Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do I Need FamilyLink Plus?

I was surfing my genealogy family tree sites and clicked on, wondering if they've put my family tree data from Facebook on the tree yet. Nope.

But a pop-up screen for FamilyLink Plus came up. What's this? They want me to pay for stuff? The rates are $7.95 for a monthly subscription and $4.95 per month for an annual subscription (total of $59.40). I would show a screen shot here, but Blogger won't post it for some unknown reason...

What does a user receive for their money? Information from the FamilyLink Plus page is in purple:

* Advanced Ancestor Searching -- Instantly find your ancestors in 1.5 billion records from more than 12,000 databases. Find tombstone photos and military collections, birth and death records, census and immigration data, digitized books and newspapers, and much, much more (a $99 value by itself!).

This must be a subscription to World Vital Records, right? I'm already a subscriber - do I get to extend my subscription for $59.40 a year? Is this for a US subscription or the World subscription? A current retail cost for a World subscription is $99.95.

* Virtual Gifts & Memorials -- Unlimited access to hundreds of figurines, icons, badges, flowers, flags, and virtual gifts for sharing with relatives and decorating your family tree.

Huh? Why do I want any of this stuff? This is a social networking thing that I have absolutely no time or use for.

* Family Tree Matching -- Our advanced tree matching system will help you find possible living relatives by matching your ancestors with theirs. We will automatically search millions of family trees built by FamilyLink users. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Find and connect with distant relatives that have the family history information you need. (Coming very soon!)

A promise that they will match my family tree data to that of others. Using the family tree that I've patiently input one-by-one - all 8 of them since FamilyLink won't accept a GEDCOM file. Does this mean that they will finally accept a GEDCOM file upload? If so, good. If not, count me out. This family tree matching has been done well by many others - especially and, who gladly accept a GEDCOM upload.

* Map My Ancestors -- View where your ancestors lived on an interactive/time shifting online map, and discover famous people and important events that touched the lives of your ancestors. (Coming very soon!)

Another promise. still has the website in beta which does this,. The site even accepts a GEDCOM file upload, but it limits how many localities a user can show for some reason.

If the annual subscription for $59.40 is for a World subscription to World Vital Records, then it's a decent deal to subscribe to FamilyLink Plus. If FamilyLink Plus will permit a GEDCOM upload, then the matching service is useful. If the World History site permits all localities to be shown for the family tree entries, then the FamilyLink Plus site will be useful. But will be behind the subscription firewall?

I'm a big believer in IBIWISI - I'll Believe It When I See It. has promised so much over the past two years and has delivered so little (FamilyHistoryLink, WebTree, We're Related, FamilyLink, world History, GenSeek, GenealogyWise, etc.).

I want them to succeed, because they have really good ideas and I believe that competition is really good for the genealogy world.

For now, I'll pass on the FamilyLink Plus offer. IBIWISI.

Disclosure: I am not an employer, contractor or affiliate of I am a fully paid subscriber to a US subscription for WorldVitalRecords, and do have a small family tree on, and a large family tree on

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