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

Monday, November 12, 2012

Update on FamilySearch Community Trees

FamilySearch has a certain number of programs that fall into the experimental or tentative category. Some of these evolve into other programs or are combined with other programs, but some become what we know today as major contributions to the website. If you want to see a few of the developing programs, you can go to FamilySearch Labs. Some of the programs appear there and then disappear after a while. One entry has been there for quite a few years and it is sort-of in the category of permanently under development.

This is the FamilySearch program called Community Trees. This is a fabulously valuable website with practically no visibility in the genealogical community. We can only wonder why this program has not received more publicity?

What is Community Trees?
Essentially it is a focused collection of genealogical studies that concentrate on either a certain type of record, a certain geographic area or a certain time period and provide an exhaustive listing of every record found in the target study. For example, here is a list of the newest collections added to this website:
  • British Isles. Heraldic Baronage ( 6,973 people)
  • England. Yorkshire. Filey Community Tree ( 1,656 people)
  • French Polynesia. Northern Marquesas Islands ( 17,793 people)
  • Latin America. Rose Marie Hinton Collection (179,437 people)
  • Norway. Akershus. Aurskog Clerical District ( 18,158 people)
  • Norway. Oppland. Nordre Land Clerical District ( 25,444 people)
  • Norway. Oppland. Vestre Toten Clerical District ( 9,622 people)
  • United States. Tooele. Goshute Indians, 1776-1980 ( 1,103 people)
  • Wales. Cardiganshire. Llanewog Parish ( 7,091 people)
Here are the statistics for the past 90 days on this site:

Second Quarter 2012 changes and growth

  • Added 9 databases containing 267,277 people
  • Updated 12 Community Trees with replacements files (net change + 86,749 people)
  • Growth in 5 Community Trees from owner manual input (net change + 84 people)
  • Net change on the Community Trees website = + 354,110 people
  • Total record count on the Community Trees website = 8,192,737 people
  • Total number of Trees on the Community Trees website = 85
Because the site is so focused, you may or may not find anything of interest yet, but none-the-less, failing to review the records is a serious omission in your overall search for your ancestors. 

How would I know that this site was there or what it contained?
The answer to this question is simple. You would not. There are no links from the website except in the Research Wiki. You can read the Community Trees page here

This is a site that bears keeping in mind and reviewing from time to time. You will find that if your family happens to fall into any of the Trees or collections, you will have a hugely useful resource for research. 


  1. I just looked at these and they are an excellent source for Norwegian Bygdebok entries and I have Norwegian ancestors. I haven't found anything yet that I didn't already know, but much easier to use than trying to find the bygdeboks and getting them through interlibrary loan.

  2. I began using this site for English research c.1550-1700. It's brilliant! If Boyd's for example isn't always correct, it at least gives me a place to start.

  3. What a shame that the excellent Community trees for wale is now hidden within a global mass that is too complex for me to use!!!