Maintainers' Technical Guidance


Help and Guidance 2020: Draft: New Page: Version 1



What's here

This technical guidance for maintainers sets out

There are some technical details of the data and contents for

Finally for completeness you can still see  details of the transition to the initial implementation of Drupal (version 7) and the upgrade to version 8.

Related sections

There is general background for maintainers that focuses on issues related to content, and sources.

Implementing GENUKI through Drupal

Nodes and Pages

The web pages that you see as you navigate through GENUKI are dynamically produced by the Drupal Content Management System. Within the Drupal system they are described as nodes. It is the node that maintainers edit.

There are four main node types:

  • Place
  • Plain/Topic
  • Church
  • Gazetteer Entry

The key features of each and the main aspects of editing them are given in detail  in the Nodes and Pages section.

Maintainers view and options

Once you are logged in you will see a blue menu bar at the top of the window with your login name and other options. The detail of these options is explained here


Here is a Glossary of the main terms used throughout this guidance

Relationship between the GENUKI elements

You will see throughout the GENUKI site that there are references to three distinct elements:

  • GENUKI (which for clarity on occasions we descibe as  core GENUKI),
  • the Churches Database, and
  • the Gazetteer.

Historically these have grown up in parallel and have often had different maintainers in each area. With the transition to Drupal they are more superficially similar, including in the main approach to entry of new items and editing existing ones and in the use of a common approach to the presentation of maps. They therefore have both an independent role, notably in being capable of being searched separately, and a supportive role in which parts of core Genuk are dependent on the information in both the Churches Database and the Gazetteer.

The main functions of the three element are fairly self explanatory:

  • core GENUKI is based around the 4 level hierarchy of places and the list of topics. It contains the vast majority of the information organised around  topics in each place;.
  • the Churches Database shows entries for all churches (places of worship for any religion and defined by  the congregation rather than the physical building)  that have been identified and recorded so far. Some information about the church including pictures, the presence of cemeteries and key dates of founding or closure is usually recorded and information on any of the standard topics can be added about a church.
  • the main Gazetteer contains locational information (varying from the approximate to the precise) about named places, mainly towns and villages and the relationship of that place to the 4 level hierarchy (especially parishes). 

The key relationships are:

  • information under the Churches topic in a parish place page will be sourced from the Churches Database and automatically show a link in the standard view of that parish page.
  • all locational information in place pages (eg the reference under Maps topic) depends on the corresponding entry in the Gazetteer.
  • The "Nearby" links  in all three elements rely on the Gazetteer.

Searches of each element are separate. For Core GENUKI this is mostly generated from the central top box on all core pages. There are  separate start pages for the Churches Database and the Gazetteer. There is also access to a more detailed gazetteer of smaller places from the "Place Search"  link on many pages.

Using the main Drupal tools

These notes give more background to the functions that maintainers are most likely to use

Introduction to the WYSIWYG Editor

Drupal use an editor  called CKeditor 

Creating Tables

Editor Caveats



Search and Replace

Bulk Search and Replace

Support and tools

You can use the search box to find pages see [Link]

If you find a problem on pages that you do not maintain you can  click on the blue button, as visitors, do to report something to the maintainers of that page. If you encounter something odd with the system or find difficulty in getting some content to appear as you wish you can either send a message to the Maintainers' Group or if it is a well defined issue you can raise a Support Ticket.

Bulk Operations 7


Core GENUKI data

Create new page similar to the field lists for the other two

Working with the Churches Database

The Churches Database consists of the nodes within Drupal containing church details. These nodes are one of the four main types of Drupal nodes and have a range of fields specifically designed to hold the relevant information for churches.

A church should be thought of as being for the congregation, not a particular building and the emphasis in how to record them is on the sets of records that they might have created. If they start in one building but later move elsewhere, create just a single node as there will be one set of records. When they move out of a building and a different denomination take it over then there will be two separate nodes which used the same building. Where a building is shared by two denominations with their own services then again two nodes.

Older parish churches are likely to have graveyards and there is provision to show this. If there are "detached" distinct cemeteries on sites without regular services then they should  also be  recorded in "church" nodes, but as a separate node from that recording the location of the congregation.

Note that this means that a single location and/or a building or photograph thereof may appear more than once in the church database, as two or more different churches.

The history of churches cannot easily be captured simply in the data fields and there is scope for more descriptive notes to explain the history in more detail.

Further information about the detail of creating and editing  shows how each of the fields is best used

Founding and closing dates Quarry for general page

graveyards Quarry for general page

Church locations Quarry for general page

Working with the Gazetteer

The GENUKI Gazetteer covers the whole of England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. The gazetteer can be used to find the location of places, view online maps, and discover which GENUKI pages may contain information about that place and the genealogical resources which are available for it.
A gazetteer node contains location and other information such as placename aliases, place codes, etc, largely corresponding to that formerly held in a single row in the county csv files that were formerly used to rebuild the gazetteer database on a daily basis.

How the Gazetteer works

Creating and editing nodes

Gaz Development Combine with first item 

Glossary 7 duplicate already in technical

General structure of gazetteer (7) Update to 8 Move to Technical to parallel Churches
/org/help/guidance/visitors/gazuse Move to technical?