Dowling One Name Study

Picture of chart and leaf

About Website



My own information is in the main part of the data under my name. I have been invloved in Dowling family history for over 30 years and running a website for maybe 23 years of that. I am not that technical and have a love/hate relationship with computers and software that never seem to live up to the hype.

Weeks ago the Dowling Family History site, due to data loss, was only a remnant of its former self. Years ago the site held sections mostly divided by topics (Dowlings of the World, WW2, Fashion, Sport, Trivia, etc., etc.). Using the software at the time this became massive and too much work each time a new page was created for each new item. The upside of this was that I understood what I was doing! This not only incurred time costs but the site hosts complained about its traffic.

I embarked up swaping site hosts, several times. Along came 'Cascading Style Sheets' and now I couldn't work out which bit of a webpage was done by which bit of code. I was advised to use a 'content management' approach to site maintenance that was simple and easy. It was neither simple nor easy and I do not understand the logic used to this day. With a change of site host this led to a catastrophic loss of the site. I was left with a few back-ups that, while they contained the data, were not able to be simply re-uploaded. I had many kind words of support and was pointed to an archives to rebuild the site. What seemed a solution still resulted in lost formatting and so much gobbledegook it was unusable with my skills. Keeping in mind that this was a part-time hobby.

An attempt at rebuilding the hard way just ended with the site being neglected as the amount of previous pages was a veritable mountain and my ability to create a page with the new content management software made each page a trial.

Enter TNG 'The Next Generation of Genealogy' Sitebuilding software. By no means straighforward, it does nevertheless resolve a number of complexities in sitebuilding for me to make regenerating the site viable. It allows me to provide access to my large Dowling One Name Study and that is a significant offering - this is now the focus of the site, which makes sense as more people are 'doing their family tree'. It also goes some way to what I see as the best means of preservation - broad distribution!

For those who remember the old site, where there was a enough information, 'topic' pages have been transferred to individual entries in the Dowling One Name Study. This was easier for most Dowling of the World pages but tricky for some trivia topics. It is pretty much impossible for place names where I could never work out how they got their name, but I am working on it.

As I learn more about TNG I hope more will be easier to find for you and maybe we can inject some lighter elements back in.