I was excited when I was invited to review a new family history site US Family Tree. I’m not one to usually recommend a paid site for research or research help when there are so much you can still obtain via the internet online and all for free. This site is different with a free and paid version makes this affordable for anyone on a budget.
US Family Tree uses a tool called Advanced Tree Inspector to communicate to New FamilySearch site and to help you navigate a bit better through your pedigree’s. With these additional tools you look at your family tree in another way. Sometimes in family history research we see the same type of pedigree charts, going from left to right in traditional fashion but with Advanced Tree Inspector, they are produced from top to bottom. Using the Advanced Tree Inspector produces reports that you normally don’t see in any regular genealogical record keeper or in New FamilySearch. US Family Tree has been FamilySearch Certified, which is an important element that New FamilySearch approved this 3rd party software to enhance your family history research.
In order to use USFamilyTree.com you need to establish an account at New FamilySearch. Once you have registered, you can go to USFamilyTree.com and log in using your New FamilySearch account. Then the system will fetch your family records. The free account will fetch up to 9 generations, if it is available and the Pro Version will fetch 12 generations. For my family tree I had 853 names to fetch and for 12 generations it claimed it could take up to 30 minutes to load the information. My family only took about 5 minutes, which was great.
To start off, I use a password manager (LastPass) and I had to turn it off in order for it to work, otherwise the site will loop and not log into New FamilySearch. I first went to Your Pedigree in Advanced Tree Inspector and you will see up to 9 or 12 generations depending on how many pedigrees you have on New FamilySearch. Tip: To easily find a surname, use Control F to find what you need. Your list could be too long to find individuals, so the Control F is a great option.
With Your Pedigree click on the Tree Icon next to the name and it will go straight to New FamilySearch where you will view your ancestor. One drawback is that it doesn’t automatically open a new tab or window when you click on the Tree Icon, but that can be easily fixed by holding down the Shift key while clicking the Tree Icon. It is helpful for me to have two separate windows open to bounce between, especially if you use a dual monitor setup like I do.
Origins Breakdown is a simple tool to divide your family into different countries. It is great to see at a glance where the bulk of your ancestors are from. It is also a great tool to correct some errors. I had a few ancestors in some very remote countries that I knew for sure they were never there. It was data entry error or the wrong standard place was entered in. I was able to find several that needed corrections. On the other hand, I had several that stated the country, like Bolivia or Colchester, and there was no mention of that country when I pulled up the details of that ancestor.
U.S. Immigrant List: I love the fact that it reads all the information and gives you a list of those that were born outside the United States and who died in the United States. I saw that the majority of my family came from England.
Pedigree Loops: Great tool to find those ancestors that are their own grandfather. Meaning, someone has combined records and a son, father and grandfather are all the same person. This can be used to find those Pedigree Loops and then (manually for now) fix those loops. It states that in a future version of Advanced Tree Inspector this will be automatic. I see some great potential for this.
The US Surname Size List is used to find out how many times a surname showed up in the 1880 US Census. Then click on the name and receive a list with the oldest living ancestor showing. This is great if an ancestor didn’t have any children and doesn’t have any descendants. One way for an individual to be forgotten and fall through the cracks. With this list, that will help tie your entire family together whether they had children or not.
The Pro Version has additional reports. Missing Birth and Death Information tool is great to see at a glance who needs further research. This truly is better than going to each name individually and checking that information. It is all here on one page. The other report is Non-Standard Places, which I think is my favorite report. I am one to make sure that a place of an event is typed correctly in the standard record keeping way. This will find all the errors or places that aren’t recognized and produces a list of missing information.
I love this new site, I have to admit, it is a bit overwhelming to the fact it shows where there is much needed work on my family line. I would love to be able to print some of these results with a print option to maintain the tables and charts, or save them for pdf. Just to keep a research log of sorts to keep track of my progress. I was a long time user of Personal Ancestral File (PAF) from 3.0 to 5.x version and I have since migrated over to using Legacy software. These genealogical record keepers always had great reports that you could generate to help in your research to tie down loose ends and to find the missing piece of the puzzle. Right now New FamilySearch doesn’t have those extra tools to help with that and many are migrating over to New FamilySearch as their sole record keeper and this site can give you those extra bells and whistles to get the job done.
There is a Free and Pro version and you can see the difference between the two here https://www.usfamilytree.com/pro_upgrade The Pro version is only $19.99 a year. Well worth the money for the avid researcher. Also keep in mind that the Free version will only show up to 9 generations and the Pro Version will show 12. Personally, I love the 12. Since the system only works on one line, it would be great to some how include your spouses line in the account. Update feature: When you identify information that needs correcting, correct that information on New FamilySearch and make sure you click the Update button at US Family Tree to reflect those changes.
US Family Tree has their own YouTube channel which will introduce you to the site and show you what it can do. And it wouldn’t be complete if they didn’t have their own Facebook page, which they do. US Family Tree and the Advanced Tree Inspector is definitely a new tool in my family history tool belt.