Gazlay Family History

FAQsFrequently Asked Questions

Website Display

Q: Some of the sections of your website pages show up with overlapping text, or with large spaces in between sections, or otherwise don’t display properly in my web browser. What’s wrong?
A: Our website has been tested using recent versions of the most popular web browsers, including Internet Explorer 7+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 5+, Google Chrome 5+, and Opera 10+. Especially if you are using Internet Explorer 6 or earlier, it is recommended that you upgrade your browser for security and compatibility reasons. We use the Tidy HTML Validator, an add-on to Mozilla Firefox, to validate all pages of our website.

Q: Are there any other browser-specific issues that may affect the appearance of your website?
A: Yes, a few. Here’s a summary of browser-specific issues:

  • Firefox: No known issues. Our website has been tested and optimized on Firefox, and we highly recommend using Firefox for viewing our website.
  • Internet Explorer: Versions before IE 9 will not display drop shadows or rounded corners of various elements on our website, so the appearance will be somewhat diminshed. IE 9 displays our website correctly.
  • Google Chrome: A white “flash” of the entire page background (called Flash of Unstyled Content, or FOUC) may be visible when clicking from one tab or person to another. This is a known issue with browsers that use the Webkit engine (specifically, Chrome and Safari). On Chrome, FOUC does not occur on every screen change, but it is distracting enough that we recommend using Firefox until Chrome corrects this problem.
  • Safari for Windows: A FOUC of the entire page background will be visible when clicking from one tab or person to another. This is a known issue with browsers that use the Webkit engine (specifically, Chrome and Safari). On Safari, FOUC occurs on every screen change, and it is extremely distracting. We recommend using Firefox until Safari corrects this problem.
  • Opera: No known issues.

Q: I have a Mac computer. Will your website display correctly in my browser?
A: We have not tested our website on a Mac computer. If you are viewing our website on a Mac, we would welcome your feedback on any issues. Please specify the browser and version you are using.

Q: Last time I visited your website the pages displayed correctly, but now some of the pages, sections, menu bars, etc., don’t display properly in my web browser. What’s wrong?
A: A website update probably made changes to the site’s appearance. To fix any display issues, click on Home and then click on the refresh button for your browser.

Family or Person Information

Q: Some of the information you have on me and/or my family is incomplete or inaccurate. How can we get it updated?
A: Please contact us with the updated information. See the Contact tab for how to contact us.

Q: I don’t want to be included in the website. How can I get the information removed?
A: It is our policy to not remove individuals or information already in the database. See our Terms/Privacy statement for more information.

Q: Why do you show different spellings of last names for members of the same or closely related families? (OR) Why is my relative’s or ancestor’s name spelled wrong?
A: As with nearly all surnames, spelling variations exist both in documents and as an individual’s personal preference. In some cases, individuals change their preferred spelling over time (or don’t care if their name is spelled differently on different documents). Even siblings can spell their surnames differently. Officials and recorders who register people’s names in both official and informal documents often spell the names differently than the person’s preference. This is particularly true when there is a language barrier between the official and the individual, such as during the mass immigrations around the turn of the 20th century. Studies have shown that these errors were and are unintentional, dispelling the myth that immigration officials deliberately “Americanized” people’s names. The fact is that it is often difficult to determine what the “correct” spelling is, if there is one, for an individual’s name. In our website, the individual’s preferred spelling is used when the preference is known. The same is done here with given names. The exception is that names listed in source citations use the spelling shown in the cited reference.

Q: Why do you show people in the Family and Descendants pages who are adopted by one or both parents? I thought that descendants were only blood relatives.
A: The Family page and the Descendants page indicate both birth parents and adoptive parents where known. Purists may argue that adopted children should not be included as descendants because they are not related by blood. However, we believe including adopted children is more consistent with the composition of actual family units, and especially considering that their progeny are legally and commonly regarded as descendants.


Q: Why do you show details (birth, marriage, etc.) for living individuals? I thought that could cause identity theft.
A: Our policy is to show information on all individuals (living or dead) except living individuals under 18 years of age. Birth, marriage and death information is public information, and family history/genealogy websites are not the source of information that results in identity theft. See our Terms/Privacy statement for more information.

Q: Why is my child’s birth date shown as “xxxx”?
A: Our policy is to not show birth dates for living individuals under 18 years of age. See our Terms/Privacy statement for more information.

Q: Does your site track my personal browsing information using cookies?
A: No, our website does not use cookies and does not track browsing information.


Q: The source citation for some birth information on your site states: “This is public information found at various people finding websites.” Where did that information come from?
A: Birth dates and places are public information (as are marriage and death dates and locations) and can come from a variety of sources, including newspaper announcements, social networking sites (such as FaceBook), criminal records, real estate records, and many others. There are many people finding websites that specialize in compiling both public and private information about people. These sites are often fee-based, although they usually provide a few basic public facts for free, including birth dates and city/state of past and current residence.

Q: I always heard that person xxx was the (father, mother, child, etc.) of yyy (or some other personal relationship or detail), but your website shows something different. Who is right?
A: We show the source citations for the information on the Family pages in order for users to independently validate the information. Conflicts in apparently credible documents can also exist, making it difficult to verify some facts with absolute certainty. We welcome additional details about our family members, even if the new details conflict with existing information. Citing the source of information (preferably from primary documents such as birth/marriage/death certificates, but also from secondary sources such as newspaper articles, family bibles, military records, etc., or even if it is only “according to family tradition”) enhances the credibility of the family history.

Q: Most facts on the Family pages of your website list one or more source citations, but some facts do not show any sources. Why?
A: The sources were not recorded for some of the data collected in the initial years of research (a classic amateur mistake), but the information is still believed to be correct. Users are encouraged to independently confirm the validity of all data. See our Terms/Privacy statement for more information.

Information Sharing

Q: Can I use the information from your Gazlay Family History website in my website, printed family history, family tree, etc.?
A: The Gazlay Family History website contains copyrighted material and other proprietary information including, but not limited to, text, photos, and graphics. The entire contents of this site are copyrighted as a collective work under the United States copyright laws and all rights are reserved. For those who wish to use this information for personal, noncommercial purposes, we ask only that you give credit by citing the page url address (http://...) that contains the information you are using, and/or the name and address of the main page of the website, e.g.:

    Gazlay Family History,

See our Terms/Privacy statement for more information.

Q: Can I get information from the Gazlay Family History website as a GEDCOM file?
A: No, we don’t do GEDCOM.


Q: I’m interested in the technology used to create the website and database, how can I learn more?
A: We describe the website and database design in the Technology section of the home page. The source files are available under the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. See the Contact tab for how to contact us.