TNG 10: It’s coming!


TNG 10 will be available soon!

RootsTech attendees will be able to buy TNG10 in a special presale at our expo booth only (we’re booth 318!) regular sales online will begin the following week, after we’ve had a chance to recover from RootsTech.

We’ll be counting down the 10 days until TNG is available for the first time here on the blog.

Today’s new feature is…

Mobile Friendly Versions!


Watch for more specifics when TNG10 goes live.

Every day between now and RootsTech, we will be teasing a new feature of TNG, so stay tuned!

Featured User: Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes submitted his site to be a featured TNG user this month: The Cocks and Baker Genealogy. Like many TNG users, his site is his primary repository for all of his information. TNG *is* his main genealogy program, so he is able to simplify maintaining his information and sharing it in the same program. He’s done quite a bit to customize his front page, including a nice sliding banner at the top that keeps his site name constant but changes through various photos and documents in the background. Each image has a small caption that appears, describing what you are seeing. It’s a nice and unique way to add interest to the landing page.

Rotating Header Genealogy Site

The site is chock full of media, Mark has documented his work with many photos and scanned documents. The media dropdown in his menu bar makes it easy to navigate the various types of media he has collected.

Mark has also created a custom statistics page that pulls from the TNG database to display interesting bits of information, like activity from this day in history, surnames, birth years, places, etc.

Genealogy Site Stats Page

Mark has also created a vertical display for the pedigree chart. Right now this is available as a mod for TNG, but it will (with Mark’s permission) be integrated into the soon to be released version 10 of TNG. It is a nice way of displaying the pedigree in a vertical rather than horizontal orientation.

Genealogy Site Vertical Pedigree Chart

Thank you, Mark for sharing your well done site with us!

Tutorial: Basic Customization of Template 8

TNG comes with eleven templates included with the software. Template 8 is a popular one that is a good example of how easy it is to make the template your own. Here’s one example of how a TNG user has customized the template:

Template Adapted

This diagram shows the many things that can be customized in this template:

Template 8 Customization

We will go through each of these and how you can adjust them:

TemplateChoiceFirst, you log in as the administrator, and click into the Administration area. Choose “Settings” on the left side of the Admin Area, and then you’ll see the option of “Template Settings”, you’ll click on that. Then you will see a place where you can choose the template you want to work with from the drop down menu. We’re working with template 8 today. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see this screen, which I’ve numbered to match the example above so that you can see which item adjusts which area of the template. Scroll down for details on how to adjust each area:

Template 8 Settings 1

#1 Header Image – this needs to be one image. In the template, several different photos were combined into one file for the header. If you have a photo editing program, you can combine several images in a similar way, or you could just use one image. A wide image that is not very tall works best. For this template, the header image needs to be 778 X 73 pixels.

#2 Welcome Paragraph – This is a place where you can use whatever text you would like to welcome users to your site. It’s a good place to introduce yourself, briefly summarize your research, or invite users to register on the site. The photo that accompanies the welcome paragraph will be a random image selected from the public images on your site and will change every time you load the page. You can use HTML in this area to add links, additional images, or other features. The “Create Copy In” is where you can create other versions of your welcome page in other languages. You can have as many versions as you have languages enabled. If you don’t speak other languages, you can just skip this and your welcome paragraph will always display in the language you use for the first version.

#3 Latest News This is an area where you can update it with any information you would like. It is something you would go in and write, kind of like a miniature blog. We recommend removing old entries so it doesn’t get too long and unwieldy.

#4-6 Name of your site – this is a title where the default is three words strung together with the middle word in a different color. You can change the wording to read anything you would like. If you only want two words, leave one box empty.

#7 Subtitle of your site – this goes underneath the name of your site, and you can make it say anything you want. We recommend a short and memorable tag line.

Scroll down farther and you’ll see the rest of the template options:

Template 2 options 8

#8 (and 11) Mom’s Side Label – This is the text that will display in the left sidebar. It could say “Mom’s Side” or you can change it to say a specific surname, the first name of the wife in the couple running the site, whatever works for you and your situation. Again, there is a “Create Copy In” area where you can make copies of this custom text for any different languages you want to use.

#9 (and 12) Mom’s Side Person ID – this is the ID of the person you want this particular link to go to when the link is clicked. Clicking this link will take the person to a pedigree chart beginning with this person.

#10 (and 13) Mom’s side tree ID – Enter the tree ID here. (You can find the tree ID by looking in the Admin area under “Trees”.) Some people have their whole site in one tree, some have set up multiple trees. Make sure you use the right tree.

# 11-13 are the same as the last three, but with the other side of the family.

#14-15 Side Names – These are subtitles for the different sides. You can use them however you want, but the most common use is to list the two most common surnames in that side. You can just leave these blank if you don’t want subtitles.

Last but certainly not least, do not forget to press the SAVE button before leaving the page!

Featured User: William Herndon

William Herndon has used TNG to put together a collection of information on the Herdon, Lindell, Bonnell and Fairbanks families. His site is located at Lindell-Herndon Genealogy.


His site is built on Template #8, which is included in TNG. William has modified the template a little by removing the box around the Latest News and Changing “Features” into “Starting Points”. We appreciate him keeping the “Contact Us” on the home page, as sometimes visitors to a site have a hard time identifying the site owner and try to contact Darrin instead!

Herndon Customized Photos

William has also changed the template by using his own images at the top instead of the stock images that come with the template. This adds a nice personal touch to the the site and is simple to do with the Administrative Interface. (Watch for a tutorial on how to do that later this week!)

Welcome to the TNG community, Wiliam. You’ve done a nice job with your site!

