How To Use This Site

Q: How do I find who I am looking for?

There are a number of ways, but the search function provides the most straightforward method. When using the basic Search function, you should enter a person's "correct" first name and not a nickname. For "Last Name", input the maiden name of a married woman. The advanced search form allows you to enter other information about the individual you're looking for and presents you with a list of possible matches from the database. You can specify several different criteria to search against, including birth and death information as well as spousal information. This is how to search for a woman when you know only her married name (use the "Spouse's Last Name" field). You can even search by event or place. You might also want to try looking at Surnames in the database, if you don't have a clear picture of who you're looking for.

Q. How do I find an individual's ancestors?

Once you locate an individual, the easiest method is to press the Ancestors tab. This will show you a graphical display of both the paternal and maternal ancestors. By default the chart displays four generations, although this can be increased accordingly (just remember the page will get increasingly wider).

Once you have the ancestor chart displayed, you can click on any orange arrows located at the far right ancestor if you need to see additional ancestors. You will notice that there are little red arrows pointing down beneath many of the boxes. If you hover your mouse over the arrow (not click!) a mini-group sheet for that person will open. And, you can click on the names in that sheet to go to their individual entry. Clicking on the icon will show the ancestry starting from the next generation below. (You must choose the individual whose ancestry you want.) Wherever you see the pedigree icon, you clan click to show the ancestry for that individual.There are a number of formats for you to choose from -- Standard (the default, with photos), Compact (without photos), Box (birth, marriage, death information, but no photos), Text (no boxes), and Media (list of ancestors indicating which have photos or other media attached)--to display ancestors. Try clicking on the various options and see which one works best for you.

Q. What if I want to see an individual's descendants?

The tab marked Descendants can be used to display the descendants of an individual. There are a several different formats in which descendants can be displayed. You can switch between the Standard (a traditional "tree" with photos), Compact (without photos), Text (a descendants "drop chart"), and Register (a list of generations in tabular form), to display the information the way that works best for you.

Q. Can descendants be shown in a graphical format?

Yes, You can click on the "Standard" view and see all of the descendants (with photos), or you can go to the "Text" view and view a specific branch of descendants (with photos) from the selected ancestor by clicking on the descendant icon next to the descendant you wish to display. This chart view 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.

Q. Is there a way to tell if two individuals are related?

Yes, the Relationship tab will show a graphic display of all the people between two relatives. To use this function, locate the first individual and then press the Relationship tab. Then use the find button to locate the second person to be displayed. Once you have the two people selected click the calculate button to display their relationship.

Q. The Timeline function looks interesting, what is it?

A timeline is displayed for an individual when the Timeline tab is clicked. The time line shows important events (and some not-so-important events) in history that occurred during the life of an individual or a group of individuals. It gives you a unique perspective to see what was going on in the world during the lives of our ancestors. For easier reading, change the number "500" in the "Chart Width" box to "1000". This will extend the timeline so that data entries can be more easily read.

Q. If I see a mistake in the information presented can I correct it?

The suggestion tab allows you to send corrections, updates, comments or any other information to me. Information on which individual you are referencing is automatically attached to the message when you make a suggestion using the Suggestion tab. I will take your suggestion, make any necessary adjustments, and add it to the database in the next web update cycle.

Q. Is there a way to print the display without all the headers and icons?

Yes, just click on the Print link locate above the control tabs. A format that is simplified for printing is presented and you can use the print function of you browser to print the page.

Q. Why can't I see all the information on a certain person?

We take great pains to protect the privacy of all living family members. Therefore some information for living individuals are "hidden." Registered users have access to this additional information for their branch of the family. If you are a family member, please register by clicking on the "Register for a User Account" link here or on the home page.

Q. What else is there on this site?

Obviously there is much more functionality on the website than this FAQ can cover. Feel free to poke around; you can't break anything. If you get lost within these pages, simply click on the "Home" button at the top of the page and that will bring you back to the beginning page of the database.

On the left-hand side of each page, you will notice a bar listing a wide variety of different types of information. Explore these categories. You'll find wills, land deeds, marriage licenses (under Documents), funeral memorials (also under Documents), photos, etc.

If you are a family member, don't forget to sign-up and then login to get the full benefits of the site and to view information on living relatives! (The site can remember your login for the future if you check the box that says "Stay logged in on this computer.")

Bill Christianson
20 Aug 2009