OFC Google Photos account for all members of the family

A special Google email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..has been setup to store family photos. You have been sent the password when you registered for the website. If you can't find it, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll resend.  Photos of older folks and ancestors are welcome. Some of you may have troves of photos that haven't been digitized and they need to be preserved for future geneations. 

The existing photos have been organized into "albums" are named by type of event (i.e. wedding), type of item (i.e. document) or source of photos (Esther's photos). Create a new album for the photos you uploaded and name it something relevant like "Claire's photo album" (see below on creating a new album). Once the photos are up at google, you can identify them per the instructions below  

Ourfamilycircle.org uses TNG (the Next Generation of Geneology Site-Building) to store and retrieve geneology data. Since TNG is separate software from the main site, it works a bit differently.

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 access the genealogy section.. Also, if you find any errors or want to make suggestions, you can learn how (see Editing/Correcting below).

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 links to the various sections of the site, links to K├Ąti's and Graham's ancestors, and a Search box on the right 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 Log back in.
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 - Info. These can be used to quickly access any area of the site. If you hover the mouse (not click) you will see drop-down menus that give you up to 24 options to help navigate this site.


The Individual Record:

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

This will give you a list of the results that were found to match. On this list, click on the name of the Ethel whose Person ID is "I23" (Born 29 July 1887, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, England, UK). You are now at 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 brown 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 Spouse and Children (if any).
In the Parents and Spouse/Partner sections of the page, if you hover the mouse pointer over the person's parent's or spouse's name you get a pop-up window previewing that person's parents, spouse and children; click on the name to go to that person's page. To the left of the parent's name there may be an 'up-arrow' (); hover over this to see a pop-up window detailing the person's father, mother, siblings and father's parents; click on the symbol to go to that parent's page. To the right of the parent's name there may be an 'right-arrow' () and a number, indicating the parent had more than one marriage:


Children are listed in the Spouse/Partner section and can indicate if the person has descendants (+) or if only a spouse ( ). Clicking on either of these symbols to the left of the child's name will take you to their descendant chart. If you hover the mouse pointer over the child's name you get a pop-up window previewing their parents, spouse and any children; click on the name to go to that child's page:


An Event Map may be visible; click on 'Click to Display' to display it if not. This shows the location of the main events in the life of the individual.


Click on the Event Number pin to 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 driving directions to or from this location.
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, or you can use the slider to control the zoom. 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 Satelite button 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.
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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 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 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 Ancestor 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.


The default view is 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 brown bar: Standard - a traditional "tree" with photos (where available), Compact - without photos, 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 "Marion Willcocks" (remember, last name on top). Select 'Marion Doreen Willcocks' (ID-I55) and click "Calculate"

 It is also possible to display the relationship of a default person to the one who's details are being displayed. The initial Default Person is assigned by the administrator for the Relationship Display which (when active) is located below the name/date on a person's page. If you are a registered member, just log in and then you will be assigned as the Default Person.


The Default Person can be changed to a different person by clicking 'Set As Default Person' in the icon menu on that person's page. Relationship results between the Default Person and the Current Subject are displayed after calculation. A relationship chart (like that illustrated above) may be viewed by clicking on the 'Relationship Chart' link. The relationship display may be turned off by clicking the icon at the left side of the display. The display can be turned on again by clicking 'Set As Default Person' in the icon menu. Also you can click the blue information icon for more help on using this feature.

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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 his 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 Suggestion tab.

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Search and Find

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

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.
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 side of the home page (surname on top!), 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 spousal 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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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 make send us such a 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.

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 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 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 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! 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 Jerry Liebowitz, Eddy Belew, Bret Rumsey, and Steve Winslow, whose TNG genealogy websites' Help pages inspired this page.

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Data Protection Policy

Data protection

The owners of this site take the protection of your personal data very seriously. We treat your personal data confidentially and in accordance with the statutory data protection regulations and this privacy policy.

The public can see the basic design of the site, but cannot access most content without registering on the site. However all genealogy information requires an approved login and password. As opposed to public family trees on Ancestry or MyHeritage, this site keeps our private information private.  When personal information is requested (for example, name and email address on the contact form), this is given voluntarily. This data will not be passed on to third parties.

