Osborne Origins

Help & Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Welcome to the Osborne Origins HELP and FAQ page. This page provides some explanation for the operation of the Osborne Origins website and provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers that hopefully will help you understand any problems you are having finding information on the website.

The first thing you should be aware of is that unlike 99% of other websites, Osborne Origins runs uses multiple browser windows. For reasons that will become clear later, this will actually help you find information on the website more quickly and in a more useful manner, but at first can certainly cause some confusion if you are not already familiar with websites that use multiple windows.

Why does Osborne Origins use three windows?

The information content at Osborne Origins is divided into two categories. The first category is the source records provided on the site. Osborne Origins provides transcripts of many biographies, Bible records, pensions, census records, etc. The second category is the family group information, linked from one family to another. It is very useful to be able to look at a family group in one window while looking at the source information for that family in another window. In order to navigate around the site, finding other source records or families, the third window is used to locate the source records or families of interest. In actuality, the main Osborne Origins window that you have when you first reach the site is the "third" window used to navigate around the site and bring up source records and family groups. When you click on a "source record" link in the Main (third) window, that source information page will be brought up in the "Source Records" window, not the Main window. If necessary, your browser will create a new window to use for the source records. Likewise, if you are in the "Linked Family Records" part of Osborne Origins, clicking on a "name" link will bring up in the "Family Records" window the family of which that person is part.

There is additional cross-linking in these two categories that can help you do additional research based on what you already have in the Source Records and Family Records windows. For instance, at the bottom of each family group, there is a list of notes which gives source information on where the data shown in the family group comes from. Many of these notes are links -- clicking on the link brings up the actual source information, but in the Source Records window. This allows you compare the information provided in the family group, with what that source record contains.

Likewise, if you are browsing through census records and find a person in the records with a note of the form "[#1234]", that can be a link family group information. Clicking on the link in the census records brings up the family group in the Family Records window. You can then compare the census record with the information contained in the family group.

OK, What is the Confusion Factor?

The unfortunate part of using multiple windows is that the various windows can cover each other and the BACK and FORWARD buttons of your browser might not do what you expect them to. Most unfortunate is that clicking on a link in one window that brings up records in another window (the "target") doesn't necessarily cause the other (the "target") window to be put on top! If the other (target) window is buried, your clicking on the link will not have an observable effect until you go unbury the other window.

What to do about this

The first thing to do is to keep in mind that there are multiple windows at the Osborne Origins website. Then, if clicking on a link or the Back or Forward browser buttons doesn't have the effect you are expecting, it is probably because what you want is in a window that is buried.

The second thing to do is to not run your browser windows "full screen". You should always see a little bit of your computer monitor's "desk top" and be able to move your browser windows by "grabbing" the bar at the top of the browser windows. If you can't move the window, you are probably running full screen. You can switch back and forth between full screen and not full screen by clicking on the middle button of the three small buttons in the upper right hand corner of the browser window. Once you know your window is not full screen, if necessary, shrink your browser window by "grabbing" the ride hand edge and pulling it left. Likewise, shorten the browser window by grabbing at the bottom edge and pulling up. Hopefully, this exposes more of your desktop, allowing you to see more of other browser windows.

The third thing to do is to be aware that when your browser opens a new window for the first time, it is very likely to put the new window exactly on top of the previous window. When this happens, the "Back" browser button will be "faint" and will not do anything. Partially expose the previous window by grabbing the bar at the top of the new window and moving it a bit.

The last thing to do is to remember that each window has an "icon" in the toolbar at the bottom of your computer screen. You can click on each and every one of these icons until you find the window you want. If clicking on an icon doesn't seem to do anything, then click on it a second time and that window will be brought to the "top" of all of the windows.

Good hunting for your relatives!