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(Re-)Introducing FamilyTreeCircles Answers

In the past few months, we've talked about some changes that we're working on at FamilyTreeCircles. You can start to see some of those materializing right now with the re-introduction of FamilyTreeCircles Answers.

You've probably seen services like Yahoo! Answers and Quora, and we'll be bringing the same to FamilyTreeCircles, just for genealogy. We're in the unique position to have a platform and a member base that I believe will support an amazing resource for getting genealogy questions answered.

The first part is done -- the actual question asking interface. Answering is the same as it has always been.


Here's an example: What's the best piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting their family tree research?

If you have answers to that question, please help out and give an answer. I'm sure that many people would find it very useful.

Next, we'll be adding a way to vote up answers, and for the person who asked the question to choose the best answer. We'll be bringing points back to FamilyTreeCircles and giving recognition for the best and top contributors.

I hope we can provide great answers and become a resource to get all kinds of genealogy questions answered here at FamilyTreeCircles and bring something new and unique to the Genealogy industry.

Ask a question here!

And view the latest questions here...

1 comment(s), latest 9 months, 1 week ago

What's the best piece of advice you'd give to someone just starting their family tree research?

Are there any tools that they can't live without or blogs they need to read? How would you recommend they keep from getting overwhelmed?

27 comment(s), latest 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Exclusive offer for FamilyTreeCircles members

I sent this out yesterday in the email newsletter, but obviously we don't all read the emails. I don't want anyone to miss out.

Also, I got feedback from some people that they can't afford paid services. I understand that. It's not for everybody. That's partly why FamilyTreeCircles is here for free, and always will be. The paid services do have some incredible data, and if you can't afford it, someone else can, and will hopefully use it to help the rest of us.

For a limited time, you can get 50% off a year membership of MyHeritage.

The normal price is $238.80 USD and with this limited time offer, you’ll pay just $119.40 for a full year’s access to MyHeritage PremiumPlus AND the Data Membership. This offer expires on Wednesday, December 23.

Learn more...



Last month, we announced a partnership with MyHeritage here on FamilyTreeCircles. And along with that comes the ability to occasionally pass on great offers to our members.

I'm excited to offer this to you now, especially in time for the holidays and for you to start off the new year with a running start for your genealogy research.

I've been a MyHeritage member for years. Sure, FamilyTreeCircles is a free resource, and an amazing community. Supplementing it with the vast amounts of data available on MyHeritage is win-win in my book.

Using MyHeritage, I get access to an incredible amount of research materials and records, I get alerted to new finds through Record Matches and Smart Matches. And now with the new Search Connect™ technology, I’m getting even more leads.

The normal price is $238.80 USD and with this limited time offer, you’ll pay just $119.40 for a full year’s access to MyHeritage PremiumPlus AND the Data Membership. Hurry, this offer is good for a limited time. Offer expires on Wednesday, December 23.

Take this offer now for 50% off MyHeritage
 "I was amazed at the results. Within minutes MyHeritage.com showed me more information about a number of my ancestors than I had found in 35 years of searching on my own!"
Dick Eastman - Author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

 MyHeritage offers billions of records and the industry's most powerful matching technologies, allowing you to 'Research while you sleep'.


 MyHeritage provides you with:
• PremiumPlus family site
• Start a new tree or import GEDCOM
• Unlimited storage for your family tree and photos
• Apps for iPhone, iPad & Android
• Smart Matches™ with 27 million trees
• Full privacy control
• VIP customer support
NEW Global Name Translation™
• Join 75 million users who have built trees with 1.5 billion people
• Over 6.2 billion historical records
• Automatic Record Matches
• Birth, marriage and death records
• More than 100 million newspapers
• Vital records from 48 countries
• Military and immigration records
• 1790-1940 US census
• 1841-1901 England & Wales census
NEW Compilation of Published Sources collection with over 150,000 books and 37 million pages
• Family Tree Builder premium software
 For a limited time, FamilyTreeCircles members can join for only $119.40 for a one-year FULL ACCESS subscription, which includes a PremiumPlus Family Tree account and the MyHeritage Data Plan. To get this low price, join before Wednesday, December 23. That's a savings of 50 percent!

Click here to join MyHeritage today for only $119.40!

Scott Jangro


3 comment(s), latest 10 months ago

FamilyTreeCircles Reboot

This sort of a difficult update to write, like when you let a problem with a friend or loved one go on for too long, and you can't even feel like you can bring up the subject any more.

I'm Sorry

So I'll start with an apology. I'm sorry for being absent, not responding to emails, and basically leaving this website to stand on its own. I owe a great amount of gratitude to the few people who have taken ownership of this community and kept it going. I'm not all surprised that things have kept on without me being around. This is an amazing community.

