Roots & Vines

A Dynamic Genealogy Database

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How To Navigate The Site

The blue toolbar (above), which is available on every page, is the key to navigating the site.

This toolbar allows you to return to the homepage, perform a search, login or log out (if you are registered) and create a bookmark.

At the very top of each page, located in the blue header beside the website name, is a link to the three main families on this site. It is the pedigree of those families that I have traced.

Use the following buttons for an overview of how to use the site.

Profile Layout

This is the key page to find all the information for an individual. It will show you their vital information, ancestors and descendants, photographs, addresses, maps, court records, military records, etc.

The top of each profile contains a number of tabs: Individual, Family, Ancestors, etc. In turn, each tab will reveal a submenu.

The profile automatically opens on the first tab Individual and is set to show All.

Profile Image

Certain sections within the profile can be expanded to show more information (e.g. to save space the sections containing the names of siblings or children are collapsed). You can reveal all sections by clicking the Expand All link at the far right side of the blue bar.


Family Section

The Family tab will give a graphic representation of the immediate tree surrounding the person: their parents and siblings, the parents and siblings of their spouse (if applicable) and their children (if applicable).

Detailed Family Section

If a person has a triangle underneath their name you can expand it to view more descendants or ancestors (the arrow will point up or down to indicate which). If a person has a small grey square at their side it indicates 'another family' (an adoption, step-family, etc). Clicking that square will provide more information and reveal a link to allow you to open that data.

Group Sheet will display a tabled list of individuals in the immediate family. The table provides basic information for each person (birth, death, baptism, marriage, burial with links to their parents and family group).


Ancestor Section

The next two tabs, Ancestors and Descendants will display the four generation pedigree for that person (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc). The default display is Standard (meaning the tree is horizontal, you read it from the left to right).

The submenu allows you to manipulate how this information is displayed.

The first option on the submenu, Generations is automatically set to 4 but you can choose to view up to 8. Increasing the generations will cause the area the information is displayed in to expand and it can become difficult to read. This is where the other options become useful. Vertical displays the tree with ancestors at the top and the individual at the bottom. Compact, Box and Text are alternative versions of the Standard tree (i.e. horizontal).

Fan Chart

Ahnentafel is a way of displaying a pedigree in a compact text format without the need for lines and graphs. It is a very useful system unlike the next, highly visual, Fan system which is essentially a half circle divided into segments.

The Media link will display links to members of the family where at least one photo, history or other media item exists for the individual. Finally, the Map option will display a map indicating every location associated with the person or their family. It will also include information on what the event was; when it occurred and who was involved.


The next tab, Relationships is a calculator which will tell you exactly how two individuals are related.The first ID will automatically be that of the profile you are viewing. You will have the option to enter another person ID.

Relationship Calculator Relationship Calculator Results

Every person in the tree has a unique identification number which starts with the letter i, e.g. I120 is Michael Vines. You can find a Person ID in the top block of vital information on each Individual profile (the block of information starting with Gender).

The Relationship Calculator will also allow you to search for an individual by pressing the Find... button. You can widen or narrow the calculation by including a spouse, number of relationships and finally limit the number of generations to check (max. 15).

The results (pictured) will offer a graphic display of the tree with the exact relationship written at the bottom - as indicated by the red star.

Families are also given a number to identify them prefixed with the letter F, e.g. Michael Vines m. Joan Staunton and created the family F1. Michael's parents created the family F3 and Joan's parents created the family F24. A family consists of the parents and offspring, therefore as a parent Michael exists in two families. As a parent in F1 and as a child in F3.

Find Menu

This is a very quick way to pull up ALL information related to a person, place or topic.

Find Menu
  • Surnames: This automatically reveals the top 50 surnames listed by total individuals. There is also an option to show all surnames alphabetically or surnames that begin with a specific letter. Clicking on a surname will bring up a list of all individuals with that surname. You can then go into individual profiles.
  • First Names: The same as the Surname option.
  • Search People: This is an advanced search form for individuals. You can search based on a wide range of information - dates, years, places, genders, branches, events, details of their spouse, etc.
  • Search Families: An advanced search form for families. You can search by either parent, marriage details, divorce details, or residence.
  • Search Site: An option to have google search the entire site for you.
  • Places: A list of every locality found in the tree. You can view all locations, the largest localities based on the number of places recorded against it (e.g. England has 126 places; Wicklow has 39). There is also a Heat Map to represent where people can be found.
  • Dates: Search events by date. The page will automatically display events related to the current day and month. You can choose to filter specific events, months or years.
  • Calendar: This page displays certain events in a calendar format. Events that are not associated with a specific day but only to the month are noted at the bottom of the calendar. Events displayed include birthdays, death dates, christenings, burials and marriage.
  • Cemeteries: A record of all cemeteries and headstones recorded. Clicking on a location will open a map and (if available) photographs and transcriptions of headstones.
  • Bookmarks: If you use the Bookmark button located on the top right corner (also visible in the image) to record pages this is where you will find them. This list is limited to your current browser, while it is handy to use it is not recommended to keep a more permanent record.

Media Menu

Media Menu

Media refers to all the files attached to individuals and families in the tree. This might be a census report, a photograph, images of headstones, newspaper clippings, obituaries, court records, etc.

These files are given their own category and the Media Menu is a quick way to access all files in a certain category (e.g. all census reports, all marriage certificates, etc).


Info Menu

Info Menu

This menu is not so much useful but more an interesting way to view information. These are some of the more interesting pages:

  • What's New: All records updated in the last 30 days divided into individuals and families.
  • Most Wanted: A list of the people who I am struggling to locate. Please visit this page!
  • Place Map: An interactive map of every location recorded in the database.
  • Statistics: Find out which ancestor lived the longest, what our average lifespan is, how many males/females/families, etc.
  • Trees: This site contains one tree at the moment.
  • Branches: Sometimes, for admin purposes, it can be useful to divide the family into branches. If somebody registers an account it allows me the option to restrict their access to a specific branch.
  • Sources: All records should have a source attached (if one is missing please do let me know). This menu is a list of all of those sources. Clicking on a source will bring you to a new page will all the related information about that source (Full title, Publisher, Repository and the list of individuals or families linked to that source.
  • Repositories: A repository is a central place that stores information and data, such as The National Archives. Some Sources might be linked to Repositories. This is a list of the repositories that hold some of the data I have accessed.

This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding ©, v. 12.0.2, written by Darrin Lythgoe 2001-2020.

Maintained by Linda Vines.