Introducing RootsFinder

Meet RootsFinder, a new and impressive online family tree with features that connect you to your choice of online archives and resources. As the information posted in your RootsFinder tree grows, the service continuously queries a number of sites looking for even more records that support your research.

Are you familiar with Genealogy Gophers, WeRelate and GenSmarts? All are connected to RootsFinder and use the data you input for the ancestors in your RootsFinder tree to offer hints and todos. also integrates with RootsFinder, giving you easy access to the records found there. Even better, there is a web clipper tool (for Chrome now and coming soon to Firefox too) that makes grabbing information from the archives and pasting them into your family tree quite easy.

You can invite people to your tree to view your media wall. This is a place for posting photos, ephemera and stories to share with selected family and friends.

It costs nothing to enjoy the research goodness, but an upgrade to the Pro plan ($34.95/year) makes it even better. The Pro plan gives you a private tree option along with 10GB of media storage for photos and ephemera to share with your family.

When you view an individual’s profile you have even more research options. Notice the icons just above the timeline. The Research icon will open to provide a selection of hints, guides and other resources to help you find records and information about this individual. Included in this selection is the amazing GenSmarts service. It collects the information you have and offers a list of suggested resources – with links – to learn more about the person.

It’s easy to get started with RootsFinder. They have an impressive collection of video tutorials on YouTube. In YouTube, search for “RootsFinder App” to take you to their home page. These tutorials are informative and well-produced. There is even more support available right inside the RootsFinder platform. Some of the features – like using the web clipper or DNA tools – will take a bit more effort. You will find the results are worth the effort. Here’s the intro video to get you started.

Reunion: A Search for Ancestors

If you are interested in genetic genealogy, I highly recommend reading Reunion – A Search for Ancestors by Ryan Littrell. [Amazon: Paperback $9.99 & Kindle $4.99]

ReunionCover.pngRyan Littrell has the gift of storytelling and puts it to good use telling the story of his search for his Scottish roots. But this is no normal family history. While Ryan details his efforts searching for his MacDonald ancestors, he also tells the story of the MacDonald clan. One chapter tells his adventures in research in such a way that I was cheering each new success while the next chapter brings the history of the clan another step closer. The chapters alternate forward and backward until they reach the reunion – making the connection to the ancestor who migrated to America.

In addition to writing a fascinating story, Ryan has provided one of the best descriptions I’ve seen on how to use DNA results in an ancestor search.