There are four trees on this site: Schuerman/Wood/Worden, France/Smith, Kavaloski-Phillips, and Phillips-Burgie. Each has genealogical information and files associated with individuals and families (photos, documents, histories).
On the left side of the site is the Site Menu. You can click on any of the entries in this menu. It begins with the four genealogical trees on the site: France/Smith, Schuerman/Wood/Worden, Kavaloski-Phillips, and Phillips-Burgie. Below that are entries for Photos, Documents, Histories, Sources, Headstones, and Reports. You may click on any of these entries to go to that area to access the relevant files (pictures, documents, etc.). At the moment, there are no entries in Reports.
There are several views available on this site:
1. The individual view, to see an individual, search using the search facility at the top right hand side. The individual view gives basic information about an individual, his or her parents, spouse, and children together with sources for this information and in the notes section may give information about the individual’s life. Clicking the tabs just below the individual’s name will reveal his or her Ancestors or Descendants. There is also a tab for Relationship which allows you to determine the relationship between this individual and any one else in the database. Unfortunately, as currently configured this option allows for determining relationships only within 15 generations. There is also a GEDCOM tab which allows you to download a GEDCOM file of ancestors or descendants of the individual.
2. Ancestors view. The ancestors of an individual can be seen by clicking on the Ancestors tab under the name on the individual view. From the Home Page, clicking on a tree in the left hand menu (France/Smith, Schuerman/Wood/Worden, Kavaloski-Phillips, or Phillips-Burgie) will bring you to the latest individual in that tree and show his/her ancestors. The default view is 4 generations, you can change that to up to 8 generations by clicking on the pull down menu next to “Generations”. There are several different ways you can look at ancestors provided by the tabs here: Standard, Vertical, Compact, Box, Text, Ahnentafel, and PDF. You should try each one of these looks. Two require some explanation:
a) Ahnentafel: an Ahnentafel listing of ancestors numbers the individuals as follows: the beginning individual is numbered 1, his/her father is 2, mother is 3, after that, each individual’s father is numbered two times the individual’s number, his/her mother is numbered two times plus one.
b) PDF: this provides for the download of a PDF file.
3. Descendants view. Click on the Descendants tab in the individual view. Again you can change the default view of 4 generations to up to 12 generations. And again there are several ways to look at descendants available from the tabs here: Standard, Compact, Text, Register, and PDF. Again, you should try each of these views. Register refers to the standard of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) for display of descendancy charts.
Conventions used in names in this database:
fitz, O', Mac are part of last name.
de, d', la, l', of, ap, ferch, mac are part of first name.
Various spellings of Sherburn are spelled in that way.
Harrington and Harington and earlier spellings are rendered as Harrington.
Hamerton (one m)
A note on sources: ideally, every fact in a genealogy should be sourced, that is, should be documented. No documentation is infallible (with the possible exception of DNA analysis, and even that is often ambiguous). However, the best documentation is an “original source,” a record made at the time of the event, such as a birth certificate, documentation of a legal action, etc. Autobiographies are often viewed as original sources, but obviously have errors. Many times, we use what I call “quasi-original” documents, that is, transcripts or translations of the original that are sometimes published. Of course, original and quasi-original sources may be in error, the scribe may have misunderstood verbal instructions, the transcriber of a medieval Latin text may have misread the document (most medieval original sources are in a form of Latin that is highly abbreviated, where the abbreviations are easily misunderstood or are ambiguous; and the handwriting is often very hard to read).
Secondary sources are anything other than original or quasi-original sources, including compilations, pedigrees, etc. that are often published and that may or may not be based on original sources. Secondary sources vary a great deal in quality. Good secondary sources provide documentation for most of the facts they give. An example of a usually reliable secondary source is Complete Peerage, a multi-volume account of the genealogy of British peerages. But errors have been found in Complete Peerage. Another important, usually reliable, secondary source is the Victoria County Histories, multi-volume sets for most of the counties of England tracing the descent of manors. The VCH was begun in the reign of Victoria and work continues on it today.
During the 17th Century a number of English “antiquaries” made transcriptions of ancient manuscripts that have since disappeared and we sometimes depend on these, but they must be considered secondary sources. (King Henry VIII ordered the destruction of the monasteries and in the process, many priceless manuscripts were destroyed.)
It should be noted that most of the genealogies found on websites like Rootsweb, genealogy.com, Ancestry.com, or the Mormon website, familysearch.org cannot be trusted. Anyone can post anything on these sites and most submissions lack documentation and many are merely compilations of other people’s databases. However, other material on familysearch.org and Ancestry.com can be quite useful, including their transcripts of original documents.
For some of the lines in my database (particularly the early Tempests) I have attempted to obtain original or quasi-original sources. But in many other cases, I have depended on secondary sources. One secondary source I have used extensively is genealogics.org, which however, needs to be used with caution. Another source is Wikipedia, also to be used with caution. Still another source is the medieval genealogy news group:
 A common quasi-original set of sources often used in medieval genealogy is “calendars” which are summaries of legal actions either in the original Latin or in English translations. Many of these have been published by the British government. They include actions by the crown (“letters patent” and “letters close”), inquisitions post mortem (inquiries into the lands held by deceased individuals to make sure that the crown continued to collect proper fees), and charters and other conveyances of land. These documents often included information on individuals and their families.