We point out that sending information over the Internet is subject to security issues. To prevent data from being accessed by third parties, access protected by at the web server as well as on the site,.


This website use cookies. Cookies do not harm your computer and do not contain viruses. Cookies perform important functions in the operation of this site. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer by your browser.

Most of the cookies we use are "session cookies". They are automatically deleted when you close your browser. Other cookies remain stored on your device until you delete them. These cookies allow us to recognize your browser the next time you visit and restore some of your preferences (such as your preferred language).

You can configure your browser settings so that you are informed about the setting of cookies and allow cookies only in certain cases. Disabling cookies may limit the functionality of this website.

Server log files

The provider of these pages automatically collects and stores information in server log files, which your browser transmits to us. These are:

  • Browser type and version
  • Operating system
  • Referrer URL
  • Host name of the accessing computer
  • IP address (anonymized)
  • Time of request

These data can not be assigned to specific persons. This data will not be merged with other data sources. We reserve the right to check this data retrospectively, if we become aware of specific indications for illegal use.

Contact form

If you send us inquiries via the contact form, your details from the inquiry form, including the contact details you provided there, will be stored in order to process the request and in case of follow-up questions. Of course, we will not pass on this data.

Right to information, cancellation, blocking

At any time you have the right to obtain information about your stored personal data, their origin and recipients and the purpose of any processing or transmission, along with a right to correct, block or delete this data. For further information on personal data you can contact us at any time.

The best way for the younger generation to gather family information is through interviews. An interview doesn't have to be formal, but having a tape recorder or video camera is very helpful for preserving memories. In our Zoom culture, just having a conversation over Zoom and setting the program to save the video may be the best and least painful way to get information. 

Memory is a funny thing. Sometimes an older relative can remember people and occurences in sequential order and create a complete narrative of the events. Other times, memories come in fragments, moving across time to combine in unexpected ways.  Sometimes an image can trigger a whole story and reveal details that may otherwise be missed. 

Capturing informal conversations has become much easier through technology. For example, my Android phone has the option to voice record and simultaneously produce a written transcript for saving. It can even listen to an existing recording and transcribe in real time. The quality of the transcription can vary widely, depending on the speed or accent of the speaker or background noise. 

Sample interview questions

 A. Parents and Family
  • When and where were you born?
  • Tell me about your parents or your family background
  • Where was your family originally from?
  • What did your parents do for a living? Did you contribute to the family income or help parents in their work in any way?
  • What was your parents' religious background? How was religion observed in your home?
  • What were your parents' political beliefs? What political organizations were they involved in?
  • What other relatives did you have contact with growing up?
  • What do you remember about your grandparents?
  • What stories did you hear about earlier ancestors whom you never knew?
  • How many children were in the family, and where were you in the line-up?
  • Describe what your siblings were like. Who were you closest to?
  • Describe the house you grew up in. Describe your room.
  • What were your family's economic circumstances? Do you remember any times when money was tight? Do you remember having to do without things you wanted or needed?
  • What were your duties around the house as a child? What were the other children's duties? How did duties break down by gender?
  • When did you learn to cook and who taught you? Were there any special family foods or recipes? Do you still make any traditional family foods?
  • What activities did the family do together?
  • What did you do on Hanukah? Thanksgiving? Birthdays? Other holidays?
B. Community You Grew Up In
  • Describe the community you grew up in.
  • Describe your neighborhood.
  • What's the largest town or city you remember visiting when you were young? Can you describe your impressions of it?
C. Early Schooling
  • What was school like for you? What did you like about it? What was hard about it for you?
  • Who were your friends at school?
  • Who were your favorite teachers?
  • Do you remember teasing or bullying of you or anyone else?

D. Friends and Interests

  • What did you do in your spare time?
  • Who were your friends and what did you do when you got together?
  • Did you have any hobbies?
  • Favorite stories? Favorite games or make-believe? Favorite toys?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
E. Changes in Family
  • How did your relationship with your parents change when you became a teenager?
  • If you had conflict with them, what was it over?

