On Saturday night, Randy shared on his blog his experience trying to locate the 1,000th person in his database, and invited us all to do the same. Well, I thought, this should be easy enough. Well, I found them, but it was not as straightfoward as I thought! I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding as my software. I have more than 3300 people in the gedcom associated with my name (i have several other gedcoms too for different research projects)
TNG has a number of web-based forms that are used for data entry and reports. So, I went first to the webform for the administration of people. The form has a field to enter search criteria, and beneath that is a table of results.
I use this form all the time. But, just now realized that the column headers are not sortable and the order which people are listed by default is not by ID, it is by name.
Given the database backend of the software, the ID number of each person is included in the URL for that person’s page. For example, my great-grandfather, Barfield Koonce has a URL of http://www.taneya-kalonji.com/family/getperson.php?personID=I26&tree=1. You see in the URL that personID=I26 refers to his ID number in the database. So, I thought, let me just change that to personID=1000 and after doing so I got a broken URL message. Hmm… what’s up with that?
Since TNG does use a database, I then decided to go look at the database tables themselves. I use phpMyAdmin to administer my MySQL databases on my website, so I have a lot of flexibility for querying fields, running SQL queries and sorting data.
I went specifically to the table of people, limited the results to those in my main gedcom (tree=1) and then sorted by ID number. This is when I realized that the personID numbers skip around, there is no personID=1000. It goes from 973 to 1003. I’m not sure why, but let’s try something else. Let’s look at the 1,000th record in the list, regardless of perosnID.
That person is Vincent Hutchinson. Vincent is my 2nd cousin and is related to me on my maternal grandfather’s side. I’ve never met him, but I do have a picture of him. I don’t even have his birthdate/year. Looks like I need to contact his father again :-). Last time I spoke to his father was about two years ago.
That was certainly an exercise.