Some rungs contain names of family members; the rest contain ordinary words. Every name is a well-known personal name, and every word is a valid Scrabble word (OSPD 4th ed.). Standard word ladder rules apply, including the fact that bungs (consecutive changes in the same position, such as FILL-KILL-BILL) are forbidden. "Adjacent" means that two rungs are immediately above or below each other.
Solving this requires logical reasoning involving the rules of word ladders as well as family relationships. Some outside general knowledge is required.