  • Did you have chores around the house? What were they?
B. School
  • What were your favorite subjects? Particular interests?
  • What were your least favorite subjects?
  • Did you have any memorable teachers? Describe their teaching style. How did they influence you?
  • Was it okay for girls to be smart at your school?
  • What were the different groups at your school? Which did you belong to? How do you think you were perceived by others?
  • Were you involved in any extracurricular activities? What were they?
  • What were your plans when you finished school? Education? Work?
  • What did your parents think of your plans? What did your friends think? What did your friends plan to do?
  • Did the boys and girls in the family have different plans/expectations?

C. Work

  • Did you have jobs during your teenage years? Doing what?
  • Did you contribute to the family income? If not, how did you spend your money?

D. Social Life and Outside Interests

  • Who were your friends? What did you do together? What individuals did you spend the most time with during this period?
  • Was your group of friends single-sex, or did it include both boys and girls?
  • At what age did you begin dating? What kinds of activities did you do on dates? Describe your first date.
  • What was your parents' advice/rules related to dating/contact with opposite sex? Did they give you a "birds and bees" lecture? Did you get teaching on this in church or school? What was it?
  • What were your peer group's norms with regard to dating and relationships with the opposite sex?
  • What were your hobbies/interests? What books did you read? What music did you listen to? What sports did you play? What crafts did you participate in?


III. Adulthood

A. Further Education

B. Work and Career

C. Marriage or Formation of Significant Relationships

  • When and where did you meet? What drew you to him/her?
  • When and how did you decide to move in together and/or marry?
  • What was originally the most difficult for you about being married/being in a relationship? What was most satisfying?
  • What advice would you give to someone today who was contemplating a serious relationship?

D. Children

  • Describe the birth of your children.
  • What were they each like when they were young? How have they changed or not changed?
  • What were their relationships with each other and with you like when they were young? Now?
  • What activities did the family do together?
  • What family traditions did you try to establish?
  • Does your family have any heirlooms or objects of sentimental value? What is their origin, and how have they been passed down?
  • What was most satisfying to you about raising children? What was most difficult?
  • What values did you try to raise your children with? How did you go about doing that?
  • What forms of discipline did you use and why?

IV. Overview and Evaluation

  • What has provided you the greatest satisfaction in life?
  • How would you say the world has changed since you were young?

Also, ask about historically significant events the family member lived through:

  • Was your family affected by the Depression?
  • Was your family affected by the Holocaust?
  • Did you or anyone close to you serve in a war? What do you remember of that experience?
  • If the family member is an immigrant or the child/grandchild of immigrants: what do you know of the country you or they came from? Why did you or they immigrate? How did you or they immigrate? What were some of your or their experiences and difficulties of beginning a life in a new country?
  • Do you remember your first contact with such significant inventions as radio, television, or a computer? When did your family first buy these items?

Your User Rights

When you register to use the site, your registration information is sent to the site administrator who has to approve the registration. Once approved, you'll be sent an email with your username and password and with the credentials you will need to login to the Our Family Circle accont at Google Photos. It may take a day or so for your registration to be approved. If you're in a hurry, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 570-213-7972 to get it approved immediately.

Registered users have customized permissions to change, add, or edit information.

You are allowed to

  • Add media (photos) See section about Google Photos to add images there.)
  • Submit edits for administrative review (People, Families and Sources only)
  • View information for living individuals
  • View information for private individuals
  • Download PDFs
  • Edit your own user profile and change password

Data Privacy

Clcick the link above to see how your data is protected.

Google Photos

A special Google account has been setup for Our Family Circle users. By using Google Photos, you can search all photos by an individual name, appearance (the algorithim identifies faces), event (i.e. weddings), and an incredible other options. Current and old photos can be uploaded to the account  or downloaded to your computer with the user name This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The password to the account is included in your welcome email and should remain private.

Alll the OFC photos David Kleiman collected over the years have been uploaded to this account and can be shown as a slideshow or downloaded for your personal use. Check out the Google Photos tutorial for more information.


Locate existing individuals by searching for all or part of the Person ID or Name. Searching with no options selected and no value in the search box will find all people in your database.

Your search criteria for this page will be remembered until you click the Reset button, which restores all default values and searches again.


The Action buttons next to each search result allow you to suggest edits or preview that result.  Use the Select All or Clear All buttons to toggle all select boxes at once.