General Inquiries About Family Pursuit

  1. What is Family Pursuit all about?
    Family Pursuit is a wiki-based, centralized database designed specifically for collaboration, regardless of distance and time, that allows you to network and collaborate with other genealogists and get all members of the family involved. Our collaborative tools include a pedigree with the ability to add notes, sources, to facts and relationships. We have also created research coordination tools that allow you to create and assign tasks, log research progress, and share your findings with others.

  2. Family Pursuit advertises a way of getting the whole family involved – how is this accomplished?
    Getting the whole family involved can be done in multiple ways, both on the free Community Tree and in a Private Family Tree. Firstly, both trees offer Research Projects. This is a great tool for mentoring and involving the inexperienced genealogist by assigning them a single task (e.g. Find John Doe in the 1860-1910 censuses and create separate extractions for each census). There is a place for instructions and discussions for mentoring. This is great to help the new genealogist learn and for those who have a limited amount of time. We suggest watching the Research Projects Tutorial to learn more about this powerful tool. Click here to view the tutorial.
    Another feature available in the Private Family Tree is the ability to add living individuals. In this way, each branch of the family can enter in their own information. Social networking within the family is also available. The ability to add stories (community and private trees) and upload photos (private tree only) also allows family members a way to contribute.

  3. How does Family Pursuit differ from other “collaboration” sites?
    Family Pursuit has many features that can be found on other family social networks. However, Family Pursuit has a different focus – research. Family Pursuit focuses on allowing family members to organize, record and collaborate on genealogy research. So, not only can you keep in touch with family members using a Family Pursuit private tree, but you can also coordinate genealogical research among family members. For this reason, we offer more advanced options for sourcing information and tracking changes made by others. This sets Family Pursuit apart from the other family social networks.

  4. Can I or can I not put in information about living people?
    A Family Pursuit Private Tree allows information about living individuals, as that tree is completely secure and private. This information is not allowed in the Community Tree because that tree is open for the public to view and edit. We are sorry for any confusion regarding this matter. The Individuals Basics tutorial was created before we allowed Private Trees and states that information regarding living people is not allowed – it is referring only to the Community Tree. We will change the tutorial as soon as we can. The rest of the information on the tutorial about how to use the Individuals section is accurate and very helpful.

  5. Can I transfer my information to FamilySearch from Family Pursuit?
    Yes. Family Pursuit is certified to synchronize with FamilySearch.org, a website operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Owners of a Private Family Tree on Family Pursuit have the option of activating this feature. Family Pursuit will in no case share information with FamilySearch - that is something that users in a Private Tree do themselves (we just provide the tools for them to do it).

  6. Do I have to choose between my desktop program (like PAF, Legacy, etc.) and Family Pursuit?
    We don’t expect (or want) you to give up your desktop programs to use Family Pursuit. We’ve designed the GEDCOM import so that you can upload multiple GEDCOM files. You can even upload a GEDCOM file, then make some updates and upload it again. The import process will import the additional information found in the GEDCOM file. --The Family Pursuit Community tree and Private trees work like a wiki. They are designed to have multiple people working in the database in such a way that if a mistake is made you can undo it. You can also see all changes made by all users. If they do enter “questionable” information, it is easy to communicate with them to have them explain why they entered it and, if necessary, the information can be reverted to a previous revision. Family Pursuit makes it easy to collaborate in this way. We are currently developing a GEDCOM export piece to be able to transfer information from Family Pursuit to your desktop program.

  7. What types of charts do you use to display information?
    We currently offer a 5 generation pedigree chart to view online. We are in the process of developing a descendancy chart and a generations chart which will show 1st and 2nd cousins. As stated in the above question, the ability to export a GEDCOM will soon be available so that you can export your information from Family Pursuit and import it to your favorite chart-making program.

  8. Can I try the features of Family Pursuit Private Tree without buying a tree first?
    Yes, simply register for the free Family Pursuit Community Tree. The Community Tree offers all the same research tools as a Private tree. Keep in mind the Community tree is a live and valid tree. It is not a "sandbox" for fake or test data.

  9. What is the difference between the Community Tree and a Private Tree?
    The Community Tree is free and open for viewing and editing to all registered Family Pursuit users. That means any information about an individual is able to be edited by anyone who joins the tree.  For security reasons, living individuals are not allowed in this tree.  Using this tree, you can find distant relatives who are working on the same lines.  When someone signs up for the free account, this is the tree they become a part of.  The Private Tree has an annual fee and is open for viewing and editing only to those who have been invited to join the tree. Information about living individuals is allowed and only accessible to those working within that tree. The Private Tree is also more focused around a particular subject of research. (If you have viewed the Individuals Section Basics tutorial, it states that information regarding living individuals is not allowed. That is true for the Community Tree, but they are allowed in the Private Tree. The tutorial will be changed as soon as possible.)

  10. Can I research multiple lines in the same Private Tree?
    It really depends on how you set up the Private Tree. For example, a common focus is to base a Private Tree on a particular ancestor, say your G Grandparents. Then you would invite all of their descendants to join the tree. In this way you can stay in touch with cousins through the social networking pieces, share family stories and photos about common ancestors, and get everyone involved in researching the ancestors of that set of G Grandparents.
    However, you probably wouldn’t be interested in your cousin’s spouse’s ancestors. In which case, that cousin’s spouse should purchase a separate Private Family Tree.
    This is only example of how to organize the use of a Private Family Tree. It is up to the creator/purchaser of the tree what the focus is. One thing to keep in mind is you can be a member of multiple Private Trees on Family Pursuit all with the same login. You can have one for each side of the family. And of course there is the Community Tree.

