Help - How to Navigate this Site

Click on any of the following links to go direct to the particular topic:


Editing and Correcting

Media, Photos, etc

Other Features


Please let us know if you have needed help on something not covered in this section or in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Welcome to our genealogy pages. This Help page will give you a short overview of how to get around and get the most out of our site. It will hopefully give you the basic navigation tools needed to make your visit both enjoyable and informative without a lot of difficulty. Please keep in mind that this section is in no way a complete how-to guide, and you may have to be a registered user and logged in (use link above left) to see or use some of these features. Also, if you find any errors or want to make suggestions, you can learn how (see Editing and Correcting below).

Many of us use one genealogical program or another and nearly all of them have a very graphical look to them. You can see your family group sheets, display charts, etc. This website is much the same except that, instead of it being on your computer, it is on the internet. This walk-through will introduce you to the primary functions of the site. The bold, blue links embedded on this page will open a second window (or tab); you can follow these steps in the new window (or tab) while referencing the steps here. In either case, the following link opens a new window (or tab) to our Home Page. Features of that page can be seen and the window (or tab) can also be used to explore the features discussed below.

Getting around the site

On the Home page you will see links to the various sections of the site, links to Rodney’s and Ruth’s ancestors and a Search box on the right-hand side of the page.

To begin, click on any link and you will notice that every page (like this one) contains a set of four icons directly under the page header. The function of each icon link is quite straightforward.

Home - Takes you to the front page of the website.
Search - Takes you to the Advanced Search screen (see below).
Print - Prints the page you are on to your printer without all the menu items.
Logout/Login - Logout of your session or Login.
Some pages also have the Add Bookmark icon. This lets you keep a list of your favorite pages on this site.

On the right-hand side of the header, you will see three drop-down menus: Find, Media and Info. These can be used to access quickly any area of the site. If you hover the mouse (not click) you will see drop-down menus that give you 24 or more options to help navigate this site.

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The Individual Record

In the search box (right-hand side of the Home page), type "Elizabeth" (without the quotes) for the First Name and "Button" (without the quotes) for the Last Name and click on the Search button.

This would normally give you a list of the results that were found to match and you would click on the name of the person you wanted. In this case there is only one Elizabeth BUTTON on the database so you are taken straight to her Individual Page, the header of which you see below.

Take a few minutes to orient yourself with the layout. This is the "core" display of the genealogy pages. The standard view shows all of the most pertinent Personal Information; the other views listed in the blue bar limit information to a specific category. Note that the Personal Information is divided into three sections – the Individual selected, his/her Parents, and his/her Family (Spouse and Children) (if any).

In the Parents section of the Personal Information page, click on the name to go to that person's Individual Record page.

The spouse and children are listed in the Family (Spouse and Children) section. Click on the name to go to that spouse or child's Individual Record page.

An Event Map may be available for the individual. Click on Load the map or the symbol to display it. This shows the location of the main events in the life of the individual.

The following Event Map is for Elizabeth BUTTON.

  • Click the Event Number pin on the map to get the description, date and location of the event.
  • Click on the Event Number pin to get directions to or from this location. Clicking on “Click to get directions” will open the map in a new window. If you are using FireFox, you can right click and open in a new tab rather than a new window. On the map in the separate window, you can get the directions.
  • Click on the Google Earth icon to view using the Google Earth desktop application once you have downloaded and installed the application on your desktop.
  • Use the + (plus) to zoom in on the map and the - (minus) to zoom out. If the Google Map server returns a message that no map is available at that zoom level, then you must zoom out in order to get the map to display.
  • You can also click the Satellite button to view the map as a satellite picture with names.

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Now let's look at the 5 tabs next to the Individual tab: Ancestors, Descendants, Relationship, Timeline, and Suggest.

NOTE: On the Individual, Ancestors and Descendants pages you have the option to create a report in PDF format for the information you are viewing. To make use of this option you will need to have installed Adobe Reader in order to view the report. If you don't already have it, you can download the (free) Adobe Reader software by clicking this link.

1) Click on " Ancestors" and you will find a dynamic chart. The default view is Standard (4 generations). (Note that each generation is shown in a slightly different shade, getting progressively lighter with each older generation.) Clicking on any of the names on the chart will take you to the Individual Record for that person.

Notice that there are little blue arrows pointing down beneath many of the boxes. If you hover your mouse over the arrow (not click!) a drop-down list for that person will open. You can click on a name in that sheet to take you to their Individual Record. Clicking on any icon will show the next generation above (ancestors); clicking on the icon will show the ancestry starting from the next generation below. Wherever you see the pedigree icon , you can click to show the ancestry from that individual. Also note that in the blue bar just above the chart, you can specify the number of Generations you want to display (beware that the page will get increasingly wider and longer, requiring more scrolling, as you increase the number of generations).

