Cyber Surfing

Cyber Surfin’

Your Family Tree

If you’ve waited to begin working on your family history, wait no longer.

The LDS Church rolled out FamilyTree in March, which is a very user-friendly enhancement to FamilySearch.org. I don’t think it could get any easier than this.

FamilyTree offers many features found on popular Ancestry.com, but it is free of charge and available to anyone.

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, log in at FamilySearch.org, then click on FamilyTree to see your pedigree chart largely pre-populated. Other visitors can create an account and build their family tree online, starting with themselves and then adding ancestors.

A wonderful addition is the ability to collaborate with relatives across cyberspace on family lines and discover what others have already researched and shared. The new program is available in 10 languages.

Users can easily search names in digitized databases, which is the fruit of all the years of labor in the extraction and indexing effort, and then click through to see the original document—whether it be a census or military record, marriage or death certificate or a ship’s register.

With just a few clicks, these sources can be attached to the ancestor’s record and shared with others who may be researching the same individual or family. Outside links with information, such as FindAGrave.com, can also be linked to an individual.

One of my favorite features is the ability to upload and link photos and stories to ancestors. It is great to be able to see a face with a name and read a little about the individual’s life and to share that with relatives.

FamilySearch reported that during the first week, more than 60,000 photos were uploaded to FamilyTree, with thousands more being added every day.

“The goal behind FamilyTree is to create what we would call the best-sourced genealogy in the world,” said Tara L. Bergeson of FamilySearch, as quoted in the Church News. “The idea is to get people to interact with one another so that supporting documentation can find the correct ancestor.”

Officials say that FamilyTree is designed ultimately to replace New FamilySearch, a program that has been available only to Church members. All of the information that was included there has been migrated to FamilyTree.

Users can benefit from other features, including easy correction of errors in vital information, merging of duplicates, notification of temple opportunities, a pedigree fan chart, live research or product help to answer your questions, easy access to the research Wiki, “grab-and-pull” on the family tree to easily zoom in on an individual, the ability to share photos and family history information through social media, or a “watch” for ancestors so if someone else adds information, you will be notified.

Editor’s Note: This column is designed to provide Beehive readers with timesaving direction and ideas for safely and easily surfing the Internet. To suggest a topic for a future column or to share an interesting website with others, e-mail: 5adair@cox.net.

The Beehive

The Arizona Beehive is a complementary East Phoenix Valley LDS lifestyle and living publication, published six times a year, featuring content on people to meet, places to explore, events to attend and businesses to patronize.