Saturday, February 20, 2021

"Relatives at RootsTech" App at RootsTech Connect 2021 Now Online

 The Relatives at RootsTech app on the FamilySearch website was activated on Friday for use by registrants for RootsTech Connect 2021.  You do have to sign into the FamilySearch website to utilize the app:

As of 7 p.m. on Saturday night, 143,859 RootsTech registrants have over 25.3 million cousin connections.  It tells me that 6 persons named Seaver are included.

1)  After signing in, the page changes to tell me that I have 28,433 Relatives at RootsTech:

2)  When I click the red "See Your Relatives" link, I can see a list of them:

3)  There are three tabs at the top of the left-hand column - for "Relatives by Location," "Search," and "Friends."  There is a dropdown list on the left side of the screen under "Realtives at RootsTech," to choose a specific country - the default is "All countries."  The list of relatives shows the first 300 of them.  I have not found a way to see the other 28,133 of them except by choosing a country.  My list for the USA has 27,488 relatives on it and I cannot see 27,188 of them.

4)  This Relatives at RootsTech uses the FamilySearch Family Tree to estimate the relationships.  As long as you have entered yourself and added your parents, grandparents and earlier generations to the Family Tree (at least to connect to profiles already in Family Tree), then you should receive Relatives.  I believe that this app is "dynamic" meaning that if you add to it today, you should soon get relatives.  Each relationship may be correct or wrong - it all depends on what you have added to Family Tree and what other contributors have added to Family Tree.

5)  Each relative on the list shows a relationship, a birth state or country.  For instance, my closest relative who has registered to use the app is a 4th cousin 1x removed from California, and there is a purple dot on the state or country to represent him on the map. If I click on his name, I see more options:

The options for each match on the list is to "Send a Message," "View Relationship," and "Add Friend."

6)  I wanted to "View Relationship" so I clicked on that:

A relationship chart appears with the most recent common ancestor at the top and me and the match at the bottom.  Usually, at least one deceased relative of the match and any living relatives of the match are not shown by name, for privacy reasons.  The names of each descendant on both lines are shown with birth and death years and the ascending relationship for my line, and the descending relationship for the match's line.

I can click several times on the "Zoom In" plus sign in the upper right corner to see more detail.  Here is the top of the chart above:

This is a major pain to do - it would be easier for the user to magnify the chart with the mouse.  The relationship of the user to each match is given under the match's name at the top left of the screen above.

To get back to the list of Relatives, you have to use the arrow in the upper left of the chart screen.

6)  I wanted to create a "Friends" list on the app, so I opened the "Search" link at the top of the list of Relatives.  Who should I search for?  I chose my friends at FamilySearch, genealogy bloggers, people I know, Facebook friends, etc.  First, I wanted to search for David Rencher, the Chief Genealogical Officer at FamilySearch, so I guessed at the name he used:

The system spun for several seconds and found him.  Now I can click on his name and see our relationship.  

We are 5th cousins 2x removed, with a common ancestor, according to the Family Tree, of Elizabeth Bloetgoet who had two different husbands.  I think my line is correct back to Elizabeth, and I hope that David has the correct line back to Elizabeth.  However, her marriage to Thomas Gach (my line) shows 9 children born between 1726 and 1743, and David's line with Elizabeth married to Elijah Carman shows children born in 1729, 1750, 1754 and 1768 (come on, them other is 66 years old!). Such is the situation sometimes with FamilySearch Family Tree!

7)  I wanted to add David to my "Friends" list so I clicked on the "Add Friend" button and he was added.  I clicked on the "Friends" tab at the top of the left-hand column and there he is:

I now have over 50 "Friends" on my list.  I am not related to some of them  according to Family Tree.  Some friends I could not find either because they are not connected to the Family Tree or I don't know or can't guess their username.  My own username is "randyseaver1" for some reason lost to the sands of time.

8)  This app works pretty well - I remember using it at RootsTech on my smart phone in 2018 and 2020 when I was in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City.  It worked well there also, but I never saved any of the relationships.

By the way, the app will work through 20 March 2021.

9)  If you want to be my "Friend" at RootsTech, relative or not, please comment below with your Username or email me with it.


Disclosure:  I am a RootsTech Connect 2021 Ambassador and have committed to providing regular publicity about the conference.  I have received free registration, snacks, meals and other benefits from FamilySearch over the 11 years of RootsTech.

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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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a.herrod said...

Is there a way to save the family connections for our common ancestors for the purpose of research at a later date? Should we screenshot each page that we wish to research?

Helen Finch said...

Help! I am related to people through a 'Father' who died in 1914. Clearly this is wrong! I can't see how to change that. Advice would be really helpful.

Jay said...

Randy, please friend me User name is JayA57