Sunday, February 21, 2016

FamilySearch Apps - Kinpoint

I hope everyone has had a great weekend. I have been working with our local Family History Consultants trying to bring them up to speed on all of the information that I learned at RootsTech. That could take a few weeks since there was so much to learn there. I am continuing to research the many apps that are available on FamilySearch and this time I decided to write about Kinpoint.

Kinpoint has a free version and a paid version and has been described as a "fan chart on steroids" by some. The site searches the information from FamilySearch, providing you some clues on what to search for next and where you have missing information. When you log in it starts the display with you and then moves out from there. However, you can change that by double clicking on someone in your chart or by searching for a specific ancestor by name or PID# from FamilySearch.

There are several views that you can use to display the information from your tree. The Explore View shows a fan chart of your family. The free version displays a color coded fan chart which helps you see family relationships with grey areas indicating where there is missing information. For me, all of the grey areas indicated missing marriage information.

Exlpore View for Kinpoint (5 generations)

The paid version also gives you hints on problems, sources and matches. Problems are things such as timeline discrepancies, potential duplicates, etc, which you can clean up. Sources mark those items which have not been verified by an attached source. And the Matches information tells you how many record hints are available on FamilySearch for you to add to your research. The view I have above shows 5 generations however you can zoom to between 3 and 8 generations in a view or you can switch to a descendants view with 3 generations. The zoom, ancestral view, and descendant view controls are located in the upper left corner of the fan chart frame.

The left side of the screen shows the vital information for the selected person. There are also icons to bookmark, refresh, and edit the person in FamilySearch under the person's name. The right side area displays a summary of information from the chart, including countries of origin, family size, age, work and military service. Most of the items on the right, except the country of origin, are only available in the paid version.

The Family View shows a detailed view of three generations, the selected person and their spouse, their children, and the selected person's parents and siblings. This view includes the photographs from each person's Memories on FamilySearch. In this view you can select any of the listed people and see their details. The yellow dots below the person's name indicate items which need your attention. Also, if you notice the blue box in the upper right corner, you can add people directly to FamilySearch from this screen. When you click on the blue box that says Add Person the screen changes to ask where you want to add the person. You can add siblings, step siblings, spouses, parents, children, etc. Once you select where in the family the new person goes, the site walks you through adding the information. For some people, this might be a more understandable way to add family to their FamilyTree.

Family View for Kinpoint

The third screen view is the Memories View. This screen pulls all of the items that are attached to the person's Memories tab on FamilySearch. You can easily move between people and see what information has been attached to their Memories tab. Kinpoint even indicates how many items you expect to see before you visit the page. Selecting any of the photographs or documents results in a full screen view of that item.

Memories View for Kinpoint

The fourth screen view from Kinpoint is the Timeline View. This view provides a timeline, including important events in the person's life, along the right side of the screen. Events such as birth, marriage and death of members of the family are included in the timeline. Additionally, an interactive map is displayed with icons indicating each event. Icons are color coded for sex and there are different icons for each type of event.

Timeline View for Kinpoint

So, what do I think of this site? The basic free version provides you another way to visualize your research and indicates where you need to focus your research. It also allows you to add new family members and edit existing people in FamilySearch. The paid version ($4.99/month or $49.90/year) provides even more functionality by indicating where duplicates may exist, where sources are available, and a more detailed list of problems with the information in your tree. This interface may be easier for some people to understand and could easily replace their FamilySearch interface. One important note: the paid version can be accessed for free at your local Family History Center. All-in-all, I would recommend trying it out to see how it could help you improve your research.

I hope everyone has a good week and I will try to return soon with my next post.


Jana Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

Have a great weekend!

Grant Davis said...

Very interesting website!
Maybe we should follow each other's blog