Well, that was fast!
Four days after announcing that this blog would take a speculative turn (read "stall") while I spent months on article links, linking pages to articles works!
It only took me about ten hours of coding and research to learn to use the XML parser, write the article and link schema, process typed transcriptions into a canonical XML form with appropriate RDBMS updates, and transform that into HTML when displaying a page. In fact, the most difficult part was adding support for WikiMedia-style square-brace links.
After implementing the article links, it only took 15 minutes of transcription to discover that automated linking is a MUST-DO feature, rather than the NICE-TO-HAVE priority I'd assigned it. It's miserable to type [[Sally Joseph Carr Brumfield|Josie]] every time Julia mentions the daughter-in-law who lives with her.