It’s been a little while since I posted an update about the Findmypast Family Tree and I feel very lazy for not having written, but the team here have been far from lazy. We had our busiest and toughest schedule to date pre-Christmas, and I am glad to say that the team delivered to target with the beta release and first phase of Findmypast Hints on the 15th December.
I will devote an entire blog (maybe two) to Hints, but just to give those who may be unfamiliar with them, I will give a brief explanation.
While you are building your family tree, you may divert your focus to search for records on Findmypast. You take the information you have gathered and retype certain elements, in the hope of finding a birth record or a marriage or something else. With Hints, we take the initiative for you, and take the data you have entered, and in the background try to make the best search we can. Sometimes this will use information you have entered on related people to help narrow down the possibilities.
If we think we have found records that may be relevant to you, we will create a Hint, indicated by a orange circle on your person nodes, which can then be viewed in more detail on profile page.
But the process is a bit more than that. We don’t just direct you to the record, we present the record in a format that matches the format you would see in your family tree. We show matches, differences and new information, and then let you merge it easily into your own tree, along with copying source information where it is available.
The best thing with Findmypast Hints is that the process is not limited to subscribers. Yes there will be information on a record that you will need to subscribe to see, but most of the core information on birth, marriage and death records is free to see and merge. And as you merge this information, the Hints will once again work away in the background looking for more Hints to give you.
In one month, we have created 1 million Hints for Findmypast Family Tree people, and this comes only from people adding to and editing their trees, and a few limited number from GEDCOM imports. You really have to have a go building your tree, and see what Hints can find for you.
Currently Hints are being generated only for birth, marriage and death records, but we are searching across ALL record sets in these categories, regardless of the record set size.
This has certainly been our primary focus for the last 3 months, but we’ve been working on other items as well, that are now available on the Findmypast Family Tree.
- ZIP upload for media
- GEDCOM improvements
- Media edit includes location and date
- Media edit now in modal
- Fact type list display description, date and place
- Chronological order option on facts and events
- Added year/place specific Census fact types
- Added email fact type
We’ll continue to evolve the main Family Tree product at a rapid pace in 2015, with phase 2 of Hints being rolled out as soon as features are ready. This will include Census Hints, and then other record sets. We will include backfilling Hints so that we hopefully uncover some interesting finds on the people in your tree that you’d maybe forgotten about. There are improvements to the merge screen coming very soon, that will allow you to add sources even when the fact information matches, or edit the fact to blend both the record and your own data, or create an alternative fact altogether.
We are looking to improve the views that are currently available, and hopefully offer more. And then there are the list pages, that are integral to those who want to check and tidy up their data, or see issue lists where we identify issues or inconsistencies in your family tree data, such as parents born before children.
Rest assured that the team here will not be resting, and will be working on your behalf to give you an even better Family Tree in 2015.
If you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see, then feel free to leave a comment here.
Thanks once again for reading my posts.