page identifier (e.g has the extension "html" or "htm").

    contents - this top - previous


    Creating A Family Story Page

    Clicking on the "Form To Capture Text" button in the "Family Story" Options page will bring up Progenitor's "Story Page". This screen consists of a large "word processing" area with a small "menu bar" above.

    Word Processing Area

    Any text entered into the word processing area will be converted by Progenitor into a separate HTML page that is linked into your site through an "INFO" icon placed on the site's genealogy page. The built-in word processor does not have any format or appearance capabilities - i.e. no bold, no italic, no font changes, etc. In converting to HTML, Progenitor will preserve the text as entered, with two exceptions: A single carriage return is converted to the equivalent HTML "<BR>" tag and a double carriage return is converted to the equivalent "<P>" tag.

    There is a way, however, to achieve advanced formatting in your Information Page. A user skilled in HTML coding can take advantage of Progenitor's straight conversion by directly entering HTML tags into the text. Progenitor will accept them without modifying them. Of course, if you enter HTML tags directly, you are completely responsible for their accuracy since Progenitor will perform no edits on them.


    The Story item on the menu bar has three items: Save saves the contents of the word processing area into a file, overwriting any old versions; Delete clears the word processing area and deletes anything that may have been previously saved; Import loads the word processing area with the contents of a "txt" file specificed by the user; Export stores the contents of the word processing area as a "txt" file specified by the user; and Done exits the Information Screen after first saving the current contents of the word processing area. Note: Progenitor builds the Information Page from the latest saved file from the word processing area.

    The Edit item on the menu bar has four items: Cut, Copy, and Paste function according to the usual Windows conventions and allow the user to manipulate text within the word processing area and between the word processing area and other Windows programs; Erase All clears the word processing area, but does not delete the last saved version.

    contents - this top - previous


    Building the Site Files

    Once a Project/Site has been opened, the user may save the current option selections by clicking on "Projects/Save" from the menu bar on the main screen. When the same project is later reopened, these same option selections will be restored. The options are stored in an ".ini" file with the project's name in Progenitors directory.

    The Processing

    Clicking on the "Build Files" button in the Command panel on the main screen, initiates the build process. Progenitor then executes the following steps, keeping the user informed of progress in the "Staus/Instruction" panel on the main screen:

    The Files

    The site generated by Progenitor consists of the following files:

    Files Common to All Projects

    The Java applet that manages all the advanced functions.
    The Java applet that loads the various index tables.
    The Java applet that defines the search tables and performs the searches
    The Java applet that builds the charts.
    A test Java applet that helps determine the Java capabilities of the viewer's browser.
    A page used to format the "Jump" menu
    A page used to build the "Print" output of user selected charts.
    A page containing abbreviated viewer-help.
    A page containing extended viewer-help.
    wg_help.gif, wg_home.gif, wg_srch.gif, wg_indx.gif and wg_jump.gif
    The icon images used for links, etc.

    (Project Specific Files - always generated}
    note: the "X" in the file names below is replaced by the Project's Identifier, which defaults to "a".

    The "default-entry" page that holds the site's main frame. Note: This should be renamed if the user wishes to use an existing page as the site's default entry point and/or it conflicts with the ISP's naming policy.

    The list of surnames and links to the first individual with each surname. Needed for browsers that are not Java enabled.
    The page for the "Title" panel of the main frame.
    The page for the Navigation buttons of the main frame. This page holds all the applets, except for the test applet.
    The Introduction Page. This also holds the "test applet".
    wgX1.html, wgA2.html, . . . , wgAn.html
    The pages containing the genealogy entries. For smaller files (i.e. under 2000 entries), Progenitor attempts to put approximately 100 entries on each page. For larger files, it permits this number to grow.
    The file containing the index tables and family information for use by the search and display applets. Note: Although this file is compressed, it is not a true "zip" file and cannot be "unzipped". The extension was only chosen to provide an indication to upload-programs that this is a true "binary mode" file.

