Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Family trees flourish on the Internet

by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Oct 18, 2007
The Internet is fertile ground for genealogy websites branching out to connect the dead and the living with a shared dream of drawing humanity's family tree.

Spectrum Equity Investors underscored the success of online lineage-tracing websites on Wednesday by paying 300 million dollars for a majority stake in the parent company of

Founded in the US state of Utah in 1983, The Generations Network operates, publishes Ancestry Magazine, but is for the most part the Internet heritage-tracking portal

Early genealogy websites provided online tools for ferreting out relatives from public records and other sources, winning the hearts of historians and amateurs curious about the branches of their family trees.

Such websites have taken lessons from online social-networking superstars such as MySpace and Facebook, evolving into interactive forums where people can share their findings, pictures, and family histories.

Websites enable people to connect their family trees with those of others in what operators hope will grow into an online outline of relationships between the world's human inhabitants.'s popularity surged after it added tools in July of 2006 letting heritage-seekers connect with each other online.

It saw the creation of more than 3.8 million new family trees adorned with 330 million names along with pictures, testimonials, and scanned documents. operates in eight countries and claims 900,000 paying subscribers. The website boasts 2.5 million active members and one-time visits from approximately 8.2 million people monthly.

"None of those competing sites, or even all of those sites aggregated, have caused any financial pain yet for The Generations Network," Michael Arrington of Internet-tracking website TechCrunch.

"The company is pulling in 150 million dollars or so in yearly revenue and is hugely profitable according to our source."'s data trove includes five billion names from US census reports dating back centuries; lists of immigrants aboard boats arriving at US ports; African-American community records, and US military files.

Young Internet firms are challenging with strategies that capitalize on the capacity for people online to create their own family trees and form networks with others doing the same.

California start-up Geni has users make a biographical profile and then give the names and e-mail addresses of parents and other relatives, then use the network of connections to build a collective picture of their family.

Geni has attracted more than five million users since it launched in January. It lets people make family trees free of charge and plans to eventually make money from advertising.

German website is based on a similar model.

Israeli site MyHeritage claims 17 million users and a database of 180 million names.

Spurred by the new competition, online genealogy pioneers are adapting to the new generation.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website is digitizing ancestry documents it has spent a century collecting. counts 640 million names in its files and says the number is increasing by a million per month, in part because the religion allows members to belatedly baptize ancestors.

Competitors in the market include FamilyInHistory, FamilyRelatives, FamilyLink, and

Even increasingly popular website Facebook recently added a software application for ancestry hunters. announced it will start using what's in people's blood to track their bloodline with the launch of a genetic genealogy service at

The website began this week selling kits that enable people to chart their genetic code in the hopes of matching it to those with shared ancestry.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Asia's super rich are getting richer: report
Hong Kong (AFP) Oct 17, 2007
The number of dollar millionaires in Asia has swelled by 8.6 percent, with Japan home to more than 1.47 million, a report published Wednesday found.

  • Satellites Help Save Lives
  • Vietnam villagers face hunger amid floods
  • 3,000 evacuated after China landslide blocks river
  • ORNL Resilience Plan To Help Tennessee, Mississippi And South Carolina Communities Beat Disaster

  • Tiny Pacific islands say climate change threatens survival
  • Asking The Wrong Questions On Global Warming
  • Heaps Of Climate Gas - Pasturing Cows Convert Soil To A Source Of Methane
  • Australian drought pushes up price of beer

  • ITT Sensors Aboard DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 Satellite Capture First High-Res Images
  • Successful Image Taking By The High Definition Television
  • Boeing Launches WorldView-1 Earth-Imaging Satellite
  • New Faraway Sensors Warn Of Emerging Hurricane's Strength

  • Modelling Proves No Mission Is Impossible
  • Over 4 Million Dollars For Clever Clothing
  • Brazil, west Africa agree to lobby for bio-fuels
  • Biofuels use transforming commodity markets: CME chief

  • West Nile Virus Spread Through Nerve Cells Linked To Serious Complication
  • New Model Predicts More Virulent Microbes
  • China denies cover-up of pig disease
  • China confirms bird flu outbreak: HK official

  • Researchers Studying How Singing Bats Communicate
  • Small-scale fishing threatens sea turtles
  • Symposium Marks 30th anniversary Of Discovery Of Third Domain Of Life
  • UD Plant Biologists Uncover Top Wetland Invader's Hidden Weapon

  • Analysis: Olympics and Beijing pollution
  • Scientists Estimate Mercury Emissions From US Fires
  • Fantastic Plastic Could Cut CO2 Emissions And Purify Water
  • Pollution 'matter of life or death': HK leader

  • Neandertals And Humans Share Key Changes To Language Gene
  • Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise
  • Family trees flourish on the Internet
  • Consortium Publishes Phase 2 Map Of Human Genetic Variation

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement