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20 February 2006 @ 02:23 pm
Here is an email I received on a new genealogy related website from Dallan Quass. He has some good ideas here. If your so included give his alpha-launched website a try and send him some feedback.

I wanted to let you know that I alpha-launched http://werelate.org. It's a combination vertical search engine plus wiki.  The overall goal is to help people discover and share information about their ancestors on line.  The website is in what I would call an "alpha" state right now, meaning there is some fine tuning needed on the look and feel and I'm sure there are a number of bugs, but it is to the point where I'm interested in criticisms of the ideas, suggestions for new features, bug reports, etc.  If you have any suggestions for things we should be doing differently or additional things that would make the site much more useful, I'd love to hear them.

As a summary, the website is composed of four major sections:

(1) Search: search genealogy-relevant web pages for names, places, and keywords.  You can elect to include related names in your search, which causes searches on John Smith for example to return pages containing Jonathan Smythe.  The index currently includes about 5M pages, but that number will increase over time.  The ultimate goal for search is to point people to information regardless of its location, whether on static web pages, behind forms, or in off line books and microfilms.

(2) Names: this section lists related names and possible misspellings for given and surnames.  It has been created using a combination of manual data entry and a weighted-edit-distance algorithm.

(3) Places: this section contains what I believe is the largest database of historic places currently available on line.  It integrates data from Wikipedia, the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, and the Family History Library Catalog.  It currently has places for North and South America, Europe, and Australia/NZ.  Africa, Asia, and the rest of Oceania should be up soon.

(4) Resources: this section lists websites and microfilms that are relevant to genealogy.  Currently it includes about 400K websites and on line message boards that we've come across and roughly 1M microfilms from the FHLC. Search (section 1) performs searches over the pages on these resources. Sections 2-4 are wiki's, with the idea that people can improve them over time.  I'm hoping to get feedback over the next several months on how to make the website more helpful.

Current Mood: calmcalm
20 February 2006 @ 02:51 pm
I got the following email last week from GenCircles - forgot to pass the info on.

Dear GenCircles User,

We just put out yet another FREE database, Texas Marriages:

We're extending our email special of Family Tree Legends 5.0.  Through
this email link, you can order the latest and greatest version of Family
Tree Legends for only $14.95!  Just go to:

We've introduced a program for users to help support GenCircles.
They get unlimited SmartMatches and an ad-free experience.  See:

Thank you for being part of our community!

Best Regards,
GenCircles Staff
Current Mood: calmcalm