Thursday, December 18, 2014

7 Genealogy Facebook Apps

By Thomas MacEntee

Facebook is a great tool for genealogy: You can keep in touch with family, share photos and even tap into free apps designed with family historians in mind.
Family history buffs have been flocking to Facebook recently -- and not just to reconnect with high school buddies or play FarmVille. The popular social media website is actually a great tool for genealogy: You can keep in touch with family, share photos and even tap into free apps designed with family historians in mind. The seven apps highlighted here can help you find resources and family connections. In addition to genealogy-focused options, look for other handy research helps, such as the WorldCat app for locating items in libraries. As with all Facebook applications, be sure you fully understand what types of personal data an application collects from your account when you install it. See Facebook's Controlling How You Share page for guidance.

Family Tree

This social networking app from FamilyBuilder lists 270 million potential relatives.

You can:

    build your family tree
    add photos
    connect with and search for family members

Tip: Be prepared for a plethora of ads -- some of which will appear related to FamilyBuilder, but aren't.

Family Village

Facebook's first family history game, Family Village is like FarmVille for genealogy.

You can:

    build your family tree
    create an ancestor village and "immigrate" others to it
    invite family members
    learn about your ancestral heritage

Tip: The app is still in development mode, so you may find some glitches. Family Village encourages feedback.

I Remember

Fold3 brings its popular pages feature to Facebook, letting you create a memorial page for a friend or relative.

You can:

    add photos
    create a timeline
    map locations
    post memories
    share stories

Tip: Before starting a new memorial page, search to see if one already exists.

Live Roots

Tap into a specialized search index listing more than 230,000 resources (about 25 percent are fee-based).

You can:

    discover new resources
    navigate locations
    search keywords and surnames
    suggest other genealogy resources

Tip: Search for your surname on more than 15 websites, including and Google Books, simultaneously.


Mundia is's app to locate family and search for ancestors in public trees and message boards on .

You can:

    build your family tree
    track family events
    create a photo gallery, tag pictures
    search message boards
    send messages to family members
    view family facts

Tip: Use the Find People function to search 1 billion people in more than 10 million family trees.


This app from family website service OneFamilyTree has the ability to import a GEDCOM file.

You can:

    build your family tree
    collaborate with family members
    share photos
    track family events

Tip: Check Privacy Settings under the Admin tab to control visibility of your Anniversary Calendar and Family Wall.

We're Related
FamilyLink's helps you find other relatives on Facebook and share information.

You can:

    build your family tree
    connect with relatives
    create a family "photage" to post on Facebook

Tip: Again, expect a barrage of ads.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is Your Genealogy In The Cloud?

      As more and more genealogists and family historians leverage technology for research, many are using “The Cloud” whether they realize it or not. And then there are those who purposely store their data in a personal cloud. Doing so allows them to access their research from anywhere in the world and on practically any type of computer or mobile device.  

     There’s actually some history behind the use of the word cloud to describe the way a computer user accesses data stored somewhere other than his own computer. Years ago, when computer systems were mapped out using a flow chart, a cloud was the symbol for a remote server that hosted data and services. For the most part, this server was provided by another business or vendor and located off-site.

       If your tired of keeping your genealogy research data on multiple CDs, DVDs, flash drives, hard drives and in different locations? Cloud computing – the practice of storing data on a remote server – is a practical solution for genealogists.