  11. Will a Private Tree work for an organization that is not centered around a common ancestor? (like descendants of all Mayflower pilgrims, or a single surname study)
    Yes, with a few privacy caveats. One thing to keep in mind, is when you invite living people to a Private tree, they will be able to see each other in the tree.  That may or may not be a problem for what you are trying to accomplish.  In a future release of Family Pursuit we will make a "private living family" option within a Private tree so that living information is only viewable by close relatives and deceased information can be viewed by all in the private tree.  This type of tree will be designed specifically for organizations and one-name studies etc. So, if the privacy with living individuals is not a problem for you and your fellow researchers, then a Private Family Tree will be suitable. If this would not be suitable, the organization can collaborate on the Community Tree for free.

  12. Can multiple GEDCOMs be uploaded to the same Private Family tree?
    Yes, we’ve designed the GEDCOM import so that you can upload multiple GEDCOM files. You can even upload a GEDCOM file, then make some updates and upload it again. The import process will import the additional information found in the GEDCOM file.

  13. I was just invited by someone to join Family Pursuit – do I have to pay anything to join the tree?
    No. If you have been invited to the Community Tree, it is free for all members. If you have been invited to a Private Tree, the owner/creator of that tree has already paid the subscription fee. You have full access to all research and networking tools within that tree. The only time you would have to pay a fee is if you wanted to create a new Private Tree to research a different family line.

  14. How does the invitation process work on a Private Tree?
    On a Private Family Tree, everyone in the family can see who has joined the tree. You use the tree as a way to identify and invite family members. Thus, in a private tree, you put yourself in and then put in your parents, siblings, spouse, kids, cousins, etc. Then you can add their email address to their record. They will then get an email invitation to join your private tree. Once a family member has joined, they can continue inviting others in the family. This works great when you may know your brother’s email address, but not your cousin’s. Then, when your brother joins, he knows your cousin’s email address, so he can invite him/her.

  15. If I put someone in the tree and it is changed by another user, will I be notified of the change?
    Yes. When you add someone to the tree, that person is added to your Watch List unless you uncheck that option when you create them. You will be notified of every action or modification done to any individual that is in your watch list by someone other than yourself. You can view your watch list using the "My Watch List" link at the top of the website. For more information about Watch Lists, watch this tutorial.

Technical Inquiries

  1. I'm having trouble logging in. What’s going on?
    When you login you should see a welcome screen with your name.  If you get that screen, but then when you click to go somewhere else, you get redirected back to the login screen (with the brown background), that means the site cookie is not being set properly. Family Pursuit requires the use of javascript and cookies to operate properly.  The cookie allows us to determine if you are still logged in. Please check your browser settings and verify that cookies and javascript are allowed. Also, be aware that your default username is your email address. If you want, you can change your username in the "My Account" section of the purple "My Home" tab.

  2. Help, I’ve been invited to a Private Tree but I can’t get to it.
    You need to accept the invitation to the Private Tree from the email you received from Family Pursuit as this has embedded a direct link to that Private Tree. Because they are private and secure, you cannot search for it on the website. Once you have accepted this invitation, you are a member of both the Private Tree and the free Community Tree. While you are logged in, the tree that you are viewing and working on is displayed in large bold letters in the upper left corner of the screen next to the Family Pursuit multi-colored tree logo. The Dashboard section of the purple My Home tab displays all the trees you are a member of. Click on the name of that tree to begin working on it.

  3. Now that I’m logged in, how do I add someone?
    Click on the blue Individuals tab along the top. This will take you to the Individuals tab (you may notice that the website coloring changes to blue to correspond). If you are unfamiliar with this tab, we highly recommend watching the short Individuals Tutorial found on the left of the screen. To add a new individual, click on the “Create a New Individual” link on the left. Or, you can upload a GEDCOM file by choosing the “Upload a Gedcom File” link, also found on the left of the screen.

  4. How do I add a source to a fact?
    Family Pursuit allows you to attach sources to specific facts, marriage events and parent-child relationships.

    1. Go to the "Details" section of an individual. This sub-tab is on the left in the Individuals tab.
    2. Click the "edit" link to the right of the fact you want to add a source for.
    3. In the edit popup, there are 3 tabs, "Details", "Sources", "Notes". Click on the sources tab, then click the "Add Source Citation" button.
    4. In this "Edit Source Citation" popup, you first click the "Select Source" button. This will popup a master source select popup and will allow you to choose a master source or create a new master source. A master source is a source that you may use more than once. For example it may be a book or county census that you use over and over as the source for multiple facts. If you have already created a source, you can select it from the master list.
    5. Click the "Add selected Source" button after you select or create the master source. You should now be back to the "Edit Source Citation" popup. Now you can add additional citation information in the citation and extraction fields (such as page number, etc)
    6. When finished click "Save Details", which will return you to the "Edit Fact" popup. Click "Save Details" again to save.

    You can add multiple sources to a single fact by repeating steps 3 - 5.

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From our Members

"Great stuff, guys. This is clearly addressing a huge need that is not being addressed to this point yet. So many people out there working on the same work in a disorganized mess! Fantastic user interface. Very clean, consistent, and easy on the eyes and mind. I can use research projects as a way to train beginners on techniques."
- Scott M., Arizona