While on a recent trip Up North, in Gaylord, Michigan I was privileged to get some Genealogy Time in at the local Family History Center and got to play around with a fun website (see below). You can find a “local” Family History Center here and get free & friendly help with your own genealogical “games”:
During my Gaylord FHC endeavor the lovely lady currently running this FHC introduced me to a very fun little free tool, that anyone can actually access. This is actually RelativeFinder.org and is hosted by BYU (Brigham Young University), I believe. Although this tool has been available for at least a year (see the below article for details) this is the first I’d ever heard of it…and it was actually quite fun to play with.
FamilySearch.org is a great Genealogical Website, it offers many free genealogy services and gives you the ability to create a family tree online, and to access many available records and link them to your family tree. If you have a family tree at FamilySearch.org then you can sign in to the RelativeFinder tool using your FamilySearch log-in info & find relatives via your existing tree. If you don’t have a family tree (or you want to search for relatives for a specific person in your tree) you can go to family trees in family search and see if you can locate a known ancestor of yours in someone else’s tree. If you find the correct person you can copy their unique identifying number & paste it into the “masquerade” function of RelativeFinder here:
I honestly don’t know if you can use RelativeFinder.org without a FamilySearch login, but you can “join” FamilySearch for free and then see what happens. The masquerade link above explains where the identifying number can be found in a FamilySearch family tree…so hopefully anyone can have fun with this with just a bit of effort. Obviously the further back in time you can take your personal family tree the greater the liklihood of finding “cousin” matches with this fun website…
I plan to use some of the RelativeFinder results to pique the interest of other family members who are less enthusiastic about Genealogy than I am. Since there are a number of intriguing categories available you are likely to find some sub-set of (available) humanity to pique your own interest…and you never know, you just might get bitten by that pesky genealogy bug & join this legion of enthusiastic “infectees”…but be warned, once bitten there is no proven or lasting cure!
Well I’m going to have to get back to this posting with an Edit after I can get to a computer with less pop-up blocking so that I can post a couple of examples to potentially whet your appetite…for instance, my husband is a First Cousin to William Shakespeare, though many generations removed!
PS all images are from various Bing.com image searches