Friday, October 10, 2008

LiveRoots is online and has great potential

Illya D'Addezio has created another web site to help genealogy researchers find information in databases. Illya announced the formation of the web site in his blog post Live Roots Launched Today on the Illya D'Addezio's Blog. He describes LiveRoots this way:

"Live Roots is an information resource that assists you with locating genealogical data, regardless of where it may be stored. Genealogists use Live Roots to find vital records and original publications, share opinions about online repositories and learn more about tools available to simplify their research projects.

"The concept behind Live Roots was to build a single resource that bridges the gaps between independent genealogy web sites, large commercial ancestry repositories and many other printed family history materials yet to be digitized and published on the World Wide Web.

"Live Roots extends beyond the typical bounds of a traditional search engine or link directory by facilitating access to offline records and publications through partnerships with amateur and professional researchers who either own copies or are geographically closer to the libraries and archives that do."

That sounds, to me, very ambitious, but I think if anyone can make it work, Illya can because of his track record and online genealogy background.

Naturally, I had to check out what LiveRoots offers for me and my surnames:

I input SEAVER as the surname and received:

* 1 SEAVER Surname match (in the Genealogy Today collection)

* No Transcribed Ephemera

* 74 SEAVER Surname results and 1 SIEVER result in Subscription Data (all in Genealogy Today databases)

* 42 possible matches in Document Results (some of these are books available online or in print from,, Genealogical Publishing Company, Higginson Book Company, etc.) One match was my blog Genea-Musings.

You get the idea, I think. Live Roots has the potential to be a "one-stop shop" for researchers looking for information about a surname. But only if the site eventually incorporates nearly every genealogy database site available (think Footnote, FamilySearch, Rootsweb, USGenWeb, FindMyPast, Family Tree Legends, Ancestor Hunt, etc - any site with databases that are either free or subscription).

A second problem that I see with the surname search is the sheer volume of matches that will be available for a common surname. A SMITH search provides over 3,000 matches in the currently available databases on LiveRoots. The use can add a keyword - I used SMITH and WISCONSIN and received the same number of matches, so a keyword probably doesn't work yet.

I think that has excellent potential. Its' ultimate success as a web site rests on its ability to search a multitude of genealogy web sites with useful data and be able to add localities or given names to reduce the search results.

UPDATED 11 a.m.: Illya commented that the major collections indexed so far are in an index here. The current major collections include:

AfriGeneas ($) - daily updates
Christine's Genealogy Website
Family History Library (partial)
Family Tree Connection ($) - weekly updates ($) - weekly updates
Genealogical Publishing Company ($) - monthly updates ($) (in progress)
National Archives And Records Administration
New England Historic Genealogical Society
Olive Tree Genealogy ($) - daily updates


Xfaith said...

I forgot today was the liveroots go live date. I tried it a few weeks ago, will have to get back to it. I know that he is adding things like GenealogyBank, ect. I think he is waiting on the Index's.


Unknown said...

Hi Randy, thanks for mentioning the new site. Two items in response: (1) in the Help section, there is a link to Major Collections. This shows which site catalogs are included. Many others are in progress. (2) The Surname Results section is only impacted by, well, a surname. If you click into one of the collections, you'll have the option to narrow you results by given name, year range and/or location.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Randy, for promoting Illya's site. Several folks I know were unaware of it.

Illya, thank YOU for your efforts. I'll promote LiveRoots on my site, too.

Happy Dae.