    (Project Specific Files - Optionally Generated)

    An optionally generated, specially formatted, index file only needed to register your site with GENDEX.
    wgXdrbkg.gif, wgXspbkg.gif, and wgXipbkg.gif (Note: they may alternately be ".jpg" files)
    Optionally generated files containing the gifs or jpegs, if called for, for the background graphics of the Detail Record, Family Story, and Introduction pages respectively.
    An optionally generated file containing the specified photo, if called for, for the Introduction page.

    contents - this top - previous


    Testing Your Site Files Locally

    Once your site files have been generated by Progenitor, they may be tested immediately in the directory in which they were created. This directory will be a sub-directory of the directory you have placed the Progenitor program. The name of the sub-directory will be the project name you have chosen for the site, with a ".wbg" extension.

    For example, if you accepted the default directory for Progenitor that was suggested when you installed it, "C:\wgProgen2", and you named your project "Family", then the sites files will be in "C:\wgProgen2\Family.wbg".

    To see what your site will look like and get some idea of how it will behave, start your browser program and open up the local file "index.html" in the site's sub-directory. (E.g.,following the example above, the address would be "C:\wgProgen2\Family.wbg\index.html").

    Be sure to have Java enabled, if you wish to test out the advanced features! It is almost certain, however, that not all of the advanced features will be functioning properly when previewed from your our local hard-disk. This should not alarm you. It is caused by the security blocks inserted into more recent browsers which inhibit a Java applet's access to your local hard disk. When your site has been uploaded to your ISP and is viewed from over the Internet, all of the advanced features will be permitted to function by your browser.

    In the best cases, a browser's security blocks will permit the applet to load from your hard disk. But even then, it is likely to interfere in some way with its ability to search and/or jump to/from the detail record pages. In some cases, the browser will not permit the applet to load. In all cases, it should still be possible to examine the individual detail record pages, check content, etc. by invoking the "use non-java version" option on the Introduction Page.

    Correcting Problems

    What can you do if you find something "wrong" during your local testing?

    For any problems you encounter with the content of the pages, it is usually easier to go back to your original genealogy program, make the needed changes there, export a revised GEDCOM, and rerun the Progenitor program. Progenitor will have saved the settings from the previous run of that project and will offer you the opportunity to "open" that same project. For these previous settings to still be valid, you will have to write the revised GEDCOM over its previous version, thus keeping the same file name and path. If for some reason you wish to rename the revised GEDCOM, you can either "delete" the old version of the project and start the revised version off as a "new" project or make use of the "Choose New GEDCOM" button on the Project panel of the Control Screen.

    Should I ever try to modify the GEDCOM file?

    There are some problems that may be easier to correct directly in the GEDCOM file. Many existing genealogy programs allow entries that do not conform to the GEDCOM standard. Some of the more common extensions that can cause problems are in the way the programs treat imprecise dates and alternate names.

    Progenitor only recognizes one extension to the GEDCOM standard regarding date estimates: the indication of a date range by the use of the character "-" as a separator, e.g. "1822 - 1825". Other extensions will be rejected by Progenitor with an appropriate error message.

    Some genealogy programs tolerate the use of the "/" character internally in a name field to indicate alternate variations of a name. This conflicts with the GEDCOM standard's use of that character to delimit surnames. Progenitor will treat the first and last occurrence of the "/" character as delimiting the surname and all additional internal "/" characters as breaks between alternate versions of that surname. Unfortunately, this may not always be what was intended.

    Problems such as these can often be addressed more readily by directly modifying the GEDCOM file in a word processor program with search and replace features.

    Can the site files themselves be modified manually?

    It is also possible to directly modify the output site files themselves - although this approach requires great care and a good knowledge of HTML basics. The "wgan.html" files contain the substance of the GEDCOM information. (Note: the third character in the file name, "a" in this case, may be different if a unique Project identifier option was chosen.) If you choose the course of modifying these files, do not modify any existing anchors or create any new ones - since the anchors in these files are also referenced by the search applet. [If you don't understand the previous sentence, then you shouldn't be trying to modify the output files anyway!] It is less dangerous to modify the "wgainfo.html" file, which contains the additional family information. One can add various formatting features to this page and, if you are skilled enough, insert graphics and other advanced capabilities.

    contents - this top - previous


    Uploading To Your ISP

    Before uploading your site's files to your Internet Service Provider, it is advisable to first create a separate subdirectory on your ISP server that will be dedicated to Progenitor files. The purpose of this separation is to avoid any naming conflicts with pre-existing file names in the same subdirectory.

