When there are so many books in the world, so many handwritten notes, so many libraries full of genealogical information, photos, and family history, why bother to build a website? The most obvious reason, of course, is accessibility! You can explore and improve Our Family anytime, day or night, from wherever you are. Another important reason, and the topic of this page, is the wonderful ability of computers to organize and parse information. Our Family makes it easy to see relationships among people, list their descendants, list their ancestors, and keep track of dates and anniversaries. Here's how.
How are all these people related to you, anyway? How are they related to each other? Our Family will tell you—just click the Relationship tab on any individual's page.
Then use the Find… button to choose a second individual, and click Calculate. You'll see a diagram relating the two individuals. For example, Robert Alexander, born 1710, earned a Masters degree in Edinburg before founding a boys' school in rural Virginia that eventually evolved to become Washington and Lee University. He is related to Roscoe Bolar Stephenson, Sr, who attended W&L about 200 years later. Our Family can show you what relatives connect them.
As I write, Thomas Bouldin, born 1523, is the earliest individual logged in Our Family. (To find out if that's still true, visit the statistics page.) You can see his descendants by clicking the Descendants tab on his page. By default, the software will show you all descendants for four generations, but you can choose to see as few as one generation or as many as twelve using the pop-up menu. (Thomas Bouldin is actually thirteen or more generations distant from his living descendants listed on Our Family.)
Everyone who studies genealogy begins, I think, with a longing to know more about her own ancestors. Our Family can quickly show you the ancestors of any individual—just click the Ancestors tab. A pop-up menu allows you to choose how many generations of ancestors to see. For example, you can see the ancestors of William Haynes Kelley, Sr.
You've probably already noticed that the Our Family homepage shows all the events that happened in the past on today's date. (If you haven't logged in, living people are not included; see Logging in & Why.) You can see the same kind of list for any day, month, or year you like by using the Dates & Anniversaries page, accessible via one of the many links around the site, including one from the homepage. Once you get there, enter the information that interests you and click Search.