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December 12, 2016

Nay-Sayers of We're Related Need to Chill Out!

We're Related app by Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com's We're Related App is taking genealogists by storm!  As long as you have a family tree on Ancestry you can try it out. You'll be matched up with celebrities and Facebook friends who are possibly related to you. All you have to do is verify that the shared ancestor shown is in both your trees.

Some genealogist nay-sayers have proclaimed the App "trash", "garbage", "a waste of time" and so on. But I (and others) disagree. As all genealogists know you must remember not to accept the findings until you prove the two lines of descent!

It's important to teach beginners the importance of verifying trees found online. What better way to do that than with something fun? That is what the We're Related app is - a fun way to learn and a fun way to see what celebrities or Facebook friends you are related to.

So I say -- Ease up nay-sayers! Have a bit of fun and enjoy yourselves. Methinks you take yourselves just a little too seriously. And the problem with the dismissive manner with which you are treating those who are enjoying the app is that you create the very division you say doesn't exist - "us" against "them" - the "expert" against the beginner. It makes those of us having fun with We're Related feel like there's a snobbier IN group -- and we aren't part of it.

Okay off my soapbox now -- here's how the app works. First, It's free.

You can mark than one of your  trees as "active" so I created trees for my son's father's line, for each of my daughters-in-law and for my husband, as well as myself. So far it's been fun to see what celebrities and Facebook friends I am related to.I've had dozens of possible relatives so far. I've verified about 10 of them and ditched about 6 as they are not correct. I haven't had time to check the rest but I won't be accepting them as true until I do.

So far I've proven that I'm related to several Facebook friends, got a near miss with Cyndi of Cyndi's List (her male ancestor married my ancestor but it was a second marriage for mine and I am descended from the first husband). The funny thing is that one of my daughters-in-law is related to more of my Facebook friends than I am!

As for celebrities, I've proven my relationship to Teddy Roosevelt, Matt Damon, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. One of my sons has a proven relationship from his dad's line to Winston Churchill which I think is very cool.

So go ahead, ignore the nay-sayers and have a bit of fun!

P.S. Massey is my married name.

10 comments:

John said...

Agreed!

And for those of us who enjoy research (and I think a good percentage of genealogy-nuts fall into this category) -- if the app provides links we haven't confirmed/disproven yet, then it is providing us with an opportunity to do something we enjoy.

I do believe though that in addition to a family tree on Ancestry you need a Facebook account. I don't think the app will allow you to sign up without one.

scjohanson said...

Even though I have found many mistakes, I think it's fun too. How do I make one for my husband.? I tried and since it's my account on Ancestry, it didn't recognize him when I signed him in with his FB account.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

SCJOHANSON, to make one for your husband, just create a separate tree for him on your ancestry account. That's how I did it for everyone in my family. When it syncs to your App, make it active. You can have many active trees on the App, and they will all be searched for relatives.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

John, I am pretty sure you only need a Facebook account to see your Facebook friends show up as relatives. In other words, if you have an Ancestry tree but no Facebook account, you would see celebrity "hits" but no Facebook hits.

Sara Byron said...

Thank you for this post. I've enjoyed this app! I get a new hit mearly every day - and I'm enjoying my husbands completly different hits. I've gotten a bunch of presidents, vice's and 1st ladies, and he has not! He does have Justin Trudeau which makes me jealous! I've found at least 5 or 6 wrong ones. But that's how genealogy works.

I've gone into a genealogy hiatus in the past due to really unkind, divisive "professional" genealogists. I'd like to learn more and attend state conferences, but frankly there are too many rude people in this field. I do not plan on living and dying by my tree, but I enjoy it immensely. No one in my family is interested, and I'd like to network with others, but I haven't figured out how to get past the flat out snobbery. I did join the DAR through my tree and now am concentrating on proving as many "patriots" as I can find. I truly appreciate your kind words.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Hey Sara - I'm sorry this has happened to you but don't give up! There are many super nice, super helpful genealogists in the community. They are the majority so keep your chin up, smile, and keep doing what you love :-)

Jo Henn said...

I've got my tree active and one for my boyfriend also active but the both show as me (name and picture) on first indication of match, then (if it's him) his name under my picture as the bottom of the chain on the page with the lineage chain. Do you know how to make it stop that and just show as him by any chance. It confused a friend who turned out to be possibly related to him; she thought it was me.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Jo, I have not checked to see if that can be changed. My matches all point to me even when the match is for my daughters-in-law, or husband. I suspect it just shows the account person name, and I doubt you can change it. I just write and tell the match who they are really related to :-)

Jill Ball said...

Sounds like a fun activity. Wish it was available in Australia. I'm going to try and dwonload it when in the US next week.

Kin Khronicler said...

LOL... This app is hilarious and just downright scary. It says I'm related to Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and even Michael Jackson! Whaaaaaaaaaaat? This will certainly make some interesting conversation at the Christmas dinner table!