Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Launch of FamilyInHistory.com

New Family History Website Offers Collaboration Feature

Genealogists, family historians, and family associations can now use a collaborative platform to preserve genealogy and family history.

Salt Lake City, UT (Bluehost/PRWEB) September 19, 2007 -- With the recent launch of family history Web site FamilyInHistory.com, genealogy is now a collaborative effort, involving entire families and all generations.

The search for ancestors used to be a solitary pursuit, but the collaboration capabilities of FamilyInHistory.com allow every family member to contribute to the effort.

"Imagine if 10, 100, or even 1000 people were all working together and contributing information on the same family tree," says David Grow, founder and CEO of FamilyInHistory. "We're making it more than just genealogy and names and dates, it's about your family in history; who they were, what they did, what they looked like," says Grow.

"By working together to put stories and pictures to the names and dates that have already been found, ancestors come alive as more than names on paper. They become real people with faces and personalities. The most efficient way to accomplish and view the work is through a collaborative Web site," says Grow.

Family associations use FamilyInHistory as a simple way to include more members in tracing ancestors and to get them involved in the association. The blog allows them to share information with everyone quickly and efficiently.

"A resource like this is invaluable to a family association," says Robert Grow, President of the Jared Pratt Family Association. "Thousands of Jared Pratt descendants are able to share and contribute genealogy information in a very convenient way."

"We can make much more progress on tracing all of the branches of our family tree when so many people are actively involved." says Robert Grow. "It's exciting to learn about our ancestors as individuals who lived incredible lives, and now more of us can work together to build that library of information to share."

Giving an identity to ancestors and recognizing how they were part of important historical eras, like the Civil War, pioneer efforts, or immigrating to make a new life in the United States, draws the younger generations to genealogy. They are becoming interested in the people who came before them.

Leo Ebbert, a 28-year old CPA and financial advisor has been working on his family's genealogy with his mother. "For years it was just my mom working on our family history," says Ebbert. "Recently both of us have been working on it, and we are accomplishing a little more."

"I love the idea of putting our family history information on a collaborative Web site so more of my siblings can see it and get interested," he says. "It would be great to have more of us involved, and I think that knowing our ancestors as real people will make it more interesting to them."

FamilyInHistory subscribers have a personalized genealogy Web site to store and share genealogy information, photos, stories, current information and more. Each ancestor has a page with personal information like important dates and photos, as well as a personal timeline.

Genealogy research was modernized several years ago with the use of family history software that converts to genealogy data communication (GEDCOM) format, a generic format compatible with most family history software. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can easily upload GEDCOM files to their custom FamilyInHistory Web site.

About FamilyInHistory.com
FamilyInHistory.com is a privately-owned company that provides personalized genealogy Web sites and collaborative capabilities. For more information, please contact David Grow at info(at)familyinhistory.com.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Family Association Project #1 - Preserving Graves

Over the last year, the Pratt Family Association has organized a project to locate, photograph and remark (if necessary) the graves of three generations of family members (starting with Jared Pratt who died in 1839). This encompassed more than 200 graves in these 3 generations! What were some of the steps we took?

1. Create a list of the ancestors' graves which you are going to locate.
2. Add the information you already know about where the ancestor died or was buried.
3. Share this list with your family association and ask for volunteers to call the cemetery, get a plot number for the person's grave, visit the cemetery, take a picture and assess the condition of the grave.

While we were able to find some family volunteers, there were many graves that were located in areas where no family members resided. That is when we discovered http://www.findagrave.com/. You can first search for your ancestor's graves on the site. If they are there, you may find a picture; if they do not have a picture, you can request for a volunteer to visit the cemetery and photograph the grave for you. If your ancestor's name is not listed, you can add their name to the registry at http://www.findagrave.com/. Once their individual page is created, you can then request a picture as mentioned above.

FindAGrave volunteers have helped us locate and photograph dozens of headstones where family members were not able to!

Though we have not been able to locate all the graves, we have found and photographed approximately 80% of them. About 15 of the ones we found either did not have headstones or had headstones that were in poor condition! The family association has looked into the price and determined that for a good quality headstone, it will cost approximately $500. As a result, we are challenging our family members through a family newsletter and our family reunion next month to contribute generously to help honor and remember their ancestors.

To help in this process, we have included the names of the ancestors who need a new headstone, and also pictures as examples of some that are in poor condition for our newsletter. At the reunion, we will have an exhibit showing either the empty plot where there is no headstone or the poor condition headstone for each of these individuals and will be accepting donations/contributions.

During the course of the project, remember to post the pictures of all of the graves on your family tree website so all of your family members can benefit and see the resting places of their ancestors.

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