The free FamilySearch Family Tree sets itself apart from other online family tree collections in a couple of ways: First, it maintains a single record for each person, avoiding the massive duplication in most other family tree databases. Second, a growing list of third-party add-ons expands Family Tree’s functionality.
This overview describes other FamilySearch Family Tree add-ons (free unless indicated otherwise), ranging from research tools to shortcuts for sharing family history. My favorites are the tools for creating charts, which can make excellent gifts or help with your research, but you might find something else useful to help with researching, writing and sharing your family history.
Charts, Photos and Maps Add-Ons
Charting Companion for Windows creates colorful ancestor and descendant charts and reports with data pulled from your FamilySearch Family Tree. You can specify how many generations to include and add selected events and photos. Save your chart as a file for online sharing and printing.
Drawing on your FamilySearch Family Tree or your genealogy data and photos, Family ChartMasters creates large family tree charts for reunions, gifts or research reference. Choose from the ancestor and descendant chart designs, then customize your chart with photos or graphics. For a fee, you can have the chart printed on parchment paper, vinyl, canvas or other material.
RootsMapper plots your ancestors’ places of birth on a map using data from your FamilySearch Family Tree. You can display up to eight generations of ancestors and visualize their migration patterns. The root person can’t be living, so look up a deceased person’s ID in FamilySearch Family Tree before you begin.
Genealogy WallCharts makes several kinds of family tree charts, including four-generation pedigree and photo charts, a five-generation family photo chart and nine-generation fan and pedigree charts. The colored nine-generation fan chart is attractive and shows just names. Download a chart as a PDF or order a print for a fee.
MagiCensus Deluxe helps you extract data from US, Canadian, Irish, Scottish and British census records. From there, you can easily view a family across multiple census years and add it to your FamilySearch Family Tree. MagiTree, a free app, also analyzes census data.
Select a person in the FamilySearch Family Tree and this app will give you an aerial view of his or her descendants. A dot represents each person; click on it for more information. Puzzilla helps you quickly identify branches of your family tree where you need to track down more descendants.
RecordSeek makes it easy to cite a website as a source in your FamilySearch Family Tree. Once you’ve installed the browser add-on, just click on Tree Connect in your bookmarks toolbar to create a citation to the site you’re on and attach it to a person in Family Tree.
Writing and Sharing Family History Add-Ons
This site lets you bring your ancestors to life with photos, stories and oral histories. Record a narrative about family photos using your computer microphone. Link these talking slideshows, along with other audio and multimedia, to ancestors in your FamilySearch Family Tree. Similar to Facebook, Legacy Stories offers social networking features, so you can share your multimedia family history. The basic service is free. The pay version lets you organize your stories in multiple journals for different topics, such as Childhood or Military Service.
A version of this article appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine.