Monday, December 14, 2009

More Info about

After my two posts (here and here) about, Anastasia Tyler of kindly posted this comment on the second post:

"Hi Randy,

" is a new international website, currently in Beta, dedicated to helping people around the world participate in family history. The Mundia website includes a simplified version of family trees designed primarily for an international audience and expands the network of 12 million family trees into many of the languages spoken in Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Mundia website is designed primarily for individuals who do not live in countries with existing or localized sister sites (,, etc.).

"Since Mundia and share the same trees database, all family trees created on Mundia by Mundia members will also be available on to members. That means members can get access to family trees from around the globe, resulting in even more connections with living relatives and hints to shared ancestors. Mundia and share the same privacy settings, so if you set your tree to private on it will be private on Mundia as well.

"The Mundia FAQ page provides many additional details, including a specific section for existing members as well as privacy settings –

Anastasia Tyler, PR Manager,"

My thanks to Anastasia for providing this information. It is helpful to understand Ancestry's reasons for creating the site. All users should read the Mundia Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

However, it seems to me that there is much more to than just a family tree portal for researchers and family historians from all around the world (including the USA). Users can add a family tree, and search existing family trees, from the site (they do have to register, of course). Being able to ask family members to join an online family tree from a free site rather than a pay site is much more palatable for many users.

In addition, there is a Mundia Facebook application which will compete with the FamilyLink, Geni and Family Builder applications on Facebook. From what I've seen so far, the Mundia Facebook app is much easier to use and somewhat quicker than the others.

Anastasia's comment above about "all family trees created on Mundia by Mundia members will also be available on to members" may be potentially troubling to some people - some may say that are taking freely given family tree data and putting it behind the Ancestry subscription wall, like they did with the Internet Biographical Database two years ago. However, the freely given data is still free to access whether the user is an Ancestry subscriber or not - no matter if the user is on or They aren't stealing or hiding the data, they are storing it for access by registered users (free or subscription).

The big sticking point for several observers (DearMYRTLE and Bill West (on Facebook dated 13 December 2009 at 8:16 p.m. PST) to name two) is that the Terms of Service for seem to permit to keep any data submitted to and to use it as they wish. The users still "own" the data but Ancestry/Mundia is permitted to use it, perhaps forever. Bill's post has several useful comments from others about Ancestry Terms and Conditions and Mundia's Terms of Use.

Ancestry's Terms and Conditions are here.

Mundia's Terms of Use are here.

At this point in time, they are quite different. As Tamura Jones points out in Bill's Facebook post, Mundia is still a beta site, and the TOU are also in beta. The final TOU may be different from the beta TOU.

More information and commentary to come. Hopefully, some of our attorney friends with a genealogical interest will analyze the Terms and comment upon them.


Tamura Jones said...

Anastasia claims that "The Mundia website includes a simplified version of family trees", but Mundia is as much "a version of family trees" as New Family Tree Maker is a version of Family Tree Maker Classic.

Mundia is a brand new FaceBook application (with its own website) that leverages existing databases.
And oh, it competes directly with FamilyLink (formerly We're Related) by FamilyLink (formerly WorldVitalRecords).

Anonymous said...

For info: all the people in one of my Ancestry trees, which is marked private, show up on Mundia's searches.