Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Two Family Tree Builders?

I've been so busy the past three weeks with family and CVGS activities that I have not had time to do those "Round Tuit" tasks that I want to do. One of those tasks is to test out some of the online family tree web sites that claim to be the best thing since sliced FTM.

I recalled that http://www.findmypast.com/ had a Family Tree Builder software for online trees, so I looked in my email folders for the announcement, and found it from July 6. The email said that the site for FREE provides:

"* 2 family trees
* 25,000 individuals per tree
* 200 mb media storage for scanned documents, certificates, photos, film and audio clips to be added to your tree
* Unlimited invitations to share your tree with family and friends
* Choice of privacy options: password protected, invited researchers only, or completely open to the public
* Full ancestry, descendant and full family views"


I went to the site, logged in (I have registered, but have not used the pay-to-view options yet), clicked on the "Family Trees" link and found that I could upload a GEDCOM to the site. I did that, and my 7,000 person GEDCOM uploaded fairly quickly, and I explored the site for about an hour, testing the menu items, the buttons, etc.

For some reason, I went to Google and put "family tree builder" in the search box and up popped the My Heritage site - http://www.myheritage.com/FP/Company/family-tree-builder.php - that has a FREE download for software called Family Tree Builder which can also be used to upload a family tree to Family Pages at the MyHeritage web site. I read the T&Cs fairly carefully, and downloaded this Family Tree Builder software to my computer, installed it and opened a GEDCOM file in order to test it. I spent about an hour and tested all of the menu items, the buttons and links to try to understand how it works and if it would be useful for my research.

The web site describes the software as:

"Download Family Tree Builder, our free genealogy software for putting together your family tree. It's not only completely free, and free of ads and spyware, but it's also one of the best genealogy software programs you'll find. It has original, easy-to-use pages that let you grow your family tree visually. It runs in 12 languages and lets you create and print your family tree in several languages. Bring your family tree to life with photos and documents and use our ground-breaking face recognition technology to annotate your photos and discover the identity of people you don't recognize in your old family photos. In a few mouse clicks, you can publish your family tree to the Internet on your own family Website and share it with family and friends!"

Note that this version of Family Tree Builder is fully functional and FREE to download and use on your own computer.

I will write up reviews of both of these after I have explored them more fully. I am especially interested in the charting capabilities and the report writing capability of the software.

I know there are more free online family tree sites out there - I recall Ancestry Member Trees, NewFamilySearch, Geni and WeRelate - what other ones should I look at in this quest to fill up online genealogy databases with my GEDCOMs? Has anyone compared the merits of all of these sites yet? I admit that I've sort of lost track.

Are these two pieces of software called Family Tree Builder related? They sure don't look or feel or work the same. If they weren't created by the same person or group, will there be an issue over having the same name?

4 comments:

lkessler@lkessler.com said...

No Randy, they are completely different.

The Family Tree Builder at myheritage.com is by an Israeli company that is giving away their family tree program free to promote their face identification technology.

The Family Tree Builder at findmypast.com is simply a program to upload your GEDCOM to the findmypast site.

With well over 100 different family tree programs available, I guess they are running out of names. :-)

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