Family Group Worksheet

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Ambox notice.png The Family Group Worksheet is a stand-alone add-on for TNG and is compatible with all recent versions. It consolidates all previous versions of the Family Group Worksheet add-on into a single package.



The form does not automatically enter data into the website's database -- the site administrator must merge the new data manually to prevent the risk of good data being overwritten by bad. The form is useful because it guides contributors to provide complete family information needed by the site.

Please note that LDS information can be included using the setup screen.

Family Group Worksheet
Summary Form for registered users to upload their related family groups.
Mod Updated 11 Sep 2019
Download link
Download stats View Stats
Author(s) Rick Bisbee
Homepage A Bisbee Family History
Mod Support Support for Family_Group_Worksheet
Contact Developer As above
Latest Mod v12.1.0.53
Min TNG V 10.1
Max TNG V 12+
Files modified
Related Mods

Major Revision

FGW current version is a major revision of the Family Group Worksheet intended to be compatible with both the latest and oldest working installations of TNG, and to reduce the amount of maintenance going forward with TNG and server upgrades. There probably aren't many functioning TNG sites older than TNGv10.1. That is mainly because the newer versions of PHP and MySQL have become mainstream and are no longer compatible with TNG versions prior to that.

Design Changes

There are some structural changes beginning with this version of the Family Group Worksheet. As always, to install it you unzipped the fgw folder and place it in your TNG root directory. You no longer have the option of putting the folder elsewhere. Then using TNG's custom menu hooks, you can define a menu item in your customconfig.php file pointing to the fgw/fgw.php file in the fgw folder.

Note that the FGW_Tabs_Mod still works.

For admins, the main page contains links to list the saved worksheets in the database, show a log with more useful information than in the past, and set site-wide preferences.

To get better integration into older sites, the Family Group Worksheet runs in it's own window within a TNG page. This helps keep the FGW code somewhat isolated from TNG and less prone to fail on older sites.


Mod Tested With TNG Versions
Ver 1010 all 1100 all 1200 all Tested PHP 5.6 - 7.3

*green: compatible   red: not compatible

See Multisite Testbed for information on how this mod is tested and managed.

Languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Revision History

Version Date Changes 11 Sep 2019
  • Log now uses language of the site administrator, not the visitor.
  • New setup *option* to suppress personal information from the FGW log.
  • Worksheet declaration of consent for site to store collected information.
  • Updated language support.
  • In-processing (busy) spinner moved to bottom of the page. 9 Sep 2019
  • Mainly an upgrade to the FGW log. See Visitor log image below.
  • Now shows geolocation of visitors.
  • Shows names of visiting bots and crawlers (where known).
  • Log lines gracefully degrade for readability on hand-held devices. 8 Sep 2019
  • TNG footer added to bottom of FGW pages.
  • FGW security code value missing '='. [FIXED]
  • FGW worksheet submissions checks were somewhat erratic. [FIXED]
  • FGW print icon pushing worksheet to the left on some templates. [FIXED]
  • FGW captcha image gets lost when switching languages on iPhone if not refreshed [PENDING - CAN'T DUPLICATE] 6 Sep 2019
  • The Worksheet would not scroll on iPad or iPhone. FIXED.
  • Worksheet overflowed margins on some templates. FIXED.
  • Bad pointer to login when user not registered. FIXED. 5 Sep 2019
  • Fixed bug preventing database table being created or removed 4 Sep 2019
  • Compatible with all TNG versions from v10.1 to present.
  • Uses html iframes.
  • Only one website link needed for admin access to all FGW resources.
  • Added utility to update very old worksheet table (keeping existing worksheets)
  • Added security to prevent script pages being opened from a URL.
  • Fixed bug communicating with older sites/servers using PHP 5.
  • Fixed bug locating config.php file when it resides in TNG root. 4 Aug 2019
  • Allows logged in admin to save empty worksheets for emailing to someone with request to complete it.
  • Provides admin ability to add/edit a saved worksheet title using the admin area.
  • Admin area provides a copyable link to insert in email with request to fill out a worksheet. 16 Apr 2019
  • Adds date updated to admin form (line 491)
  • Fixes TNG version number at bottom of page (was default: 12.0.0) 22 Jun 2018
  • Provides full path name for font files to php image processing routines. In some installations the font will not be found without it. Some consider this to be a PHP bug. 22 Jun 2018
  • fixes bug in help file routine that prevented display 7 Jun 2018
  • Fixes fatal error when run under PHP 7.0+ 18 Mar 2018
  • Fixes fatal error generated by the newest versions of MySQL/PHP
  • Fixed code to accommodate TNG v12 updated jQuery library
  • Directly inserted local js functions at bottom of fgw scripts 2 Jun 2018
  • Fixes fatal error generated by the newest versions of MySQL/PHP 20 Nov 2016
  • Fixed CSS borders around input fields
  • Fixed fatal error preventing setup.php from displaying 13 Jun 2016
  • Added missing setup label to language files for option to use FGW captcha 21 Mar 2016
  • minor spelling errors fixed 20 Mar 2016
  • small change to start file to make it compatible with TNGv11.0 15 Nov 2015
  • adds link to Worksheet Management panel to view submitted data in plain text for copy & paste to desktop programs.
  • fixes minor errors in language files. 25 Sep 2015
  • makes the fgw caption optional for those who might not have the GD image package installed
  • removes bad file name from log view script 24 Sep 2015
  • fixes errors when creating or removing fgw forms table 19 Sep 2015
  • fixes error in generating worksheets for children
  • fixes help screen crashes on some installations
  • internationalizes some hard coded phrases
  • updates Dutch language files and adds a help file
  • adds Italian language support -- needs to be tweaked 14 Sep 2015
  • fixes bug introduced in last version where config files in TNG root could not be accessed. No, Really! It's fixed. 14 Sep 2015
  • fixes bug preventing create/remove table ops
  • refactors TNG compatibility interface
  • fixes minor style issues 12 Sep 2015
  • fixes child worksheet propagation
  • fixes admin recognition problem with older versions of TNG
  • fixes jQuery conflict with litbox
  • fixes minor translation errors
  • fixes minor styling errors
  • enhances functionality of worksheet ops
  • shortens title to accommodate TNG templates
  • adds title to form
  • reorders location of parents relative to spouse
  • enlarges input fields 9 Sep 2015
  • adds simple captcha to worksheet 6 Sep 2015 Initial release for this version of a compact Family Group Worksheet.
  • usable with small devices
  • more styling options
  • ajax family updates eliminate leaving page
  • no changes to data table
  • backward compatible with previous versions of TNG and Family Group Worksheet

