Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Family Pursuit

Another company you might be interested in that we saw again in the St.George Family history expo is Family Pursuit. They have been showing their demos and beta at the conferences for a couple of years, but have just begun to actually roll out their product.

Mike Martineau and Les Eldredge et al. have created a "online, wiki-based family tree database" that allows users to upload private family trees to a collaborative website on either a community basis where you can work with other genealogists, or a private basis where family members from advanced to novice can work together on the family genealogy. I'm most intrigued by the private trees that promise to be a place for family discussions and social networking where family members can mentor each other, divide up and assign tasks, and keep and share reasearch logs together. You can add source citations and upload images to support findings. And you can share audio and video files to further flesh out the family stories. They say that "wiki-based merge/unmerge and undo/redo tools provide a fail-safe platform for true collaboration." (and possibly a good old-fashioned family fight? depending on your family :-) The idea of being able to work with other family members in a safe online system will certainly appeal to many genealogists and it looks like they have already worked out some of the collaboration issues that still need to be addressed in the New (albeit larger) FamilySearch system.

They are also under development as an affiliate of New FamilySearch. When Family Pursuit is able to link with FamilySearch, it will bring one family member's link with FamilySearch into the collaborative environment where the rest of the family can work on the information there, looking for duplicates, submitting new information and receiving updates when changes are made on NFS. Mike said in St. George that they are still working out some of the issues with NFS and their web based environment but hopes to have the synchronization working soon.

Take a look at http://www.familypursuit.com/blog for more information or try it out at http://www.familypursuit.com

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