Project Guide

The primary goal of the Family Tree site is capturing the current, living family tree. I want to show my kids as much of the extended family as I can, complete with dates, places and photos. Ancestral information is of course interesting too, though to start I’m focused on current and recent generations. I’m happy to include any connection to us, even if quite distant.

Getting Started Link to heading

Once you’ve logged in, the easiest way to learn the application is to just explore. Try clicking on any of the charts, lists and reports. When you’re viewing a person or family, explore the links out from there. Don’t worry… you can’t break anything!

To start browsing, you can use the “Default Chart” or “My Individual Record” links to jump to yourself, or just use search from the top menu.

How you can help Link to heading

Beyond my closest relatives, the detail drops off considerably and I’d love to hear from you and update the tree with your family information. I’m most interested in the following:

  • Names and relationships of families
  • Birth/death dates
  • Photos. Having portraits in the tree makes it much more engaging. I’d also like to save historical photos and documents, especially for those who have passed. (Note: the photos I’ve added were probably grabbed from Facebook, and I’m happy to replace them with something you prefer.)
  • Locations of significant events

For privacy I will not add any individual contact information such as address, email, phone number etc. to the tree. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like removed.

Adding and updating information Link to heading

The easiest way to add or fix data is to contact me, from the messaging tool on the site, or any means (e.g. email). The data entry is very particular and I don’t think most folks want to deal with that. If you do want to be able to make updates directly and submit them for review (like editing Wikipedia), let me know and I can discuss how that works.

Site features Link to heading

Beyond the usual tree of boxes you might be thinking of for a family tree, there is a lot of capability in the site to richly capture and present information. Just a few examples of the sort of things you can do:

  • Log almost any type of event (birth, death, marriage, baptism, military service, residence changes, etc.).
  • Record places and dates for these events
  • Upload photos and attach them to any person, family or event
  • Maps of where people live
  • Graphs showing how two people are connected (i.e. figuring out all that “second cousin once removed” stuff no one can remember)
  • Date and age references throughout. I can easily see how old I was when my kids were born, or how old they were when we moved, for example.
  • Upcoming events (birthday, anniversary, etc.)
  • …and lots more

This is all should work fine in any browser and even from your phone. If you want to check out the capabilities without signing up, you can browse a demonstration site covering the British Royal Family.

Usage tips Link to heading

As mentioned, I encourage you to just roam around and try things on the site in order to learn it. But this app’s design is a bit unwieldy at first so here are a few tips and ideas:

  • When viewing an individual or family, be sure to check out the tabs too (e.g. places and media).
  • The Charts menus has the most interesting views.
  • “Pedigree” is the simplest way to see a typical family tree.
  • “Relationships” is fun and handy. Pick two individuals and see how they’re connected, including decoding complex cousin relationships.
  • “Lifespans” lays out when people lives relative to each other. To use this one, you add folks repeatedly (pressing Add each time), building it up.
  • “Place Hierarchy” from the List menus shows events on a map for things that have that information.
  • Finally, the My Page page is fully customizable. From the top menu: My pages > Customize this page. This is a good way to make a convenient home page of things you’re interested in or working on.

Let me know if you have any questions.