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

Friday, December 18, 2009

FamilySearch Community Trees -- a truly amazing innovation

Very recently FamilySearch on its FamilySearch Labs Website introduced a new concept to genealogical research and online databases, truly amazing Community Trees. This collection contains more than mere lists of individuals, it is the genealogy of entire communities. It is also far more than a lineage linked database. It is also free and available to anyone, whether or not they are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As explained on the Community Trees information page:
Community Trees are lineage-linked genealogies from specific time periods and geographic localities around the world. The information also includes the supporting sources. Most of the genealogies are joint projects between FamilySearch and others who live locally or have expertise in the area or records used to create the genealogies. Each Community Tree is a searchable database with views of individuals, families, ancestors and descendants, as well as printing options.

The scope of partner projects may be a small, grass roots village or township working together to form a family tree of all the known residents of its community for a given time period. Some are genealogical and historical societies working with FamilySearch to index several sources of data to link them to common, lineage-linked genealogies of a targeted geographic area of interest.

The scope could also be focused on a particular record set and locality. The goal may be to identify and reconstitute all families of a particular place from a village, county, or even a country. Many of the current projects were produced by FamilySearch's Family Reconstitution team and date back to the medieval times. One even has the audio of the oral genealogies attached.

This program is up and running on the FamilySearch Labs Website for places as diverse as Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Iceland, Norway the Pacific Islands and Peru. There are also several areas in the United States. As an example, try doing a Surname search from the Surname list, there are tens of thousands of individuals just in the top 30 surnames. By clicking on a name, you can search a list of individuals. Clicking on the individuals takes you to the family information with fully developed family group records. By clicking on a magnifying glass next to a geographic location, you get a list of all of the people in the database in that locality.

This is better than a census list, better than an index of any records, better than anything you have seen before. In my opinion, this is the biggest genealogical news in many years, even more impressive than New FamilySearch especially for research. The site contains photos, histories, sources, reports, cemeteries, headstones, statistics and surnames.

Here are the number of records from the top 10 largest localities in Community Trees:

1.England (55011)
2.Iceland (15616)
3.Wales (9521)
4.Scotland (8076)
5.France (6678)
6.Ireland (6376)
7.Norway (2670)
8.Prussia (2467)
9.Canada (1949)
10.Netherlands (1615)

This site is way cool.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good site to peruse on a snowy morning with a cup of coffee. Thank you.