Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Genealogy Crystal Ball for 2011

It's time to put on the genea-seer hat, light up the crystal ball, and make some fearless predictions for 2011 in Genealogy-land. 

Here are some predictions for what I think, and in some cases, hope, or fear, will happen in the genealogy world in 2011:

1) will open their new Family Tree application to non-LDS church members with an announcement at RootsTech 2011 in February 2011.  The site will be immediately overloaded.

2) will discontinue their "Old Search" function and will add more capabilities ("bells and whistles") to the existing "New Search" function.

3) will slowly add more databases and images, and will stay a separate entity.

4)  Family Tree Maker will come out with version 2012 in August 2011. It still won't synchronize with Member Trees, and won't be able to make a simple Ancestor Name List like all other genealogy programs.

5) indexers will add 250 million records and will release over new 1,000 historical collections into the website - many of them unindexed.

6)  RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree will continue to gain market share at Family Tree Maker's expense.

7)  The 2011 Southern California Genealogical Society Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank will have the highest attendance of any USA genealogy conference.

8)  Randy Seaver's blog(s) will not make the Family Tree Magazine Top 40 list (nor will DearMYRTLE's, Thomas MacEntee's or Lisa Louise Cooke's).

9)  One of's certified affiliates will capture the largest share of the Discussion and Person Pages features.

10) will capitalize on's Footnote Pages feature to enable Member Tree owners to create Person Pages.

11)  More genealogical speakers will utilize Internet technology to deliver presentations from home to remote audiences.

12)  Significant progress will be made on an improved genealogy data transfer standard (to replace GEDCOM) for genealogical software.

13)  More genealogy companies will sponsor and broadcast free webinars and bloginars to further genealogy education and their products.

14)'s stock share price will drop by at least 10%. will not be acquired by Google or any other company.

15) will claim to be the #1 genealogy family tree website and will still not permit GEDCOM uploads.

16)  Many more genealogical societies will adopt social networking, and have a blog and Facebook presence.  A vast majority of society members will have no clue what it is about.

17) will permit online ordering of microfilms and microfiches to FamilySearch Centers all over the world.

18)  The second season of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? will be more successful than the first season.

19)  Tamura Jones will continue to write insightful and provocative articles about genealogy software and websites on his site.
20)  The number of genealogy blogs on the Geneabloggers list will pass 2,000.

Many of those are fairly predictable - I know that I'm not very visionary... frankly, the crystal ball was pretty murky.

What predictions do you have for 2011 in Genealogy-land?  Tell us in comments!!!

UPDATED last on 6 January


Janice said...


I think your predictions are correct except for I think there will be an announcement in 2011 that will actually make their stock rise instead of fall.

One thing they have to do though is... when you search for "Ancestry stock market" (lets say its for someone interested in investing) the first pick is Black Tuesday of 1929... not a motivator lol)


Gerry said...

I think Tamura Jones is an interesting writer whose tedious self-righteousness keeps me from bothering to read what s/he has to say. I really don't have time for all that.

Aside from that, your post is pretty interesting. I predict that more and more people will become genealogy geeks and fewer and fewer will bother to consult their elderly relatives with respect to family history, thus turning a significant segment of the avocation into a species of gaming.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm. time will tell, but will be interesting to see how many predictions you are correct about.

Carol Yates Wilkerson said...

You're obviously more in the know about the genealogy world at large than I am, that's for sure. I do agree that it's 'possible' we will see 2000 genealogy bloggers on Geneablogger. I am shooting for less snarkiness in the genealogy world, myself included. Oh, and I predict that I will not be on any Top 40, 30 or otherwise good blog list, but then, I don't write about genealogy to be popular. ;)

Anonymous said...


You are easily displeased, arent you? You get fantastic articles FOR FREE but it still isnt good enough for you.
When the old internet explorer you use doesn't work, you dont upgrade to the latest version,
you dont switch to a better browser, but you start whining, stomping your foot and CALLING PEOPLE NAMES.
Gerry, you are in desperate need of a New Year's Resolution: I will be GRATEFUL for the gifts I receive.


Tessa Keough said...

Intersting predictions - but I definitely think you and Lisa Louise Cooke should be on the Top 40 list - perhaps even the best list - both of you are my "go to" genealogy bloggers.