Wednesday, April 18, 2007

FamilyLink Launched

The WorldVitalRecords blog announced today that FamilyLink has been launched. At this time, the site is free to join and use. The article says:

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FamilyLink, the newest social genealogy networking Web site created to rapidly link people across the world launched today!

“The recent surge in social networking sites demonstrates the need for people to connect around diverse types of interests” said Michael Tanne, Founder and CEO of Wink, a People Search Engine, FamilyLink provides a perfect venue for families, genealogists and family historians to share their common interests and heritage as they connect with one another and upload their photos, family tree, and family history.”


FamilyLink has been created to facilitate genealogists in working together in ways that have never been attempted before in the genealogy world with a tool that is easy to use and understand.

“During the early years of Ancestry and MyFamily, I could hardly sleep. I was so excited about what we were building. I feel the same way about FamilyLink,” said Paul Allen, CEO, WorldVitalRecords.com.

Using FamilyLink, geographic and language barriers are minimized as individuals connect with their loved ones, research their family history, and preserve memories.

“For the first time ever, if I’m looking for an ancestor in a particular part of the world, I’ll be a click away from the expert researchers who live there, and from others who have done research there,” Allen said.


FamilyLink users can view the profiles of other individuals, communicate with individuals who have researched or are currently researching in their area of interest through the City Link feature, meet new individuals who also participate in the service, share photos, genealogical information, and post comments.

“One thing that is really interesting right now is that there really is nothing out there on the Web to help someone who lived in a certain city gather information from another city, unless they fly there. The need for this type of social networking definitely exists. FamilyLink allows people who are in different cities to connect with each other in an amazing way,” said Jason McGowan, Product Manager, FamilyLink.com.


Additional features include a news feed system, Ancestor Pages, announcements pages, email features, shared connections between WorldVitalRecords.com and FamilyLink.com, and will soon include a family tree.

“Putting FamilyLink.com and WorldVitalRecords.com together is a great way to preserve, share, and grow your family tree,” said Barbara Renick, professional genealogist, nationally known lecturer, and author.

In the past genealogists were able to make connections with other genealogists.

However to do so required a lot of time, and effort, two scarce resources for genealogists. FamilyLink is a tool that connects people in such a way that it makes everyone and everything more efficient, and will become even better as people join the site.

“As with other social networks, the more people that use FamilyLink, the more useful it will become to everyone else. So we invite you to join and encourage others to join as well, so that we will soon have members in all of the cities of the world–all helping each other to find and preserve their heritage,” Allen said.

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Naturally, I couldn't resist signing up and entering my personal data, including my picture. You can invite five more people to join up by entering their email address. You can join one or more Cities also - one of the existing ones or one not previously listed.

The most interesting aspect of this site is that you can create a unique web page for each ancestor. You can add family data, records, pictures, etc. to the web page for each ancestor. I tried to add an ancestor - I picked my great-grandfather, Henry Austin Carringer born in 1853. However, the earliest birth year allowed was 1927. Same for marriage date and death date. After adding the vital records for the ancestor, you can input family members and then biographical data. I'm sure they will get this sorted out - hopefully soon!

Perhaps they expect me to work backwards in time, but they didn't tell me that - they just said "input data for an ancestor." Since both of my parents were born before 1927, I can only add myself, and I know who I am, and who my kids are, already, and don't really want all of that information to be available on any web site.

In my opinion, since most genealogists already have names, dates and places in their genealogy database, sites like this should allow some sort of upload from a GEDCOM so that the member doesn't have to input all of the data again. For people like me, with thousands of identified ancestors, I really don't want to input the information by hand again! I had enough trouble getting them right the first time around.

If a person doesn't have a genealogy database, then this site, and others like it, can be a good repository for their information.

The idea behind this site seems to be to share your information in hopes that other researchers will find you and you can share their information also.

This site may be more successful than www.Geni.com or some of the other social/genealogy networking sites because the "Godfather" is www.WorldVitalRecords.com - already a part of the genealogy community run by known and respected genealogy people.

2 comments:

Becky said...

Hey Randy, thought you might want to know that a quote from your blog, along with a link to it, is being used by FamilyLink.com in an email promotion. They got my name and email from my blog, so I would imagine it was sent out to other genea-bloggers as well...

Quote: ""This site may be more successful than www.Geni.com or some of the other social/genealogy networking sites because the "Godfather" is www.WorldVitalRecords.com - already a part of the genealogy community run by known and respected genealogy people."

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