I'm a visual kind of person. Also, I'm from the generation who first discovered the Post-It note. I see it's benefits, especially when it comes to getting a view of my family tree. While the paid for ancestry sites have useful tree formats... I still needed something that I could manipulate.
I love my Post-It family tree. But now it sits in a closet. I can't share it.
I discovered my passion for family tree research, and my own snoopy brand of enthusiasm for building my own family tree during the early days of the COVID19 lockdown of 2020.
Family tree building tools are varied, some are free, and some membership based.
There are highly paid, university qualified professionals who devote their entire working lives to family history research. Careers spent sifting through old difficult to read documents, sepia tinted photographs of people who never seemed to smile (I'm thinking it's dental issues behind the frowns) and tiptoeing through cemeteries on rainy afternoons squinting at faded grave markers to find clues and crumbs.
Using a professional can, for some people, be the only way to go. If you are not a DIY kind of person, not confident with the internet or simply do not have the time, contact the professionals.
However, one of the features that is most rewarding for an ancestry hound such as myself, is the actual process of researching, discovering, verifying and growing my family tree.
I started with Wikitree and its free open access (you will need to register as a member to begin), and it's free community opened the door for me to see what family tree building it was all about.
To be fair, I sort of had a head start. I had in my possession a Xerox paper copy of a family tree that one of my mother’s cousins had put together in the 1980’s.
With that in hand, I started to scratch around.
Excel was what I used to present my family tree. It was difficult to share with family, and honestly wasn't really pretty.
The best thing to come out of my two versions was that I discovered that my great grandparents were more related than I knew. No one ever told me this little piece of history. They were in fact third cousins.
The definition of a family tree is...
a diagram showing the relationship between people in several generations of a family.
Boring, a completely dull and "websteristic" explanantion of what a family tree is. It can be, and it, so much more.
And Then Along Came Clanview
Clanview is a great new way to instantly "publish", explore and share family history. It uses the family history data you have gathered in your genealogy program or online service.
An interactive 3D family tree to engage your relatives - no catches, no obstacles, no excuses.
My personal experience with the "share-ability" of Clanview is the reason I find this platform a must have.
My 37 year old son, who lives on the opposite side of the planet from me, is a person living with special abilities. He's a wonderful man, engaging, interesting and most importantly interested.
Throughout the COVID19 fiasco we have spoken almost daily via Skype. Often we struggle to find something new to talk about. Until I started to engage with him about his ancestry and my research into our family tree.
Then I found Clanview. He's the first person that I have shared my Clanview tree with. He was able to open the link and interact with the program with ease. We now have another string in our bow, another something to talk about.
I can't impress enough how easy this program is to use. Don't take my word for it though... give it a try.