Research Tools

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Ambox notice.png This mod includes other websites in your page. These websites may change or stop working. Also the mod employs 'iframes' which may be depreciated and have different effects in different browsers. The placement of the popup should be customized in the mod options after installation.
TNG 12.0

Research Tools
Summary Adds tools for external searches or information relevant to the individual page
Mod Updated 16 Mar 2019
Download link for
TNG 12.0

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Author(s) A. S. DuPree
Homepage Research_Tools (this page)
Mod Support TNG Community Forums
Contact Developer [1]
Latest Mod
Max TNG V 12
Files modified
Related Mods
External sites can change at any moment. This mod connects but it is necessary to understand what it is doing.


Now with draggable and persistent popups

Bring the power of the web to your site.

The mod adds a customized set of links on the right hand side of the page as "Research Tools" or just a single link (i.e. Google) if you only choose one. In some ways this mod is similar to the Research_Link_ Mod.

Mod allows you to choose to display up to six links: Surnamedb, Wikipedia, Geni (or Geneanet if you choose a language other than English), Google, FamilySearch and "more links." Links will open the page in a popup window, and perform a search on the individual. Surnamedb just searches on the surname.


Which expands to this:


When link is opened a popup shows a webpage search with useful information pre-filled:

Here is a surname search on Surnamedb:


Or a simple Google search:


The bar on the top of the popup contains menu buttons to allow you to add in additional information or to restrict your search by adding quotes around names.

WARNING - Search engines change the method of their searches regularly. A dead link can cause your webpage to 'hang.' If this happens disable the link in the mod options. Also this mod employs iframes, something which should be avoided but are the only way I know to bring information like this onto the site. The research links mod will open links in a new tab and is a viable alternative.

  1. Familysearch requires login. So you need to login and then go back to find the page you were on. This is irritating and potentially confusing for public sites. It is thus set by default to only be visible to logged in users of a site.
  2. "More Links" is also set by default to user. It can add two links that you find and customize yourself. It is currently set to search the Cornwall OPC and FindMyPast, largely as a demonstration of its capacity.


This mod was developed by A.S. DuPree (a novice, happy for any help on improving it)


  • A working TNG installation.
  • An installed current version of the Mod Manager.


The mod is in Czech, English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. (thanks Bonnie, Katryne, Jurgen, Kare and Ron). It is easily customized for other languages.

  1. There is a language option in the mod manager to choose your language. This attempts on some sites to get the version in your language if available.
  2. . The text is revisable. Change the text between quotes below and place into your cust_text.php file in your language folders. Some links (Surnames for example) are English-dependent but you can choose not display them.)

$text['aboutsurname'] = "About Surname";
$text['onlinetree'] = "Geni";
$text['opennewtab'] = "Open in New Tab";
$text['surnameonly'] = "Surname only";
$text['placeonly'] = "Search place";
$text['morerestrict'] = "Restrict search";
$text['addspouse'] = "Add spouse(s)";
$text['addmother'] = "Add mother";
$text['addparents'] = "Add parents";
$text['wikisearch'] = "Wikipedia";
$text['treesearch'] = "Search an online tree for this person";
$text['internetsearch'] = "Do an internet search for this person";
$text['rightclick'] = "Right click link for new tab";
$text['familysearch'] = "Requires login. Will go to new page. Log in. Hit back button. Refresh. Does not work in all browsers";
$text['Research Tools'] = "Research Tools";

Automated Installation

  1. Download the zip file in the status area in the upper right.
  2. Extract the research_tools_V12.0.0.5.cfg to your mod folder.
  3. Note both the cfg file and the folder called "researchtools" need to be placed in the mod folder.
  4. Follow the normal automated installation for Mod Manager, as shown in the example Mod Manager - Installing Config Files .

Conflicts and Issues

This is an early version but all attempts have been made to minimize conflicts.
Other issues might emerge for dead links. And the familysearch link requires some trial and error as described above.

In the event of a problem with your TNG site

  1. Try using the Mod Manager to Remove the mod

Customizing a URL Search String

  1. Do a search on a site that you want
  2. Copy the whole url after you have searched
  3. Identify the query. It comes after the '?'
  4. Find the field names (generally before an = sign)
  5. Copy the appropriate variables below after the = sign
  6. Optional (get rid of unused stuff in the string - hint anywhere there is nothing after the =, you will see =&)

List of Variables
Paste exactly as provided
Website Language (two-letter format, i.e. 'en' for English) - {$ihlang}
Person's Surname - {$ihsurname}
Person's Firstname - {$ihfirstname}
Person's Birth Year - {$ihbirthyear}
Person's Birth Year Range - {$ihyrrange}
First year in range - ($b)
Last year in range - ($c)
Person's Spouses first names - {$ihspousenames}
Person's Mother: first - {$ihmfname} and second - {$ihmsname}
Person's Father -{$ihffname} and second - {$ihfsname}
The first section of the birth or christening place name ex Minneapolis - {$first_word}
The last section of the birth or christening place name ex Minnesota or United States - {$last_word}
(Note, you may have a lot in the middle of a place name; I take the beginning and end, as a tactic to get sufficient information for most searches...)

Once you have the complete string in the form of https//URLTOSEARCH?YOURSEARCHSTRING

  1. Try it out in the custom field in mod options. Copy the whole string - in to one of two customized link fields in the options in mod manager.
  2. Some websites do not allow embedding their site in another. All of them appreciate recognition. So add a new custom name for your link that that reflects the source.

Also feel free to copy your strings below this text so others can use them:

Customizations in Mod Manager

  1. Choose links/tools to display
  2. Placement of popup (width, height, left and top)
  3. Add one or two custom searchs -- if you dare!

Revision History

  1. v12.0.0.5a - No real difference. Just making amends for breaking tng standards on mods.
  2. v12.0.0.5 - This was a massive rewrite to make popups draggable and persistent (The popup will continue on to every individual page you go until you click it off). Czech and Spanish were added (thanks Ron). Java lines were trimmed significantly and draggable and touch capacities were included. Some testing on 12.1 beta of tng. Thanks to the forum for suggestions, testings and finding problems. Swedish now included (thanks Bonnie)
  3. v12.0.0.4 - (Feel free to skip if you have the last version installed, customized and you are happy with it. Adds a unique link just for customizations (leaving the online tree link to be used only for trees). No additional language customization is necessary. Also adds in Norwegian (thanks to Kare). I also set the tree search to only change to geneanet for French speakers. Geneanet is a subscription service like FamilySearch and one really needs to be logged into it before using the link.
  4. v12.0.0.3 - Fixes some internal variables. Adds German (thanks to Jurgen). Tinkers with popup settings to address odd displays in some browsers.
  5. v12.0.0.2 - Addresses a conflict with the Research Links Mod and some format issues.

Sites using this mod

If you download and install this mod, please add your TNG site to the table below:

URL User Note Mod-Version TNG-Version User-language
KingsThings website Garry King Public & Private 12.1 English A.S. DuPree Mod Developer 12.0.3 English
Roots & Relatives Remembered Ron Krzmarzick Public & Private See Here EN,DE,CS,ES
Genealogy of the van Heerden Family Emile van Heerden Public & Private 12.0.3 English
Lignées Revestoises Katryne Public & Private 12.2 FR
Racine d'Alsace J-Louis Valory Public- private - T17 customized 12.0.3 FR