22 March 2011

Tech Tuesday - FamilySearch Family Tree

NOTE: This Family Tree has not been released officially to the public yet. In order to view the family tree you may have to try a method listed in my "...Sneaking up on you?" post linked to below. One user reported not being able to access the tree with that method due to not having access to new.familysearch.org.
Those with new.familysearch.org access are currently able to access this tree.

On Sunday I stumbled upon the long awaited FamilySearch Family Tree when using the FamilySearch.org website.

You can read more about my experience Sunday in my post:
FamilySearch Family Tree: Sneaking up on us?
For screenshots of the new tree see my post:
FamilySearch Family Tree Leak!

In this post I provide you with some similar technologies to compare this new Family Tree with so you can better understand what is different about this new way of viewing a family tree.

This Family Tree is one big collaborative tree built on the submissions of FamilySearch users.
The technology is not entirely new in the world of genealogy. In fact some impressive ventures have already happened and died out trying to do this same thing.

OneWorldTree was one of the sites I remember using and then it was taken on by Ancestry.com and it changed a bit in navigation and editing ability. It no longer accepts direct submissions.
OneGreatFamily is another service designed to provide one big tree for everyone, but it is less popular than others, partly due to the immediate use of screens asking for payment.

Current successful family tree ventures include sites like
MyHeritage and Geni

More than these other services I would compare the FamilySearch Family Tree to the Ancestry.com Member Trees except the Ancestry trees are maintained separately and linked through "Member Connect" while the FamilySearch Family Tree is one big inseparable tree.
While I spend less time with the MyHeritage and Geni services I understand that they are like Ancestry.com's Member Trees in that they are separately maintained and can be linked to other trees.

Current features of FamilySearch Family Tree
  • Navigating the tree currently available at new.familysearch.org
  • Searching the tree currently available at new.familysearch.org
Some of the features to be added in the future
  • Discussing individuals on the tree
  • Adding sources
  • Adding photographs 1
  • Editing the Family Tree
  • LDS Account related services
This Family Tree has been in development for several years in the form of new.familysearch.org which has been available to select individuals in my area since late 2008. Officially it is still in beta on the new.familysearch.org system.

The goal at FamilySearch is to move the functionality of that beta system into the more user friendly "Family Tree" system at FamilySearch.org

For this Family Tree to do everything users want it to do we will have to learn patience. Keep in mind that this technology will replicate much of the best of several family tree sites while remaining entirely free. This takes time. For now, the public may wish to stick with some of the other services I mentioned.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1 comment:

  1. I am really looking forward to seeing this whole idea in full force. It is very exciting and seems to have great potential.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)


Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comments.