Family.me Creates an Interactive Family Tree with Living Relatives

August 2, 2017  - by 
Family.me, a new app, has created a private social network space for families.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I’m grateful to see what’s going on with family and friends, but I could do without public posts, personal rants, and self-serving selfies. This is why I am excited that Family.me, a new app that has partnered with FamilySearch, has created a private social network specifically for families. While it is not a messaging center, you can connect with your family’s photos and get to know living relatives and your ancestors at the same time.

Family.me is available on both desktop and mobile devices and allows me to automatically load my existing FamilySearch family tree onto the site. Next, I add information about living relatives. Once I invite family members to join my tree, they can add their own up-to-date photos. I can also tag photos with labels for different events or categories and add comments.

As soon as I registered, I was directed to download my family tree from FamilySearch. (See this tutorial for help connecting Family.me with your FamilySearch tree). It didn’t take long before my tree was in place and I could start building the tree by adding living relatives.

Once I figured out how to add new names—and make sure they were the right gender—it was easy. (Note: The site automatically adds the person as a female unless you select the male option.) I started adding a few memories to my immediate family by dropping in photos from my computer and then tried adding one from Facebook. It was a simple process. The site also has options to import photos from other sources, including Google Drive, Dropbox, or Instagram.

The tags feature allows me to tag other family members in their memory, or I can tag specific descriptions, making it easy to search for the memory later. For example, I can use “wedding” to tag memories of family wedding traditions over the years.

The more names and photos I added, the more excited I became. It was surprisingly touching to see all the people I love on the chart. My heart was full as I reflected about each person and the memories we shared. Watching the past merge into the present seemed to bring our family story to life.  

 

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Comments

  1. I have been using family search for over four years I am amazed at the new addition they add all the time. Some times I can’t believe how many people are like me. Wondering about my past Thanks for sharing so much and I realized I am like you about people who are still a live Thank you

  2. As with any “free” app, personal data ends up being shared. They promise in their privacy statement (long, and well worth reading all the way – not just the first few paragraphs) that they only use aggregated data, but then one of at least two less comfortable clauses showed up: they can transfer all your personal data to another company in the event they’re bought out by some other company. They also store users’ Facebook (or other log on credentials) for whatever external site users might use to connect to “family.me” – which further adds to the list of possible security concerns. Read the section on personal contact lists of users carefully to make sure you’re comfortable with it.

    Having been part of two very large data breaches (one at the Federal government level, the other at a major insurance carrier) and having our family’s personal information exposed to unknown bad actors, I’m personally wary of any “free” application with access to potentially very sensitive personal data. They HAVE to make money somewhere in order to afford their storage space, web development, personnel costs, marketing costs, etc. Thus, they have to be selling something on the side to pay for all they’re offering us for free. FamilySearch and Ancestry.com, for example, have privacy controls on living individuals for a reason. I find nothing in the “family.me” privacy policy that even addresses that issue. Would we be providing data on living people – without their permission – by virtue of uploading our FamilySearch (Family Tree) data to “family.me?”

    Nice idea, but proceed with caution.

    1. In reply to “Would we be providing data on living people – without their permission – by virtue of uploading our FamilySearch (Family Tree) data to “family.me?”,” I believe the article mentions that you yourself will be adding information on living relatives to Family.me. FamilySearch only allows the person who created a living record to see it (which only becomes available for others to see once the person is deceased), so uploading information from Family Tree shouldn’t be a concern. If the privacy of family is a concern, it sounds like you would have control over that information if you were to use the app. I hope this helps!

  3. When I went in to family.me it has all those family trees that I could look at. Is there a way to make your tree private except for your family members?

  4. I tried to use this site, created a login and then clicked on the FamilySearch section to start importing my tree–it has been just grinding away for over a day and so now I am worried that it is compromising my FS login so I have asked them to delete my account as, perhaps my tree on FamilySearch is too large. I was not able to do anything on the site, so gave up. Sounds like a good idea, but could not get it to work. Really need a place to collaborate with living relatives as MyHeritage has stopped allowing pdf uploads and hundreds of pdf files I uploaded over many years are now not viewable!

  5. Two things I learned since this article appeared:
    1. Tried on my laptop, still hadn’t synced my tree in 8 hours of spinning circle. Killed it.
    2. Looked it up on Apple APP Store. Noticed it had no reviews yet and has been out since 2016. Hmmmm. AND! It is owned/developed by SPOKEO, the find anyone website. Not sure if I want to give them FREE FUEL!

  6. Have tried for over a week to import tree from familysearch and just get hour after hour of the spinning green wheel. Have sent numerous contacts to site with no replies. I see others are experiencing the same issue with importing and again, no replies from family.me. I wanted SO much for this to work. Check out TWILE.COM. Similar concept, free and they actually respond to questions.

  7. I have created private groups on FB for several branches of my family. One has more than 200 members. We share events, family history, photos – old and new. We also share links to websites about our ancestral homeland. This works for me.

    1. I’m a member of several private FB family groups as well. It’s definitely a good way to stay connected! I’m excited to see how well Family.me works too 🙂

  8. I agree with the other comments. FamilySearch needs to be more thorough in offering partner website interoperability. I can’t find any credible references for the site.

  9. does not work for me My mother is listed as unknown and many requests to find out why NO RESPONSE
    Family Tree down load my mother and all her lines are listed but nothing Need a site that has some help it is useless with no way to get in touch

  10. The site has turned everyone’s names into gibberish. I’m looking for some help to remedy this glitch.

    Secondly, names like McCann and LeBlanc can only be written as Mccann and Leblanc.

    Lastly, can you please have siblings appear in chronological order by birth? Right now the order appears completely random.