Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BSO: Trying the "Exploring Family Trees" Website

Lara Diamond (in Interconnected Vizel Descendants) and Linda Stufflebean (in BSO: Brad Lyon's Exploring Family Trees (Beta) ) discovered and tested Brad Lyon's Exploring Family Trees website.  Excellent sleuthing!

After reading Linda's post today, I just had to check this out.

1)  Here is the screen I saw when I clicked on the link for the website:

One of the sample trees they have is the one for George I of Hanover, shown above.  I was able to find Queen Elizabeth in the lower left-hand corner.  This is a Descendant's Chart.

As you can see, there are horizontal lines for 20 year increments on the chart above.

There are buttons at the top of the screen above for:

*  Options
*  Upload GEDCOM File
*  Sample Trees
*  Change Root Person
*  Current Tree Details

2)  I created a new GEDCOM (with 46,740 persons, but no media) file in RootsMagic, clicked on the "Upload GEDCOM File" button and it took awhile to load.  

The first person in this file is the third wife of Robert Seaver (1608-1683) whose name I don't know - that's why there is just one dot on the screen above.  I wanted to see the Ancestors for myself, so I clicked on the "Change Root Person" button and put my name in the search field, and al ist of Randall Seaver persons in my tree appeared.  I clicked on the "Ancestor" link next to my name on the screen above.

3)  It took awhile, but the screen with my Ancestors appeared.  

I am the blue dot at the bottom of the screen above.  I found William the Conqueror on the chart, and the four direct lines from him to me on the chart are highlighted.  I didn't realize that I had four lines back to my 26th great-grandfather.  Note that female ancestors are pink and male ancestors are blue.  The horizontal lines on the chart are for every 100 years.

I was intrigued by the one person with a date of about 470.  After checking that in RootsMagic, I found that I had entered the date as 470 rather than 1470.  I corrected it in my RootsMagic file, but didn't bother updating the GEDCOM file.  Apparently, there is no editing capability in the Exploring Family Trees program.

I found that I could use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the chart, and the left-right and top-bottom scroll bars to move the chart around.  I zoomed in a bit and started running the mouse over some of my ancestors, and the highlighted lines became apparent - I was on George Allen on the screen below:

4)  I wanted to see the chart for descendants of Robert Seaver, my 9th great-grandfather and my patrilineal line immigrant.  So I clicked on the "Change Root Person" button and entered "seaver, robert" in the search field, and the list of Robert Seaver persons in the tree appeared.  I picked the icon for the "Descendants" chart for Robert Seaver (1608-1683):

 Again, creating the chart took some time - there are 5,368 descendants in this tree for Robert Seaver.  Here is the chart for the descendants of Robert Seaver (1608-1683):

I found myself down in the lower left-hand corner and it said I was the 9th great-grandson of Robert Seaver.

I closed out the website and then came back into it, and I had to upload my GEDCOM file again.  So there may be no way to save what you've done.  It probably doesn't matter much, because even my fairly large tree loaded pretty fast - within 20 seconds, I think.

6)  Thank you to Lara Diamond and Linda Stufflebean for finding and testing this site, and to Brad Lyon for developing it.  It's fun, and it really is a BSO (Bright Shiny Object)!  Just what I needed today.  Genealogy is fun.


The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2016/09/bso-exploring-family-trees-website.html

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Linda Stufflebean said...

Isn't this site a lot of fun? I don't think it saves a gedcom either, but mine also loaded in just a few seconds. There are so many neat ways to look at the data. Even my husband was amazed when I showed him the graph and all the information it shows. This is supposedly just a beta version. I wonder what the final version will look like and if it will also be free.

B Lyon said...

Hi Randy

Thanks for taking a look at this. That is a pretty big tree(!), and good to hear that at least it eventually showed something. There's probably more optimization I can do for that.

I have also found that this can be a good way to surface simple but extreme date errors for birth dates - they really stick out!

As Linda said, this (version) is a viewer not an editor. Nothing is uploaded anywhere and all data remains on your device. A version that allows you to save/edit locally is in the plans, though.