FamilySearch Interactive Apps
Are you a FamilySearch user? Did you know that FamilySearch.org is free for everyone, not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
FamilySearch is a great online tool for working on, digitizing, and storing your family history work. We have written many blog posts on the features available on and tips for using FamilySearch—check out these blog posts here.
But did you also know that the Family History Technology Lab at Brigham Young University works with their students to create online applications that interface directly with your FamilySearch account and are FamilySearch Certified?
These online apps communicate with your family tree you have built on FamilySearch to help you research, visualize, and have fun with your genealogy.
Here are some of the apps available from BYU.
If you want to do research:
We already mentioned Relative Finder in our blog titled Who are YOU Related To. Relative Finder will help you figure out just who you are related to and how. Relative Finder scans your tree and brings up lists of your relatives, including people like Walt Disney, Benedict Arnold, Eli Whitney, and Arnold Daniel Palmer. It also has different categories of potential relatives, from those on the Mayflower, to U.S. presidents and their wives, to modern-day prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This fun interactive database also shows charts to show exactly where your common ancestor falls and allows you to create custom groups.
If you are interested in researching and finding holes in your tree, visualizing your tree in a whole new way, or if you are looking for a highly interactive digital version of your tree, look no further than Virtual Pedigree.
Here you can interact with your tree in a completely new way while looking for holes and tracing your tree back for generations.
Descendancy Explorer allows members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to "quickly and responsibly search for ancestors in need of LDS Ordinance Work." Again, this interactive tool integrates directly with your FamilySearch tree.
Tree Sweeper is every FamilySearch user's dream. Tree Sweeper literally "sweeps" your family tree looking for things that might be recorded incorrectly or in error. You can send the sweeper through as many as 7 generations at a time, starting from any person in your tree. Tree Sweeper than looks for things such as:
- Parent should have a realistic age at birth of children
- Person should not have too many parents
- Person should be christened at a reasonable age
- Person should die after they were born
- Person should have a reasonable lifespan
- Person should have a reasonable age at marriage
- Parents should not have duplicate children
- People should not have duplicate spouses
And that is only a handful of what your tree will be searched for. Tree Sweeper then categorizes these errors as "definite errors," "possible errors," or "research opportunities." Once a scan is complete and errors are identified, you can link directly to that person’s tree to correct the error or start your research.
If you are trying to visualize your tree:
Pedigree Pie allows you to visualize your tree not by names, but rather by their countries of origin. This online app uses the vital date and location information from FamilySearch to determine their location of birth and then creates a circle chart, color-coded with these countries of origin. You can start with you in the middle or someone else in your tree by using their unique FamilySearch ID Number.
One Page Genealogy creates a downloadable and printable version of your family tree. You can adjust how many generations are shown (up to 20), and adjust colors, shapes, and layout of your tree based off of built-in presets or custom creations. One Page Genealogy will also give you some stats based on the completion of your tree.
Family Calendar is exactly as it sounds. This digital application creates a calendar of important events in your ancestors’ lives, including, but not limited to:
- Passport application
- Residence change
- Draft registration
- Military draft registration
This tool is a great way personalize your family and get a better view of your family history. It also provides opportunities to remember your family in your everyday life.
Veteran Finder scans your family tree looking for ancestors that are classified as veterans specifically from World War I. This special program was created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice this year. You can elect to search only direct relatives or also include cousins.
If you want to play some games:
It's pretty easy to guess exactly what Geneopardy is programmed to do. Geneopardy is the genealogy version of the classic television game show Jeopardy. Utilizing your family tree information from your FamilySearch account, Geneopardy creates a 25-question personal version of the game based off of your family tree. You can choose how many generations to include and can have up to 4 teams. You can also create a printable PDF version of all the questions and answers.
Another easy to guess family history game is Wheel of Family Fortune. Based off of another classic television game show, Wheel of Family Fortune is modeled in the same way as its namesake. Each player spins a wheel and guesses letters to try and decipher the name of a relative found in their tree.
This is a collection of classic games tailored to include your ancestors. Games include a matching game, crossword, word search, and word scramble. Ancestor Games also allows you to create coloring pages of your ancestors’ photos.
Record Quest is a classically styled adventure game designed to help teach kids family history research skills. This game teaches players ways and places to search for records and information about your family in a fun and interactive way.