Screen Shots

The following shows how the form will appear with no language or styling customizations. It is perfectly usable out of the box. You should note that the FGW Admin links across the top of the worksheet only appear to an admin, or to an editor if you've given authority in the FGW setup. A normally logged in visitor would not see them.

Large screen



Small screen


Visitor log


Download Package

The download package contains a single folder -- fgw. Unzip and drop it as-is into your TNG root directory (nowhere else.) Navigate your browser to your site's URL/fgw/fgw.php. For example, will open a worksheet. If this is your first installation you will need to create a table in your TNG database. It's easy. On the Family Group Worksheet Setup page, choose a name for the table (or accept the default), then click on the button near the bottom and the table is created!


If you have a previous version installed as a mod please use TNG Mod Manager to remove it.

A previous version installed as an add-on can be renamed if you want to keep it as an archive. You must install FGW in your TNG root directory, the one with subroot.php file in it.

Removing the fgw folder uninstalls it from your system. Before removing it, you can use the setup page to remove (drop) the worksheets table. Do not remove the table if you are simply upgrading FGW.

Upgrading From An Old Version Of FGW

The very early versions of TNG (~2014) had a slightly different worksheet table structure. If you want to keep all your worksheets, you will need to update the table. In your browser navigate to your site, then add the following to your URL: /fgw/fgw_table_update.php. For example:

If you are not sure you need to update, you can run the utility anyway. If you are up to date, it will tell you and do nothing further. If not, it will update the table preserving your existing data.

If you don't care about keeping the old worksheets you can create the table anew in the FGW Setup.

Linking to the Worksheet

There are many locations on a TNG website where a link to the Family Group Worksheet may be placed. Because of the variety and modifications to TNG sites, it cannot be automated, but you can do it yourself. Refer to Add Links to TNG if you are not sure how to do it. The easiest way is to use TNG's menu hooks and your customconfig.php file. Custom Menu Hook.

Setting Functional and Styling Preferences

The setup page is where you specify the worksheet's behavior and colors. To get there from the worksheet, press the setup link just above the worksheet. These links are only available to logged in administrators and editors if the latter is permitted in the FGW setup. Editors, if authorized, will have access to everything except the setup page.

This is what you should see in your browser:



You can experiment by changing the colors in each category and see which elements on the form are affected. Blue, yellow, red and green work well. If you get completely off track, hit the "Restore Defaults" button at the bottom of the setup page to start over again. A fast way to do your testing is to edit user_config.php directly and look at the resulting form.

Colors are expressed either as predefined HTML colors -- red, blue, green -- or as CSS entities such as #990000 (shade of red). If you are not familiar with them, spend a few minutes with Google and research them.

