Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Online Family Trees — MyHeritage.com, Dynastree.com, GenesReunited.com

I have been using several family tree websites over the last couple months so I decided to discuss three of these sites in today’s blog. The first site is MyHeritage.com. This site is the product of a merger of MyHeritage and GenCircles. I really like some of the capabilities found on this site. First of all, it links to your photo albums on a variety of websites, including Picasa. I have been able to transfer family photo albums from my Picasa collection to this website with little effort. Additionally, this site has a real nice facial recognition program. It searches all of your uploaded photos, finds the faces and catalogs them. You can see all of the faces that the program thinks are the same person, unselect those that are not the same person, and enter the person's name as it appears in your tree. Once you enter the name of the person in the picture you will see the possible matches in your family tree and you can associate the pictures with the person in your tree. You can also move these tagged faces back to your Picasa, Facebook, Flickr or other photo site on the web. The tree view looks like your typical layout and is easy to move around in. If you used GenCircles in the past you will remember that SmartMatching was used to match your trees with the trees of other subscribers. This site keeps that capability and sends you periodic e-mails containing the links to other trees that have matches. You can also invite others to join you and collaborate on your family tree. Every time your friends and relatives add information you are notified so you can see how your tree is growing over time. 

Dynastree.com was previously known as ItsOurTree.com. This site is similar to MyHeritage.com in the way that it functions. This one is free to use but appears a little cartoonish in their layout. This site also allows you to upload your family pictures and match them with individuals in your tree but I haven't seen any facial recognition capabilities here. You can also invite friends to collaborate with you and help build your family tree. I know there have been several articles on this site in the last few weeks so you might want to check out the reviews by Dick Eastman http://tinyurl.com/6alyrs and Renee Zamora at http://tinyurl.com/67uv9a to see what they think of the site.

My wife has recently found what she considers to be one of her favorite genealogy sites. This site is called GenesReunited.com. They specialize in genealogies from the United Kingdom. This is a pay site so you have to make the conversion from pounds to dollars when you calculate the cost. She has had a great deal of success on this page finding other researchers who are working on her lines. She found a real interesting family line the other day and discovered that D. Todd Christofferson is a 3rd cousin on her Vickery line. She was happily surprised to find this link especially since she is a first generation convert to the church. Information is private unless you are invited to see the submitted trees. You can search the website for names and then request permission to see matches from the owner. Once you have permission to view the tree you can move it around on the screen to open up new generations. 

Now it’s time to search the web and climb your tree. Have a happy Thanksgiving and be sure to gather as much information from family for your research as you can (between bites and naps)!

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