Collaborative Family History

January 14, 2009

Family Pursuit Announces the Release of Private Family Trees

Filed under: Family Pursuit, New Features — Michael Martineau @ 1:41 pm

All the major problems have been worked out, so now it’s time for a press release!  We announced the following today:

Provo, Utah, Jan. 14 - Family Pursuit, a leader in online collaborative genealogy research tools, today announced the release of Private Family Trees.  Designed specifically for collaboration, this unique wiki-based website is now available for private use for the genealogist who is looking for a better way to work with others. Family Pursuit’s private family trees allow researchers to share not only conclusions, but their ongoing research, sources, extractions and theories with those invited to join the trees.  They are the perfect solution for sharing research with the entire family, interacting with other family genealogists, or working within a family organization or one-name study.

Some of the collaborative tools available for private family trees include:

  • Inviting an unlimited number of family members to join a private tree
  • Organizing and sharing ongoing genealogy research
  • Creating and assigning tasks
  • Sharing research logs and extractions
  • Adding living individuals
  • Keeping all information about living and deceased individuals private
  • Involving and mentoring family members
  • Participating in family discussions
  • Receiving notifications of changes made by tree users
  • Rolling back and forth any change made by any user
  • Advanced merging and unmerging

Along with these new private trees, Family Pursuit continues to offer its Community Tree which has been created for genealogists to share research with the genealogy community to reduce duplicate efforts, accelerate research, and network and connect with distant relatives.

“We have found that many genealogists feel more comfortable working privately with those they already know.  A Private Family Tree offers this security,” said Mike Martineau, founder of Family Pursuit.  “When genealogists feel confident in their research conclusions, they will be able to easily copy their conclusions to the Community Tree for others to view and add to. A Private Family Tree also allows the inexperienced genealogist to be privately mentored by more knowledgeable relatives.  We are excited to offer a bridge between those who are overwhelmed by the amount of research and those who want to help but don’t know how.  We look forward to continuing our progress in developing these important tools, and being a part of bringing more people into the work.”

About Family Pursuit

Started in 2004, Family Pursuit, a Provo, Utah company, provides web-based applications to accelerate family history work by providing a framework for genealogy researchers to work together in their efforts and to easily share their ideas, theories, research and conclusions. Family Pursuit enables genealogy enthusiasts to involve family members who have never engaged in family history work, bringing families together in sharing the rewarding experience of researching, exploring, and creating a personal understanding of their heritage. Visit for more information.


  1. To be honest, it’s nothing short of amazing. What took me years to get as far as I have, you’ve done in a short time. Do researchers have to give up using their desktop programs like Legacy when using this?

    Currently, I use Legacy Family Tree and then TNG to display the results on the web. The thing I like TNG is that while it can be used for a collaboration tool, I can also lock that feature and just make “suggestions” available to preserve the integrity of my work. All changes therefore are made by me.

    My only complaint with your site, no screenshots. I know you have videos but a picture is worth a million words. I may not have the time at that “moment” to watch all videos. In the future, is there a possibility of adding screenshots of the different areas?

    I hope this takes off.

    Comment by Bernard Doddema, Jr. — January 17, 2009 @ 5:08 am

  2. @Bernard - Thanks for the encouragement!

    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.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have the GEDCOM export complete yet, so you don’t currently have a way to move data back to your desktop software. We hope to have it completed soon.

    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. Because of the wiki-based technology we’ve built into the system, we have not put any way to lock a tree down so that users can only make suggestions. Allowing a private tree owner the option of “locking” his/her private tree is something we may consider adding in the future.

    Regarding screenshots, we’ve actually had another request for that. We’re going to add some as soon as we can. However, you are welcome to sign up for the free Community tree account. You can then see all the screens directly. The community tree is almost identical to a private tree, with the exception that in a private tree, we add some additional tools for communicating with the entire family and allow you to invite living family members right into the tree.

    Comment by Michael Martineau — January 20, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  3. I personally prefer the videos over just the static screenshots and hope that new ones relating to other topics will soon be produced. They’ve been quite helpful.

    With respect to the comments made to screenshots in the posts above, however, I’d be very interested to see a video tutorial (or alternatively, screenshots) regarding screens/features that apply strictly to private family trees. It might also help those who are considering upgrading to determine exactly what extra features/benefits would apply.


    Comment by Mark — January 23, 2009 @ 2:54 am

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