Border styles are in standard CSS format: 1px solid red. To not show a border, set the 1 to 0, meaning that it will have no pixel width and therefore will not be visible.

Family Group Worksheet Options
Option Type What it does
User Log Text This is the name that will be used for the FGW activity log. Only a user's first appearance during the session is logged. Thereafter, we make a log entry every time he makes some kind of change to a worksheet.
Worksheet table Text This is the name you chose when you created a database table to store your worksheets. If you haven't yet created a table, it is the name that will be used.
Allow editors to manage worksheets Checkbox Normally only the admin has access to manage submitted worksheets. Checking this box allows anyone with editing privilege to manage them.
Display form only to logged in users Checkbox Checking this restricts access to logged in users. Unchecking it will make it available to all members of the general public, including spammers, to fill them out and submit them.
Always hide LDS events Checkbox If checked, LDS events will not be shown on the worksheet.
Trees Text Only trees listed will be allowed; if none are listed, all trees are permitted.
Bold data and labels Checkbox Checking this will make labels and data bold to better distinguish them against certain backgrounds.
Form heading color Text If a color is given it will override the template's page title color.
Form subheading color Text Choose the color for subheadings (e.g., Husband) on the form. If empty the template's default color is used.
Form background color Text Enter a color to change the worksheet's background color.
Form background image Text If you prefer, you can use an image as background.
Form border style Text Set/Change the style of the form's border. For example,1px dotted blue
Form label color Text Change the color of the Form's label text
Form text color Text Change the style of informational text on the form
Husband background color Text Add contrasting color background for the husband
Husband background image Text Use background image for the husband's section
Wife background color Text Add contrasting color background for the wife
Wife background image Text Use background image for the wife's section
Cell heading text color Text Color of the text in the field name label above formatted input field cells.
Cell heading background color Text Background for the field name label above each input field cell.
Cell border style Text Sets the style of the border around each formatted input cell
Input field background color Text Sets the background color of all text input fields
Input field text color Text Sets the text color for all text input
Notify message color Text Sets text color for notifications
Error message color Text Sets text color for error messages
Maximum user log lines Text Limits the size of the user log file
Alternate site email address Text Sets custom "From" email address for worksheet notifications to user
Alternate site/admin name Text Sets custom "From" name for worksheet notifications to user

Worksheet Management Panel


The administrator only needs the worksheet ID number (not the random key) to access it. The URL is fgw/fgw.php?id=6 to retrieve worksheet number 6. If you enter fgw/fgw.php?id=index, a page listing all the worksheets will be displayed, each accessible via a clickable link. There is no longer any need to create separate links for the listing or setup pages. They can all be reached by an administrator from the worksheet.

Anytime the site administrator views a submitted worksheet, it will have a worksheet management panel at the top showing the worksheet number and status: whether its data has been merged into the website and/or if it has been closed which means the original contributor can no longer come back and view or edit it, even using the worksheet id and key.

Underneath the title is a link to view the submitted data in plain text, allowing the administrator to copy and paste it into a desktop program, or print it directly from the browser.

The administrator or any editor, if that option is set, can change the status by checking the appropriate boxes and clicking the Update button below it. Family or husband and wife ID's are filled in from the submitted form. If persons or a family ID are not entered, the administrator can provide them after creating new TNG records. The advantage of coming back and saving them here is that worksheets can be searched by those ID numbers where it says "Get different worksheet."

You may search by worksheet id number, familyID or personID. The ID numbers must be correctly prefixed so the system will know what you are looking for; worksheet numbers do not have a prefix. If you hit the Find ID button without anything in the ID field, you will be taken to the list of worksheets to select one.

The final set of inputs are for navigating from worksheet to worksheet. This may be helpful if you are reviewing a series of sheets submitted together. The Navigation Filter can be set to limit the pool. For instance, if "pending" is selected, only a worksheet that has neither been merged nor closed will be returned when Next or Prev is pushed.

Invite Family Participation

An admin can invite someone to submit their family information using the Family Group Worksheet.

Beginning with version, an administrator can:

  • Fill in data you already know and save the worksheet.
  • When you save a worksheet no emails will be sent. You can fill in the submitter in the admin area before or after you've saved the worksheet if you want.
  • Access the worksheet using just its id number.
  • In the admin area edit the default title.
  • Copy the link for the worksheet to share via email.
  • Create an email that includes the worksheet link and your request to complete it.
  • Those using a link containing the access key do not have to be registered on your website to access the worksheet, edit and submit it.

URL and Links

Starting with FGW v12.1.046 you only need one url to access all the functionality of the Family Group Worksheet.

