Maegan Kasteler | Dec 28, 2018

Who Are YOU Related To?

Have you ever been sitting in a classroom, a boardroom, or in church and wondered if perhaps the person sitting next to you is a long-lost cousin? It’s a thought that has occurred to more than one person over the course of time, so if you have ever wondered this, you are in good company.

We here at RootsTech are all about technology and innovations in the genealogy world and have developed a few of our own.

One of our favorite pieces of technology actually helps us answer the questions of relatives around us. Previously only available at RootsTech, the Relatives Around Me feature in the FamilySearch Tree app is now available for everyday use. (Download the FamilySearch Tree app on the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store.)

Now no matter where you are, you and your friends or coworkers just need to log in to the FamilySearch Tree app, click More on the bottom right, click Relatives Around Me, and click Scan for Friends.

This unique interactive tool can help you find new connections in places you never thought possible.

Other tools to find out who you are related to include Relative Finder. Relative Finder is a free website developed by the Family History Department at Brigham Young University. On the Relative Finder Website, you simply log in with your FamilySearch log-in, and Relative Finder will download your family tree to determine who you are related to.

After downloading your tree, Relative Finder uses their built-in algorithm to analyze your tree. From there, you can sort through multiple categories to discover your distant relatives. Categories include:

  • Constitution and Declaration Signers
  • Famous Americans
  • Science and Technology Figures
  • Movie Stars
  • Sports Figures
  • European Royalty

You can also build custom private groups by creating a unique group name and password. By creating a unique group, you can invite others to include their trees in your group. This works much like the Relative Finder feature on the FamilySearch Tree app, but rather than using your phone's built-in GPS, your group uses its unique name and password to discover connections. With this feature, you can create groups for your friends, church congregations, or coworkers. Relative Finder then tells you who you are related to and enables you to pull up a chart showing exactly how you are related and who your mutual ancestor is.  

Don't forget to explore the Relatives Around Me feature while you are at RootsTech! Share with us what you find by tagging our official social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

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Maegan Kasteler