Genealogy of the HOW family - originally of Kent, England
First Name:  Last Name: 
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Help - How to Navigate this Site

Click on any of the links below to go directly to the topic:

Getting Around      The Individual Record      Searching      Editing/Correcting

Media/Photos      Other Features      Acknowledgements

Please let me 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/use some of these features. Also, if you find any errors or want to make suggestions, you can learn how (see Editing/Correcting below).

IMPORTANT: Adobe Acrobat Reader software will be required on your PC to view certain documents (such as wills) on this site. You can download this free software by clicking this link and remember to un-tick the optional offers if you don't want them!.

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, brown links embedded on this page will open a second window (or tab); you can follow these steps in the new window/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/tab can also be used to explore the features discussed below.

Getting around the site:

On the home page you will see a menu down the left side giving links to the various sections of the site and links to my ancestors.

To begin, click on any menu link and you will notice that every page has the same banner across the top (like the one below - and at the top of this page). We will now look at what's is on this banner.

  • First Name and Last Name search boxes in the the very top right corner. Also there is an advanced search function and a Surname list feature. There is more info below about searching and in the Frequently Asked Questions pages.

  • A set of three icons directly under the page header on the left. The function of each icon link is quite straightforward:
    • Home - Takes you to the front page of the website.
    • Search - This is an alternative to the search mentioned just above and pops up a small search window with very similar abilities. See below for more about search.
    • Logout/Login - Logout of your session or Log back in. IMPORTANT: You can also register for full access to the website via the Login option.

  • In line with these on the right hand side of the header, you will see four drop down menus. If you hover the mouse (not click) you will see drop-down menus that give you a number of options to help navigate this site. These can be used to quickly access any area of the site:

    • Find - Various means of finding people, places, families cemeteries etc.
    • Media - Colletions of different types of media, including birth, death and marriage certificated
    • Info - Various bits of info such as Whats New on the site, statisitics for the site, reports etc
    • Help - This help page, the FAQ page and a few other helpful external genealogy websites.

  • Under these drop down menus you will see two or three more links:.
    • Print - Prints the page you are on to your printer without all the menu items.
    • Bookmark icon. This lets you keep a list of your favourite pages on this site (some pages only). NOTE: These are stored on your PC so if you use a different PC they will not be shown.

The Individual Record:

In the search box (top right side of the page), put "Peter" (without the quotes) in for the First Name and "HOW" (without the quotes) in for Last Name and press <Enter>.

This will give you a list of the results that were found to match. On this list, click on 1st Peter whose Person ID is "I00196" (Born 1789, Kemsing, Kent, England ). You are now at his 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 brown bar limit information to a specific category. Note that the personal information is divided into three sections -- the Individual selected, his/her Parents (if there are none shown that is usually because we don't know who they are) , and his/her Family (if any/known).

In the top most sections is the details about the individual, such as name, sex, birth date and place, died date and place etc.

In the Parents sections of the page, if you click on the person's parent's you go to go to that person's page.

In the Family sections of the page, the first name is the partner (wife, husband etc), followed by any children. As before if you click on the name you go to go to that person's page. A + to the left of a name (e.g. the child Peter HOW) means that person has descendants. Clicking on the + symbol to the left of the child's name will take you to their descendant chart. Click on the childs name to go to that child's page:

An Event Map should generally be visible. This shows the location of the main events in the life of the individual.

  • Click on the + and - (located near the bottom left corner of the map) to zoom in and out on the map.
  • You can grab the map with the mouse (hold down the mouse button) and move the map around.
  • You can also click the Satellite button in the top right corner of the map to view the map as a satellite picture with names.
  • Click the pin number on the map to get the description, date, and location of the event.

Now let's look at the 6 tabs next to the "Individual" tab: Ancestors, Descendants, Relationship, Timeline, Submit Photo/Doc, and Suggest Change.

1) Click on "Ancestors" and you will find a dynamic chart. The default view is Standard (4 generations, although only 3 are shown below to save space). 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 sheet for that person.

Notice that there are little orange 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 sheet. 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 clan click to show the ancestry from that individual. Also note that in the brown 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 brown bar there are a number of other Ancestor chart views available by clicking on 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 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 Ancestor display options to see what they offer.

2) The "Descendants"; tab gives you a listing of all descendants of this individual. The example below shows the descendants of Thomas How

The default view is the "Standard" view. This works in a very similar way as described for the Ancestors above.

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

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.

Just click on the "Find" button under "Person 2" and search for "Mildred How" (remember, last name on top). Select 'Marion Doreen Willcocks' (ID = I00004) and click "Calculate"

4) The "Timeline" tab allows you to view a list of important (and some not-so-important) events that occurred during his lifetime.

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.

5) The "Submit Photo/Doc" tab allows you to upload a photo or doc of yours that is relevant to the individual which then gets sent to me, so that I can evaluate it and add it to the tree. The identity of the individual you are referencing is automatically attached to the message when you use this tab.

6) The "Suggest Change" tab allows you to suggest any changes or additions and then automatically sends the information to me, so that I 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 Suggestion tab.

Search and Find

Where the people are ... There are four primary ways to get to the records of an individual. In the top right of every page you will see the search area:

  • Basic Name Searches: If you know who you are looking for, then you are already halfway there! Just use the Search box on the top right corner of the page by entering a name in the First Name and/or the Last Name boxes and click the little arrow to the right of them to start the search. You can also just put in part of a name and it will find any matches. e.g. J in the First Name box will find any people in the family tree with a first name beginning with J such as Jane, Justin, John etc.
    You will be shown all the records in the database that match your request.
  • Advanced Searches: If you need to be more specific in who or what you are looking for, use the "Advanced Search" feature also in the top right corner. There, you can specify several different criteria to search against, including birth and death information as well as spousal information. You can even search by event or place.
    You can also use other comparison operators such as "contains" and do birth/death year searches within + or - 5 years of a date etc. This is very powerful and allows for quite for quite complex searches.
  • Surname lists: Clicking on "Surnames" - 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.
  • Find drop down menu: Use the Find drop down menu to see a list of other ways of finding information such as families, places etc.


As described above, the "Suggest Change" 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 me. I 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 make such a suggestion.

For fairly obvious reasons I do not offer the facility for users to directly edit information in the tree. If you wish to tell or ask me something general, rather than related to a specific individual or family, then use the 'Contact Us' link in the 'Find' drop-down menu.

Media/Photos, etc.

Photographs and other media can be linked to individual and family records. As you see I have added quite a few photographs and other documents but would love to receive more from you.
The Submit Photo/Doc tab on every Individuals page allows you to upload a photo or doc of yours that is relevant to the individual which then gets sent to me, so that I can evaluate it and add it to the tree. The identity of the individual you are referencing is automatically attached to the message when using this tab.

Other Features

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

If you are a descendant or relative of anyone on this website, then don't forget to register and then login (use link above left) to get the full benefits and to view information on living relatives in your branch of the tree! I also maintain a list of Frequently Asked Questions that you may find useful.


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 Jerry Liebowitz, Eddy Belew, Bret Rumsey, and Graham Chamberlain, whose TNG genealogy websites' Help and FAQ pages inspired this page.