For purposes of illustration we will assume a TNG installation in the document root (public_html) of your site. In other words, your document root and TNG root are in the same location. Your main TNG installation is reached with a URL similar to this:

That brings up your home page because when a filename is not provided, index.php will be assumed.

Your What's New page is reached like this:

You must install the 'fgw folder in your root folder. Therefore, the URL everyone will require to reach it will be:


The latter link works because an index.php file in the fgw folder redirects the user to the fgw.php file as in example 1 above.

Turning A URL Into A Link

A URL works in your browser's address bar. But, to provide links on your home page or in a menu you will first need to create them. Fortunately it is very simple. The HTML code pattern is:

<a href="URL">LinkName</a>

<a> is a link tag that contains the URL to the target and text for the normally underlined link. Clicking on it takes the visitor to the target page.

So the link for your Family Group Worksheet might look like this:

<a href="">Submit Family</a>

It would result in a link that looks like this: Submit Family


Because of the amount of translated text and for ease of maintenance, Family Group Worksheet uses its own separate language files in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Family Group Worksheet languages are all located in the fgw folder and do not need to be copied to the TNG languages folders. Many of them were translated, at least in part, using Google Translate by a person who does not necessarily understand them. Any improvement would be much appreciated. Send me your text files for additional languages and I will incorporate them.

At the moment the only help files we have are in English. If help is not found in other languages, Family Group Worksheet defaults to an English version. As with the language files, your contribution of a help file in another supported languages will be appreciated and incorporated.


Family Group Worksheet was written by William Bisbee, Oct 2011 with invaluable contributions from:

Roger Mitchell, (Mitchell Family Online);

Douglas Couch, (Adkins - Horton Genealogy)

Graham Chamberlain, Chamberlain and Eidenbenz Genealogy -- provisional French, German and Spanish translations

Joop Giesendanner, (Oudheidkamer Oostzaan) -- Dutch translations

Bryan S. Larson, Our Family Histories -- addition of LDS fields

and the members of tngusers2


There is no warranty. Use the script at your own risk. It has been tested in all the TNG template styles without any particular problems.

TNG Sites using this mod

If you download and install this mod, please add your TNG site to the table below so we will know if it is worth maintaining.

URL User Note TNG-Version Mod-Version User-language
R G Strong Family Genealogy Russell Strong Public Site v12.0.2 v12.0.0.41 EN, FR, DE, NL
Chamberlain & Eidenbenz Genealogy Graham Chamberlain Public site v12.0.0 v12.0.0.36 EN, ES, NL, FR, DE
British 1820 Settlers to South Africa Paul Tanner-Tremaine Public site v10.1.1 v10.1.1.30 EN
Van den Heuvel wereldwijd Marco van den Heuvel Public site v10.1.1 v10.1.1.26a EN, DU, GE, FR
Bisbee Family Connection Rick Bisbee Mod Developer v10.1.2 v10.1.1.22 English
Brady Family Tree in Western Australia Darryl Brady Public site v10.1.1 v10.1.1.33 EN, DE
Hooley Family Links Rick Hooley Public/Private See Here See Here EN
Wyman Genealogy John Wyman Public Site v11.0.0 v10.1.1.32 EN
Mitchell Families Online Roger Mitchell As usual from Rick, a very professional and useful add-on! v10.1.2 v10.1.1.24 EN, SP, NL, D, SW
Gittens One-name Study Cliff Gittens This is a very handy add-on. v10.1.2 v10.1.1.24 EN
Our Family History Tor Lund Public site 12.1 NO, DK, EN, DE, FR
Kemp(e) Family History Andrew Kemp Very professional and useful add-on! see User:Kempons see User:Kempons EN
MOTYER Family Genealogy John Mark Motyer Public site see here see here EN, DE, RU
The Zausmer Forest Joyaa Antares Private Site v10.1.3 v10.1.1.33 EN
the Runkle project Steve Pritt Public Site v11.0.2 v10.1.1.33 EN
Bumbery-Wangler Bob Bumbery Public Site v11.1.2 v10.1.1.34 English
Our Family History John Hendee Public Site v12.0 v12.0.0.36 English
Nordic Ancestry Mogens C. Fenger Private Site v12.0.1 v12.0.0.36 DA, EN
German Finnish Ancestry John R. Schulte Private Site v12.0.1 v12.0.1 English
Cole / Tanner Family Tree David Cole Public/Private see here see here English
Racine d'Alsace J-Louis Valory Public/Private - T17 customized 12.0.2 FR
Our Family Histories Bryan S. Larson Public - T8 customized see here see here EN
MyMispoche (Mostly Jewish Genealogy) Carlton Brooks Public Site v12.0.1 v12.0.1 English