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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Speculations on RootsTech 2013

I am wondering if RootsTech 2013 will be used by genealogy software developers, including to make some major or perhaps incremental announcements? for one, is overdue for changes to the Family Tree program. The "Release Notes" online date back to 15 November 2012 and the Reference Manual has had no update since 3 January 2013.

The one big change that hasn't been addressed at all by the other software developers is their direct support of the Family Tree program. Some of the existing software, such as Ancestral Quest, presently refer to the connection with as a "Family Tree" connection although the connection is really making changes to The real issue is the continued connection between and the newer Family Tree program. There are still a huge number of people using that have not noticed the announcements and postings on the program about Family Tree. With yet no official announcement from FamilySearch mandating a change over to Family Tree, many people are still using out of inertia and desire to avoid change.

FamilySearch may also take the opportunity of RootsTech 2013 to announce its FamilySearch Photos program that has been in Beta test for some time. There have been a number of recent incremental changes to the program, but it looks to me that it is not quite ready for a big time announcement. I also wonder if FamilySearch has the potential storage capacity and bandwidth available for a major increase in storing photos?

All these are speculations. I also wonder about Since its sale to a European investment group, there haven't been any substantial announcements or changes to the program. This is especially true of's purchase of That websites has yet to show any branding and I am guessing the two sites may continue to be operated as separate entities. Unfortunately, there also hasn't been a dramatic increase in the utility of the search engine. In searching for an ancestor is both easy to find and has records in a variety of databases, I find that gives only 10 suggested records out of thousands online and of those all but two are false positives. The same search on gives over a thousand records but unfortunately with about the same level of false positives. This occurs even when I put in a specific birth date. For example, I search for my Great-grandfather, Henry Martin Tanner, and put in his birth date of 1852 in California and get hundreds of responses for records after 1900 for Henry Tanner Moekler. When I change the search to look for Henry Martin Tanner in Arizona, I get Martin Henry Tanner in Utah. This happens even though has found more than a dozen historical records for Henry Martin Tanner from my family tree. Oh well.

Maybe, both and could get together and improve their search capabilities.

I assume that other genealogy companies will use RootsTech 2013 as a venue for making some kind of announcement, so I am prepared to feature those in blogs from the scene.


  1. It should make for an interesting Roots Tech 2013.

  2. Rootstech certainly provides a captive audience to share the news of new developments. I wonder who will seize the opportunity?

  3. Perhaps this thread would be of interest:

    1. It appears that the APIs for FamilySearch Family Tree have yet to be provided to the developers? It also appears that there is no firm date for cutting off the synchronization between NFS and FT.