I thought since I have cousins on facebook that I should be working with one of the genealogy apps and then invite my cousins to see my work. Well, I spent a very frustrating afternoon and ended up deliberately wiping out what I did because each application was too much of a pain in the butt.
First, We’re Related…
This has a nice layout. But, there isn’t anywhere to share photos, have a discussion, etc. that I could find. I was going to put in my family tree, but, wait a minute! No GEDCOM upload? My Grandfather had 45 cousins who made it to adulthood. There ain’t no way I’m inputting all these friggin’ people! It looks nice, but forget it. I can spend my typing time doing something more productive.
Second, Family Tree by Family Builder…
This app give you the ability to set up a small community of cousins. You can add photos, have discussion, post to the wall, and so forth.
Evidentally, I tried this before because I had some names already input. I saw that you could do a GEDCOM upload. Yeah! But, I couldn’t figure out how to upload and connect it to the data I’d already input. So, I deleted everything I had done previously.
Next, I tried to figure out what to have in my GEDCOM file. What I really wanted was my deceased relatives with no dates or place (Hey, I spent years putting all this together. I don’t want my data ending up places I never meant it to be.) That was a scratch.
I got one GEDCOM uploaded, marked myself, but then found that all the living people were there as plain as day. I’m not comfortable with that. While I don’t mind my data being there, others may not feel the same way. I deleted that GEDCOM.
I uploaded another with living people marked as “Living”. Then I couldn’t find myself. Want to know why? I’m the fifth child by my parents known as “Living”. I uploaded and marked myself thinking I could edit the data or connect myself to the tree. No dice. It didn’t work.
I saw that FamilyTree also has an off Facebook app. I set that up using the Facebook button thinking it would import everything I’d done previously. WRONG! It wanted me to upload my GEDCOM all over again.
After way too much hassle, I went back to Facebook and deleted the whole mess.
Because I don’t know when to give up I tried my last option “My Relatives”…
First, I had to figure out how to get around the Add Relatives thingy. I don’t want to add any relatives until I know what I’m creating.
My Relatives allows you to add birthdays, photographs, and more. You can also build a family tree, with one glitch, you must have relatives invited to make it work. How do you add dead people?
I’ve add one relative, but haven’t gone much further. It’s too danged cumbersome.
Word to the wise (meaning genealogy app programmers)…
How about a simple interface that…
1. Allows you to import a GEDCOM and allows you to update and connect to it easily?
2. A little community building features like photographs and message board forum?
3. An easy way to include non-Facebook family members without having to build everything in two places?
4. allows you more than one GEDCOM? I have a massive database. I don’t want to share everything. What I’d like to do is include a GEDCOM with the descendants of one ancestor. Then I’d like to upload another GEDCOM with the descendants of another ancestor. I’d like to be able to combine them together where they meet up.
I’m a pretty advance software user and have fooled around with several genealogy programs. I can only imagine how frustrating all this is if you are the beginner or casual not yet completely obsessed genealogist. I guess if you only have two or three generations and don’t mind hand inputting everyone it’s okay. These applications aren’t any fun for the person with a sizeable tree or even the person with disabilities (arthritis, anyone?) who doesn’t have the ability to type all these people up.
All in all, this was a completely wasted afternoon. Unless I’m missing something, all three apps are more hassle than they are worth.