In the blue bar there are a number of other Ancestor chart views available by clicking on Vertical, Compact, Box, Text, Ahnentafel or Media. The latter displays both lines of parentage for any individual -- and lists that person's grand-parents, great-grandparents, and so on -- as far back as is known, based on the number of generations selected for the display. The icon that may be shown alongside a name in the Media display means that at least one photo, history or other media item exists for that individual. The Ahnentafel chart (also known as an ascendants table – see Wikipedia article on Ahnentafel for details.) lists all the generations in tabular form, complete with all children and birth, marriage, death, and burial details if known. Try clicking on each of the Ancestors display options to see what they offer.

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2) The Descendants tab gives you a listing of all descendants of this individual for the selected number of generations.

The default Descendants view is Standard, but Compact, Text and Register are also available. You can select the number of generations to display using the Generations drop-down menu in the blue bar.

The following is the Text view for the Descendants of Elizabeth BUTTON for 4 generations.

Look at the view provided above by the Text list, also known as a descendant drop chart. Notice that in many places there is a little white box with a minus sign in it. Click this box and that branch of this tree will collapse to this position. Try it! Also, once the descendants are displayed in this text format, you can show a graphic view (with photos) of a specific branch of descendants from that ancestor by clicking the descendant icon next to the descendant whose chart you wish to display. This chart includes the siblings of each ancestor. Thus, the younger the individual, the greater the number of generations in the chart; and the greater the number of siblings in a family, the wider the chart becomes.

Try clicking on the other types of Descendant charts, listed on the blue bar: Standard - a traditional "tree" with photos (where available), Compact - without photos and Register - a list of generations in tabular form, similar to Ahnentafel.

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3) The Relationships tab allows you to generate a box chart to show the relationship between this individual and any other person in your tree.

In the example below, we are seeking the relationship between Mercy PIPER b.1826 (Person 1) and John BUTTON b.1756 (Person 2). If you don’t know the person’s ID number, just click on the Find button.

Now to find the relationship between these two people, just click on the Calculate button and you will be presented with the following result.

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4) The Timeline tab allows you to view a list of important (and some not so important) events that occurred during the individual’s lifetime. Hovering over the timeline with your cursor will reveal that individual's personal events (birth, marriage, births of children, death).

Timelines for up to four other people can be added to the page to show the timeline relationship between this person and the others.

You can also populate a timeline by finding any 2-4 individuals manually and thereby compare them across the ages. This gives you a unique perspective to see what was going on in the world during the lives of our ancestors.

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5) The Suggest tab allows you to suggest any changes or additions and then automatically sends the information to us, so that we can evaluate your suggestion and add it to the database. The identity of the individual you are referencing is automatically attached to the message when you make a suggestion using the Suggest tab.

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Where the people are ...

There are three primary ways to get to the records of an individual.

  • Clicking on Surnames which can be found on the top right-hand side of the Home page or in the Find drop-down menu under the header on other pages. This will give you the master listing of surnames in the database and allow you to drill-down by surname, which will give you a list of people to choose from. Click on Show all surnames to get an alphabetical listing of all surnames in the database.
  • Searching for a name in the database. If you know who you are looking for, then you are already halfway there! Just use the Search box on the right-hand-side of the Home page (surname on the bottom!), and you will be shown all the records in the database that match your request. If you need to be more specific in who or what you are looking for, use the Advanced Search feature on the Home page or by clicking on the search icon in the upper left-hand corner of every page. There, you can specify several different criteria to search against, including birth and death information as well as spouse information. You can even search by event or place.
  • Married Name: To search for a woman when you know only her married name, either
    (a) use the Spouse's Last Name field with Gender set as 'Female', which will give you a list of all women married to men with the family name stated, or
    (b) if you also know her first name, click on the Search Families link and then you will be able to enter both the husband/partner's name and her first name.

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Editing and Correcting

As described above, the Suggest tab allows you to suggest any changes or additions (corrections, updates, comments), or any other information about a specific individual or family record; it then automatically sends the information to us. We will evaluate your suggestion and add it to the database if appropriate. The identity of the individual or family you are referencing is automatically attached to the message when you send us your suggestion.

As the master copy of our database is maintained offline, we do not offer the facility for users to directly edit information. If you wish to tell or ask us something general, rather than related to a specific individual or family, then use the 'Contact Us' link in the Find drop-down menu.

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Media, Photos, etc.

Photographs and other media can be linked to individual and family records. We have added some photographs but have a lot more yet to categorise and add to the database. We would very much like to hear from you if you are able to provide photos or other media showing or relevant to anyone in the database. Please let us know if you can offer anything.

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Other Features

There is much more functionality on the website, but this walk through should provide a basic introduction to the system. Feel free to poke around; you can't break it. But if you find anything wrong or page errors, please let us know so we can fix it!

If you are a descendant or relative of anyone on this website, then don't forget to sign-up.

Once registered you can then login (use Login link in the top left-hand corner of pages) to get the full benefits and to view information on living relatives!

We also maintain a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you may find useful.

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This entire website is made possible by the excellent TNG (The Next Generation) software from Darrin Lythgoe. Visit Darrin's website for more information.

Thanks and appreciation are due to Graham Chamberlain whose TNG genealogy website’s Help pages inspired this page and to Alissa BURTON for setting it up.

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