GENUKI is 21 Years Old and is Making Major Changes

The following was written by the folks at the UK & Ireland Genealogical Information Service:

GenukiLogoIn March this year the GENUKI service turned 21. As part of its coming of age, GENUKI – the UK & Ireland Genealogical Information Service – is being given an extensive makeover, to provide a better experience for its end users and to make it easier for page maintainers to maintain and develop. In particular it should help us to recruit additional people to help maintain and develop GENUKI. (Hopefully we will be able to bring on board further people who know about family history even if they have little prior experience of web page creation, as a lot of the computer expertise that has to date been involved in maintaining GENUKI pages is removed from the maintainers’ task.).

This makeover involves the conversion of GENUKI to a Content Management System (CMS) based on Drupal. A CMS such as Drupal takes over responsibility for the management of a website’s data (the “information content”), and the look and feel of the website, leaving the website’s maintainers to concentrate on providing the website’s information content without the need to know the technical details of constructing and formatting web pages. This also makes it easier to ensure consistency of presentation of information, and – when so wished – to introduce site-wide changes and new facilities. What GENUKI users will see is greater consistency across the counties, supported by an improved search facility, whilst in the future we will have a framework that enables us to provide additional ways of presenting and viewing GENUKI’s data. Already we have been able to provide much more information for each of many thousands of parishes regarding (i) various kinds of maps showing the location of the parish, and (ii) sources of photographs related to the parish.

In addition to creating the new Drupal platform, this work requires the conversion of all of GENUKI’s original content from its former HTML page structure into Drupal nodes. So far some 90,000 pages have been converted, which has involved the creation of specialised software routines to first separate the data content from the underlying HTML, and then further separate the content itself into its individual topics, from which the new pages can then be reconstituted.

Conversion began in mid-2015, beginning with the pages at the UK and Ireland level, followed by those for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, together with a number of counties in each of these four countries. The many remaining county and parish pages are now being dealt with steadily, county by county, whilst ensuring that there is minimal disruption to our normal service. The current state of progress is shown in our Conversion Status page at http://www.genuki.org.uk/news/drupal/implementation/status. (This also shows which counties are in need of someone to take on the task of further expanding their information content.)

GENUKI’s address remains http://www.genuki.org.uk. During the transition, as users navigate around GENUKI they are able to move seamlessly between old and new style pages. Links to pages outside GENUKI are also now marked with a little icon – a small square and upward pointing arrow.

The conversion task is being carried out by a 5-person conversion team, led by Phil Stringer.

3 Comments

I have used GENUKI for several years and liked it. It has maps and other info pertaining to the names we would find in records vs the new names for counties – e.g. Westmorland no longer exists; it’s part of Cumbria. Yorkshire has been changed to North Riding, West Riding, East Riding.
When I first started trying to find info in Yorkshire from the late 1500s-early 1600s when one of my ancestral lines lived in Doncaster, I stumbled across old tax lists. Latin terms are used and I promptly had to look up ‘uxor’ (wife). While I can still find them on the original site, since I don’t suppose I’ll be able to do so in the “new” formats, if they even get transferred over (Why, oh, why do these people always fix what what wasn’t broken???), and can share them with other amateur-etymologists-by-way-of-genealogy-research, here are links:
Some of the Subsidy Rolls (Poll Tax) for the year 1379
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/Misc/SubsidyRolls/YKS/SubsidyRolls1379Index.html
Subsidy Rolls for the Ainsty Wapentake from the 16th Century (during the reign of King Henry VIII)
http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/Misc/SubsidyRolls/ARY/ARYSubsidyRolls1Index.html
I have spent MANY hours just reading the names on those tax rolls. Many names are clearly reflective of the Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlers (York was originally Jorvik, a Norse name – not all Vikings were ravaging berserkers; most were simple farmers who went a-viking after spring planting, returned before fall harvest, and later migrated to new lands where they could farm when their country of origin became over-populated; the eldest son inherited, so many Vikings were younger sons), and yet others can be traced back to the French names (they came with William the Conqueror in 1066 & thereafter). Some can be traced to people who migrated from Holland and the Low Countries (in connection with the wool trade and the manufacture of cloth). Other names are clearly derived from occupations, locations where people lived, personal or personality characteristics or reflective of the origin of a person or his/her country of birth, etc. If you love names, origins of names and the transition from one spelling to another, etc., you can get lost in these lists.
🙂

Liked by 1 person

    There’s no need to worry about your bookmarked URLs if they are on the main Genuki site. They should continue to work. The new URLs may change slightly but the system automatically redirects to the new one. Before we moved to the new system one of our criteria for the new software was the stability of the old URLs. For counties that are moving from other sites to the main http://www.genuki.org.uk site there will be less stability, but where we can we put in automatic redirects.

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Is someone actually proofreading everything to make sure none of the original content has been lost, or are they just giving it a quick eyeball test to see if it looks clean?

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