I have quietly been keeping things running, but I haven't had time to do much of anything else, including responding to emails and such. That's really bad. And I'm sorry.

FamilyTreeCircles has been operating for 10 or so years now, and very little money has been made at it. Up until a few years ago, that wasn't an issue. I had other things going on that allowed me to spend a lot of time here, keeping an eye on things, and building up the website.

And then I couldn't.

I considered selling it a few times, but never found a buyer that I felt would go in a direction that I'd like. So letting it sit until I could come back seemed like a better option to me.

Fixing That Problem

So I recently took on a sponsor, MyHeritage. You've probably seen them on the website. They are good friends, they have a great service, and I've been a customer there for a long time. Having them on the website is going to allow me to spend more time here, and make improvements.

I encourage you to use their search and sign up for their service. It'll make them feel that the sponsorship is worthwhile.

What's Next?

We're going to get more active again. I say "we" because this move also allows me to get some help. It's not going to be just me running things which should help when life gets in the way.

I'm going to start doing development again, adding some new features that I think will make it an even better and easier place for people to visit, post questions and content, and get responses from other family tree researchers.

So, with that, I ask you to please welcome our sponsor. And I ask for your understanding as I pick things up again while we reboot FamilyTreeCircles.

Thank you,

Scott and the FamilyTreeCircles team

19 comment(s), latest 10 months, 4 weeks ago

A True Princess


More than anything, we love hearing the stories of what FamilyTreeCircles users have discovered about their pasts, whether or not they used FTC to uncover the stories. What genealogist doesn't love a good story?!

We know our community has some incredible stories. Will you share it with us? We'd love to feature it on the blog. Just reply to one of our emails, or post a journal and leave a link to it in the comments. You can also send an email to [email protected]

Here's one we recently received from a member of the FTC community (and not just any member, a TRUE princess!):

My grandma was the first genealogist I ever knew. She didn’t design a database or keep files on ancestors. She was a story teller. The stories were full of color and details, and never skimped on drama or heartbreak.  One of my favorite stories was that I should never undervalue myself because I was an Indian (Native American) Princess.

Even as a small child, I took this story with a grain of salt. She also told me that if I pulled on the leg of a Granddaddy Longlegs spider, it would point to where my cows were. I knew I had never owned a cow in my life, so I figured that my realm was probably somewhere with the cows.  I loved hearing her stories, though. She connected me with long-dead ancestors by breathing life into stories of long-ago. She gave me an identity as a strong, capable woman because those were the kind of people I came from.

A few years after my grandmother died, a relative contacted us with information from genealogies that he was compiling. I went through the data eagerly, trying to connect the stories I had heard all my life with the family tree. As I moved back through one branch, I was shocked. A number of generations back, my family traced directly to Powhatan. The tribal leader who had another daughter. Nicknamed Pocahontas.  All these stories, and grandma was right. Awesome.  

Turns out grandma knew what she was talking about! Do you have a story? Please share!

1 comment(s), latest 1 year, 1 month ago

Want to Become a Professional Genealogist?

If you're interested in turning your hobby into a little more, or just learn how the professionals do it, check out the program at the National Institute of Genealogy Research:

The National Institute on Genealogical Research has been a leader in the field of genealogical education for more than fifty years. The institute was founded in 1950 under the sponsorship of The American University, The American Society of Genealogists, the National Archives, and the Maryland Hall of Records. In 1989, the institute was incorporated as an independent, non-profit corporation. Its board of trustees consists of representatives of the American Society of Genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the institute's Alumni Association. The National Archives, a non-voting member of the corporation, provides strong support. The institute's program takes an in-depth look at federal records of genealogical value located primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. The program is geared to experienced researchers (genealogists, historians, librarians, archivists). It is not an introductory course in genealogy. The institute maintains a non-discriminatory policy toward enrollments. Applications are accepted without regard to sex, race, creed, color, and national or ethnic origin.

1 comment(s), latest 11 years, 9 months ago

South Dakota Proposes Restriction to Vital Records Access

According to this Associated Press Article, on Jan 26, 2005, the Senate Health Committe was presented with a bill to prevent access to vital record information.

The bill is intented to prevent identity theft. One case where a Utah man acquired a birth certificate from South Dakota which was used in an identity theft case.

Only family members and a few others, such as a funeral directors, doctors and others acting on behalf of families, would be allowed to get the records.

However, SB41 would allow birth records to become fully public after 100 years and death, marriage, divorce and annulment records to be unrestricted after 50 years.

There is presently no information on the South Dakota government website or on South Dakota State Genealogy web page.

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