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The future of genealogy research


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A quick look at genealogy in the year 2364

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The future of genealogy research

  1. 1. The Future of Genealogy Research By Dick Eastman
  2. 2. Today’s PowerPoint slides are available at: m/handouts/future
  3. 3. The Past
  4. 4. Remember how you wrote letters before the Internet? Of course you had to wait for answers, but that was also part of the allure and fun of research.
  5. 5. The Present
  6. 6. • How do we research our family trees today? • Technology is now almost mandatory and that need will only increase as the years go by.
  7. 7. • Why use the Internet? – Time – Convenience – Wealth of information available
  8. 8. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  9. 9. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  10. 10. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  11. 11. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  12. 12. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  13. 13. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way?
  14. 14. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way, such as in the cloud?
  15. 15. • Do we need to store information in our own computers or is there a better way? • Or will we someday use something that hasn’t yet been invented?
  16. 16. • Perhaps we should let our computers do the searching for us!
  17. 17. Matching: How to discover relatives without searching
  18. 18. Smart Matches™ • Tree to Tree matches • A match means a person in another tree was found, thought to be the same person in your tree • Matches are based on names, dates, places, facts and relationships • Benefit: • Contact other relatives you didn’t know existed • Learn what other tree owners know • They may have rare photos of your ancestors • Extract information directly to your tree • A single Smart Match™ can change a person’s life or the life of an entire family • Use caution: family trees contain errors
  19. 19. Example of dictionaries alexander, alaexander, alaexandre, alajandro, alasander, alaxander, alaxandre, alaxzander, alcander, alecander, alecaxander, aleco, alecsader, alecsander, alecxander, aleczi, aleendro, aleexander, aleix, alejadro, alejandro, alejendro, alejondro, alejrandro, alek, aleki, aleks, aleksader, aleksadr, aleksajender, aleksander, aleksandr, aleksandur, aleksi, aleksin, alekso, alekxander, alekz, alenjandro, alenxander, aleocander, alerxander, alerxandre, alesadro, alesander, alesandre, alesandro, alex, alexader, alexadre, alexanader, alexandeer, alexandere, alexanderi, alexandert, alexanderz, alexandier, alexandner, alexandor, alexandre, alexandrel, alexandrer, alexandret, alexandro, alexandros, alexanhder, alexeender, alexender, alexendre, alexies, alexios, alexius, alexiusi, alexnder, alexndre, alexonder, alexsander, alexxander, alexxzander, alexzander, alexznder, alezios, alezius, alijandro, alisander, alisandre, alisandro, alisaunder, alisaundre, alix, alixander, alixius, alixsander, alixxander, alixxsander, alixzander, aljandro, alsander, alxander, alxandre, anlek, elcander, elexander, elexandre, elexius, elezius, halek, halex, halix, oleksander, oleksandr, oleksi, olexander, sacha, sasha, sasho, xander, xanders, escandar, alexandr, alexandru, alexsandro, алекс, александ, александер, александор, александр, алесандр, алик, алік, олександер, олександр, саша, I have a relative named Alexander … well … every one knows him as “Alex”
  20. 20. Gray Area for full image Automation • Automation is key to power technologies for matching. • Critical to save time: users cannot possibly research every name on every data source in every spelling variation. • Automation does it for you. On MyHeritage this is done on our huge server farm.
  21. 21. Gray Area for full image  Found in our library of +9 billion+9 billion global records: BMD, census, immigration, historical newspapers, military and more.  Run automatically to help you discover your family history.  The more people you have, better chances to get Record Matches. Record Matches
  22. 22. • Should we be looking at more than just vital records? • Shouldn’t we be studying our ancestors lives?
  23. 23. For instance: already has the The Lloyd George Domesday Survey
  24. 24. • Find maps showing the locations of your ancestors’ houses, even though the streets have since disappeared!
  25. 25. • Many lanes and roads have been extinguished to build estates and office blocks. Streets may have been renumbered, redirected, while others have been shortened with part of the road having being built over.
  26. 26. • All this means that searching for where an ancestor lived by using modern maps can be frustrating when they fail to pinpoint where the old properties had once been. • However, TheGenealogist’s technolgy will perform the work for you!
  27. 27. You can even find a record in the census and jump directly to a map of your ancestor’s residence!
  28. 28. Today, More Interest in Genealogy than Ever Before • Television programmes • Online web sites (, Findmypast, MyHeritage, FamilySearch, and many others)
  29. 29. The Digital World Makes Comparing and Sharing of Online Data and Online Trees Easier than Ever Before
  30. 30. In the future, it might not be possible to visit an archive in person anymore. The originals are stored in a central repository; separate archives have been eliminated to save costs. If you want to consult records that are not available online, they will be digitized for free. That is cheaper than operating dozens of reading rooms.
  31. 31. DNA
  32. 32. • DNA Reconstructing an ‘Unknown’ Ancestor
  33. 33. • DNA could potentially be used to recreate portions of the genome of the individual that they are all related to. This recreated genome will provide other information about the DNA-only ancestor, such as predicted eye color, hair color, medical conditions, and traits. It could also be used to find other relatives.
  34. 34. • All we need is enough DNA samples from enough descendants to re-create a person’s DNA.
  35. 35. • Hans Jonathan was an escaped slave who settled in Iceland, married a local woman, and raised a family before dying in 1827. • There are no pictures of Hans Jonathan. • Yet his DNA has been reconstructed!
  36. 36. Ludvik Ludviksson, a grandson of Hans Jonathan
  37. 37. Your ancestor’s DNA may be reconstructed but we may not have a name! Would you be willing to refer to an ancestor in Boston as “Boston-GCUGCCGCAGCG”?
  38. 38. • Reconstructed DNA will help you and your family detect inherited medical conditions long before the appearance of symptoms!
  39. 39. • Prediction #1 • Putting your genealogy research results on the Internet will continue to become simpler and easier.
  40. 40. • Prediction #2 • Finding both original records and the results of others' research on the Internet will continue to become simpler and easier.
  41. 41. • Prediction #3 • The accuracy of the information published on the Internet will continue to be variable but Internet genealogists will recognize and deal effectively with accuracy issues, then will collaborate to groom the data already published.
  42. 42. • Prediction #4 • More collaborative efforts will emerge as a result of Internet-connected genealogists sharing their work towards common goals.
  43. 43. • Prediction #5 • DNA is going to become a major tool of genealogy
  44. 44. • Prediction #6 • Interest in genealogy will continue to increase for many more years as information becomes easier and easier to obtain.
  45. 45. • Will all this be perfect? • Absolutely not. Rough edges will always appear and research errors will continue to plague us, only in smaller and smaller amounts every year.
  46. 46. Today’s PowerPoint slides are available at: m/handouts/future