Featured User: Roger Moffat and WordPress Integration

Today’s featured user is Roger Moffat, who maintains a clean and user-friendly WordPress site with TNG integration using the free TNG WordPress Plug-in. Roger is a long-time TNG user who is always a friendly smiling face when he stops by our booth at the conferences where we are exhibiting our product. You can view Roger’s Site at His home page is a traditional blog, where he occasionally shares about his life, his own genealogy, and important things to know in the genealogy world.
If you click on the tab at the top that says “genealogy” you will find his TNG work:


Roger has made a few tweaks to the software as it is running on his site. For example, he has the social media sharing buttons visible by default, while the software as-is has the buttons accessible through the small “Share” button for those who want to use them. The TNG WordPress Plug-in uses a dark blue color by default, and Roger has edited the CSS style sheet to get a lighter blue color to match the theme he is using for the rest of his site.

DownloadsRoger also offers several “mods” he has written to add functionality to TNG, available for free download, with the option of donating to Roger for his time in creating them. You can find these under the “downloads” tab.

Being the helpful kind of guy he is, Roger has written an excellent tutorial on the TNG Wiki on how to use the WordPress Plug-In. It can be a tricky process, so make sure that you read through the entire tutorial first, and then carefully complete the steps in the correct order.

Thank you, Roger, for being such a helpful and friendly member of the TNG community!

Featured Users: Familien Kracke

Screen shot of home pageTimo Kracke has put together a nice site where he uses the TNG WordPress Plugin to integrate his TNG site into his blog. Language Drop DownThe blog and site are primarily in German, but once in the TNG database portion, you can use the TNG languages feature to view the TNG information in any language the site administrator has allowed. Timo’s TNG site can easily be switched to viewing in English.
Using WordPress, Timo has included links to where he can be found on social networks, and an automatically updated Twitter feed.
He uses TNG functionality to have his WordPress home page display lists of events happening on this day in history, a list of surnames, and randomly chosen photos and documents.
On this Day
Home Page Display
Very nice work, Timo! Thank you for allowing us to share your TNG site.
If you are a TNG user with a public site, and would like to be featured on our blog, please send an email to – hope to hear from you soon!

Featured Users: Bush Family

Header from Bush Family Site
TNG User Chuck Bush has put together a nice example of how TNG and WordPress can run seamlessly side by side. When you land on his home page, what you see is a WordPress blog. He keeps the blog updated fairly regularly, and you can see what he is currently working on and what new discoveries he has made.
Click on the “Genealogy” tab and you’ll see that his TNG installation is nicely done and designed to look identical to his WordPress theme (which I suspect he did himself as well!) All the usual TNG functionality is there and the site is very visually pleasing.
Screen Shot of Bush Family TNG page
Chuck has also integrated discussion forums into his site, using another type of software for running forums. Other than the TNG and forums, everything you see on Chuck’s site is WordPress.
Chuck tells me he does not use the TNG WordPress Plugin, but has done the integration himself. Thank you, Chuck, for sharing your site with us!

TNG Stories: Siblings Reunited!

Your TNG Story

Today we introduce a new type of feature: TNG Stories. These are stories of how your TNG web site has helped your make friends, learn more about your family, and advance your family history work. We hope this is the first of many TNG Stories! We have one more in the pipeline, but we are always looking for more. If you have a TNG story you would like to share, please email with the details! And now, on to today’s incredible story, from TNG User Roger Mitchell:

Roger writes:

“Back in March, I was successful in bringing together 2 siblings that had been separated for 75 years!

A distant relative found my TNG website and contacted me regarding researching her family. I drove the 100 miles to visit the family and met this elderly lady who was clearly distressed. I discovered that the elderly lady (Rose) thought she had a brother but had no idea if he was still living or whether he was even in the UK.

I made it my goal to try and find out what happened to him and through my website and several other sources I was able to locate him. They were reunited at the BBC TV studios in Southampton, England and the story was broadcast on TV and Radio.

Some weeks after this event, I was contacted by TwoFour Ltd., (a film company) as they had been tasked by Genes Reunited to film the story for their YouTube channel.

Part 1 tells their story and part 2 tells mine. They are only a few minutes long. There is even a brief shot of my TNG website. So, in no small tribute to TNG, here are the 2 videos. I hope they bring cheer to all.”

You can see Roger’s TNG site here. Thank you Roger, for sharing your TNG Story. It definitely brought cheer to Darrin and I, and we hope it brings it to our readers, too!

Featured User Sites: Craxford Family

Craxton Genealogy Home Page
Alan Craxford has put together a magazine style site for the extended Craxford Family. This site looks like it is running a dozen different instances of TNG, but it is actually all one TNG database. The genealogy portion is one tree, and the yearbook portion is another.
The family area is divided into 9 “magazines” each specializing in one branch of the very large Craxford family. He has a very creative scheme where he has adapted the Template4 that comes with TNG to match the various color themes, and is using a customized template switching facility to handle the modifications for each branch. Each magazine section has its own color scheme, customized banner, and unique left menu.
Over a dozen associate editors handle the various magazines and the customized TNG user rights allow them to be able to curate their area with little help from the admin. The magazines are nicely content rich, with numerous articles, letters, editorials, photos, birth, marriage and death certificates, and census studies.

The high level of customization of TNG here is impressive, and the site is a wealth of information for those working on the Craxford lines and those that tie into it. The entire site is w3c validated.

Upgrading TNG

In this video, Darrin walks you through the process of upgrading TNG from version 7 to version 9. If you have another version you are upgrading from, the steps might be slightly different. 7 to 9 is a little tricky, and upgrades from 8 or 9.0 should be easier. If you are a new user doing a fresh install, you’ll want to follow this video tutorial instead.

TNG upgrade from v7 to v9 from Darrin Lythgoe on Vimeo.