Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Family Tree from is a late entry into the online family tree business. This is evidenced by the continued development of crucial features for such a tree to operate in today's complex online world. Nonetheless, has been diligently working on developing a world-class family tree. In a recent blog post entitled "Findmypast's new and improved family tree," they explained:
For the last 18 months Findmypast have been working hard to build a new Family Tree builder that is clear and simple to use, but also includes advanced features for more experienced genealogists. But more importantly, your tree is FREE to create and keep, no matter what the size, no matter how many images you want to attach, and also regardless of whether or not you have a subscription.
 This position contrasts with some of the online family tree programs in some of these respects. As explains from the blog post:
We have a number of features in the pipeline, including hints and record merging, sharing your tree with family and friends, and much more. But to kick off the birthday celebrations, we have given the tree a new lick of paint. This new look has been carefully designed to make it clearer and more colourful. 
We hope you like the fresh new look, and hope you enjoy building your family history with the Findmypast Family Tree.
They certainly have a wide selection of online family tree examples to work from. Presently, all three of the other major online genealogy programs,, and have extensive "record hint" systems with ways to click and attach source documents directly to the individuals and families in their online family trees.'s Family Tree is also completely free, but is a wiki-based tree and can be entirely edited by all registered users. Some genealogists see this as a very positive feature, while others are more ownership-oriented and want control of their own family tree. Both and offer individually controlled family trees, but also have a fee-based orientation. The crucial feature with each of these three programs has been the degree of accuracy of their source hints. Led by's Record Match and Record Detective technologies, all three of the large genealogy programs have progressed rapidly in their development of automated or semi-automated search and record retrieval functions. It will be interesting to see how implements this type of feature.

There are several other issues that are apparent from the current lineup of these huge online genealogy companies. Probably the most important issue world-wide is the ability to search records from more than just a handful of countries. Presently, all of these companies are focused in Western Europe and countries settled by or dominated by Europeans, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. has the most diverse offering of records, but most of those records are available only as images or are still languishing in microfilm format. The changes are coming very quickly and it is a very lively and interesting time to be involved in genealogy.

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