Modern Software Experience

2009-05-14

Overview

This article provides a brief overview of FaceBook genealogy applications. It is about FaceBook application only, refer Social Genealogy Sites for an overview of all social genealogy sites. This is just a quick overview of FaceBook genealogy applications and the companies involved, complete with links.

FaceBook applications

FamilyTree

The generically named FamilyTree is a FaceBook application by FamilyBuilder. FamilyBuilder started out as iFamily but quickly changed its name, probably to avoid confusion with the iFamily desktop application for MacOS.

Their FaceBook apps offers so-called Family Dollars in return for taking up advertising offers (such as rather expensive ringtone subscriptions). They claim that you also earn family dollars every time you visit, but as I twittered already, repeated tests have shown this to be not true.

FamilyBuilder FamilyTree is available on FaceBook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5 and Orkut.

TopFamily

TopFamily is another FaceBook app by FamilyBuilder, that seems inspired by the popular Top Friends application. All it does is show a mosaic of your family on your profile.

This FaceBook app is still listed as produced by iFamily. Repeated attempts to install and use it failed.

OneFamilyTree

The OneFamilyTree FaceBook application is a product of OneFamilyTree.

The OneFamilyTree is available on their website, on FaceBook and on MySpace. The different application all show the same database.

We’re Related

We’re Related is FamilyLink’s main FaceBook application. They’ve recently updated their FamilyLink web site to integrate with it (see New FamilyLink site integrates with FaceBook for details and overview of all their current sites, including sites that are still in beta).

We’re Related has received criticised for repeatedly promising GEDCOM support but not making good on those promises.

My Family

I note that We’re Related is FamilyLink’s main FaceBook application, as they also own the My Family application. The My Family application has cute stick figure icons, but FamilyLink probably bought it because it is not just available on FaceBook, but has a presence on Bebo, MySpace, Hi5 and Friendster as well.

Family Groups

Family Groups is another FamilyLink application introduced early in 2008, that should not be confused with FaceBook’s own recently introduced Private Groups for families.

FamilyLink introduced Family Groups as a great way to upload photos, share family memories, and have fun discussion with your friends and family members on and off Facebook.com..

As FaceBook already offers the ability to create groups, it is hard to see what value this application adds to FaceBook.

My Will

My Will is yet another FamilyLink application. This one does not seem very serious. The first question you get when you decide to install it is Select all the People You Want In Your Fake Will..

It does not seem to do anything useful either. When I selected a name, it prompted me to okay send someone else a request to add the application with the message Hey, Add this app then add me to your will!.

RelativelyMe

RelativelyMe is a FaceBook application by OneGreatFamily, introduced in March of 2008. It can be thought of as the FaceBook variant of their GenealogyBrowser desktop application.

As a FaceBook genealogy application, RelativelyMe uses your FaceBook friends to find family, but it stores your tree at OneGreatFamily, to compare and match your tree with their database of more than 200 M individuals.

The FaceBook app itself is free, but will only let you take advantage of the matching capability if you have a OneGreatFamily subscription.

Genoom

Genoom is the FaceBook application for Genoom. Its welcome dialog box offers you a choice of all the same seventeen languages that the genoom.com web site offers and inquires whether you already have a tree on the Genoom site, probably to keep data synchronised.

Geni

Geni.com introduced their FaceBook application on 2009 Apr 9. This application ties into their Geni.com database, which includes The Big Tree, a large tree that grown through merging of trees to connect more than ten million individuals with each other.

I Remember

In September of 2008, FootNote CEO Russ Wilding invited a bit of ridicule when he introduced FootNote Pages as FaceBook for Dead People, but he has come round since then and has effectively admitted that FootNote is not FaceBook by introducing I Remember, which is FootNote Pages on FaceBook; FaceBook Pages for Dead People. The I Remember page on FaceBook and the FootNote Page on FootNote are synchronised.

Live Roots

Live Roots is a genealogy search engine by Genealogy Today. You can just surf to liveroots.com and use it, but the FaceBook application demands that you sign up as a GenealogyToday.com Team Roots member first.

I did so and strongly recommend to use some random password, not a password you use for anything else. GenealogyToday sends you an email with your password in plain text…

Live Roots is available on its own web domain, on FaceBook and in Second Life.

MyFamilyHealth Family Tree

Another generically named application, this one by MyFamilyHealth. This one has a medical angle; It exists to gather, organise and analyse your family health history..

If you already have an ReportMyHealth account, you can link it to your FaceBook account.

Family Facts

Family Facts is an application by Ancestry.com that provides some facts on your given name and surname.

GeneaNet’s D’où vient mon nom?

D’où vient mon nom ? is a FaceBook by GeneaNet that shows surname distribution. As I write this, there is no language menu yet, but you can the url; just replace lang=fr by lang=en to get an English interface.

FaceBook Private Groups

Some news stories late in March of this years would have you believe that FaceBook introduced Family Groups. What FaceBook really introduced is Private Groups. FaceBook does see families as important users of this feature, and has a page that encourages users to create a private group for their extended family.

That is far from a genealogy application, it is not even a family application, just a group feature, but it is widely believed to have been inspired by the popularity of FaceBook genealogy applications.

more

Greek Family Tree

Greek Family Tree by Chapter Communications exists to keep track of your fraternity or sorority genealogy.

The app confuses by claiming that you are Not Logged In. It never demands an additional password, it just seems less than perfectly integrated with FaceBook. You can link the FaceBook tree to your page on the Chapter Communications web site.

The apps will display a tree with just me in, but when I click the Add/Remove members button nothing seems to happen.

Funny Family

Funny Family by Funny Family advertises itself thus: Build your Own Virtual Funny Family on Facebook! There is no rules! you can have one of your male friends as your sister, 2 father or even 10 wives! Take your time, and then - enjoy your Funny Virtual Family Tree!.

Repeated attempt to install it resulted in MySQL error message. Judging by complaints on the discussion board, this application has been non-functioning for many months already.

updates

2009-07-21 My Family

FamilyLink MyFamily points out that My Family is not really a genealogy application.

2009-08-09 RecordAGrave

FaceBook application RecordAGrave is an application for transcribing headstones for inclusion on sites such a findagrave.com and interment.net.

2009-08-11 GenSeek on FaceBook

GenSeek on FaceBook reveals the FamilyLink’s latest genealogy application for FaceBook; an GenSeek app.

2009-08-25 Family Facts

Added Ancestry.com’s Family Facts.

2009-09-03 GeneaNet’s D’où vient mon nom?.

Added GeneaNet’s D’où vient mon nom?.

2009-12-12: Mundia

Added Mundia by Ancestry.com.

2010-01-30: MyHeritage Celebrity Look-alikes

Added MyHeritage Celebrity Look-alikes FaceBook app.

2010-02-03: Familieband

Added Familieband Jouw Familie en Stamboom FaceBook app. Requires Familieband.nl account.

2010-02-03: FaceBook Create Group

FaceBook broke the links to their Create Group feature. The link has been removed.

links

2010-09-23

Ancestry has acquired Footnote, see Ancestry.com Buying Spree.

2011-08-18 Footnote renamed Fold3

Ancestry has renamed Footnote to Fold3, see Ancestry renames Footnote to Fold3. All Footnote links have been updated.

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