Sunday, August 17, 2014

Relative Finder--A New Feature for FamilySearch Users

Recently, a friend in my ward posted this link and description to our ward facebook page:

"a team of computer scientists at BYU have designed a program that allows you to find out your relation to others. This program uses your FamilySearch family tree to find common relatives with others. Its fast and easy!"

To get on is simple. The link is:

A homepage shows up, welcoming you to the website. Simply click on "Connect"
You will then be prompted to sign in through the FamilySearch login page
It will take some time, but the website will load your FamilyTree into the system. The rest is fairly straightforward...
As you can see, there are four links on the top right hand corner of the page. This screenshot is currently the home page. Next to that is "Relatives," which is the main feature of this website. When you click on this link, it takes you to the following page:
Simply select which groups you want to compare relations with, and click "Show Relatives."
I chose "Declaration Signers" and came back with the above results. Don't be afraid to play around with it. You can click on the category to organize them and there is a feature on the left of your relation that says "View."
When you select view, you are taken to a page that displays a chart showing your relationship to the individual from the group you chose. You can download this chart as a pdf or print directly from the webpage. 

If you refer back to the fourth image, you will see that I belong to a group. Through this website, you can create groups for people to join up and find out how you are related--in this case, the young man from my ward created a group for my YSA ward. 

Overall, I found this site to be quite easy and interesting to use. One thing to be mindful of is the accuracy of your tree in FamilySearch--this will affect the actual relationship you share with individuals when the system reveals a common ancestor. Also, the default groups are limited to a smaller population. They seemed to deal primarily with English ancestry, which is convenient for longterm Americans and multi-generational Mormons. Go give the website a try and see what it does for you.

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