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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Relative Finder

Relative Finder is a beta test program from the Brigham Young University (BYU) Family History Technology Lab that enables you to find relatives, famous or otherwise, from your Family Tree. These programs are not intended to be completed projects. They are works in progress. 

The Relative Finder program works well if your Family Tree ancestors are accurately displayed. There are presently some limitations in the way the people in Family Tree are handled due to it continued connection with the old program, As a result of these limitations in Family Tree, Relative Finder may not be as complete or accurate as it would otherwise be. As the program explains:
To get started, try finding some famous relatives. Use the 'relatives' page to select which groups of people to find people in. 
User created groups 
User defined groups let you find out how you're related to someone else. To learn how you are related to another person, you need to join a group they're in, or vice-versa. If neither of you have a group, try creating one. 
Currently, you have to set a password on your group, and whoever wants to join needs to know it. 
More options can be found on the "manage" groups page. The site's under heavy development and things will shift around as we add features.
As you can see, the program is under construction. But I thought it might be interesting to see how the program is developing. As explained above, the Relative Finder works from a category list such as this:

When I choose a category, the program will search for connections with anyone in Family Tree who is in that category:

I understand that many people get interested in genealogy because of their desire to have a "connection" with some famous person or another. Since most of my genealogy was researched long before I was born, I already had a pretty good idea that I had very few famous ancestors and no proven royalty (yet). My own claim is to be a descendant of the Mayflower passengers and a Revolutionary War veteran or two. 

I did find it interesting that the program did not find any of my documented LDS Pioneers, even my direct line ancestors. However, the problem may likely originate with Family Tree, because the merge function breaks down about the generation of the pioneers. This could also be a limitation of the beta version of the program due to a limited view of the entire Family Tree. 

It is fun program anyway and will undoubtedly evolve in the future.


  1. After playing with it for a few minutes, it seems to have problems with direct line ancestors (or doesn't display them?). I was shown as a cousin to Francis Cooke but not a direct descendant. It's an interesting project that hopefully improves over time.

  2. It will work better when the data in Family Tree is corrected.