    All of the files from the project's subdirectory on your local disk must be uploaded into the corresponding directory on the ISP server. You should follow your ISP's procedures for uploading files. Although this should generally go smoothly, there are things that can go wrong.

    Another thing that might need to be changed is the name of the entry file: "index.html". This is the entry page to your site and its name was chosen to be compatible with a common ISP convention of defaulting to a file of that name whenever a specific file name is not specified by the viewer's browser. Thus, if your ISP follows this convention (and assuming that you have placed your files there in a subdirectory named "Family"), a browser seeking the URL "http://www.yourISP/yourarea/Family/" will appropriately bring up the index.html page. If your ISP does not follow this common convention, you can either rename "index.html" to follow their convention or always include the "index/html" file name explicitly in identifying the site, e.g. "http://www.yourISP/yourarea/Family/index.html". NOTE: If you rename "index.html", you must use its new name as the URL for all of your links to this project.

    If you intend to put up more than one Progenitor generated genealogy site, it is generally simpler to create separate directories for each project. It doesn't matter what you name these new subdirectories on the ISP server.

    You may at times wish, however, to put multiple Project files into a single directory at your ISP. This may be because of ISP limitations of your ability to create sub-directories or your desire to save the overhead space of multiple copies of the "common site files" generated by Progenitor. If you wish to put multiple Progenitor Projects into the same same ISP sub-directory, you must make use of the "Advanced" Progenitor Option of specifying a unique Character Identifier for each Project. Once each Project site has been independently generated by Progenitor using the specified unique character identifiers, the default entry page, "index.html", must then be renamed by you, using Windows Explorer or the like, to be unique for each Project. After that renaming has been completed, you may then upload all of the project files into a single directory at your ISP. NOTE: You can not have used the "GENDEX" option for more than one of the Projects sharing a common directory on your ISP server.

    Note: You actually need upload the "common site files" only once into a shared directory on the ISP, but it generally is simpler just to upload all of each Project files and let the multiple copies of the common site files harmlessly overlay each other.

    contents - this top - previous


    Progenitor is shareware and must be registered to get the full benefits of the product.

    You may register by visiting "". After your registration information has been submitted you will receive your registration number by EMail within four business days. You must enter this registration number into Progenitor by means of the "Register" menu item before it will generate fully enabled sites - complete with a GENDEX file and applet support for the family/ancestor/descendant chart features.

    Once you are a registered owner, you may get additional support by Email from Crestline Enterprises. In your message, be sure to identify yourself by the name you registered the product, give your registration number, and fully describe the problem you are having.



    Registering with the major Search Services

    There are several places on the Internet that you can register your genealogy site to give it maximun exposure. The most prominent of these are the various "search services", such as Alta-Vista, Yahoo, etc. Each of these search services have their own requirements for registration and these frequently change. Progenitor assists you by storing your chosen Site-Title and various genealogy cues in the Meta tags of the generated entry page, which is often used by these services in their indexing. You are advised to consult these sites individually and follow their specific instructions for registration. Several such search services are identified below:

    Registering your Progenitor-Generated-Site with GENDEX

    Then there is also Gene Stark's GENDEX index of surnames. Although originally designed to link to sites generated by his GED2HTML product, it can also link into more advanced sites, such as those produced by Progenitor.

    GENDEX is a web-site that supports an index file claiming to point to over 2,000,000 individual genealogy records at web-sites around the world. The GENDEX site is operated by Gene Stark and is located at "".

    To be listed on GENDEX, your genealogy site must contain a "local index file" that conforms to the GENDEX specification. Progenitor generates a compatible local index file and automatically includes it as one of your site files to be up-loaded to your server.

    If you would like your site to be added to the GENDEX index, please consult the instructions at "". These instructions will require you to identify the following:

    For example, suppose that you have uploaded your Progenitor generated site files to a directory on your server that can be found at "". If you have not manually customized your site, your registration input should specify the following three URLs:

    Gendex index file URL:
    Welcome Page URL:
    Base URL:

    contents - top of this - previous