The Genealogy compare tool compares genealogies to find common geographical areas, with similar cities and lastnames, and similar events.
It can as easily compare genealogies that you have or that are help by other Ancestris users, with no need to share any sensitive information to anybody.
To compare with other Ancestris users, you simply need to let Ancestris share basic information. Your genealogy is never transferred to a server or to anybody and private information can remain confidential. If a match is found, you can contact the corresponding Ancestris user by email.
The idea behind this innovation is to exploit the data of the Ancestris user community without having to give the data away nor to upload it on a server.
The objective of this tool is to find connections between genealogies, which will then help you develop your own genealogy.
This tool is very easy to use and gives you in just a few mouse clicks a quick overview showing whether two genealogies have anything in common.
A genealogy can be compared with several other genealogies at the same time.
These other genealogies can be made of local gedcom files open in your Ancestris application, or they can be genealogies of other users using Ancestris at the same time as you.
When comparing genealogies across different users, your data remains protected and you keep control of your data. This is a key principle of the Ancestris community we are part of.
You can compare genealogies and find connections between you and other users' genealogies in two ways:
Either you find them or they find you. Either way, you will benefit.
Either you find them or they find you. Either way, you will benefit.
Once users have found possible common ancestors, they can contact each other to find out more. They are free to establish the contact or not.
Common ancestors are only possible if they both share an event in the same space-time !
In order to easily compare genealogies, we have defined area-periods.
We have divided the physical word space into areas. These areas follow the definition of the Geonames database. An area is approximately a county in the US, a district in England or a department in France. In this tool, an area is made of 3 elements separated by a dot : the country, the first level of Geonames jurisdiction, and the second level.
We have divided the time space into periods. We have defined periods of 10 years to match with the decennial tables that may exist in the official genealogical repositories.
Each located and dated event of a genealogy can therefore be located in an area-period. An area-period can include several events.
As a result, two genealogies have something in common if at least an event of each genealogy took place in the same area-period.
When comparing genealogies across different users, information sharing is carried out in complete confidentiality and following a deliberate choice from you to "share" some basic information about your genealogy.
The basic information shared is the "flash list report of events" of your genealogy. It is made of city names, lastnames, and dates of events. None of this information is sent to a server. It is merely exchanged through temporary messages.
In other words, only common data can be seen by each user.
Users do not have access to your computer. The data exchange works like a phone call. Your Ancestris application chats with the other person's Ancestris application and only when common information is detected can you see the corresponding overlaps and events if they exist.
There are 2 pre-requisites to use all possibilities of this tool.
In order to compare genealogies, you must locate and date as many events as possible, and you must specify the locations of your genealogy using the places editor. If you did not use this editor to structure your places descriptions, Ancestris will try to find these places directly in the geonames database and make the best of it. Dates can be approximated or use date ranges. Events that are neither dated nor located cannot be compared for obvious reasons.
In order to compare genealogies with other users, you must fill in your user profile with a username, a picture and an valid email.
The Genealogy compare tool handles local genealogies and 'connected' genealogies.
Local genealogies are Gedcom files that you have on your computer.
Connected genealogies are the Gedcom files held by other Ancestris users who have decided to share their genealogy for comparison.
The tool compares one main local genealogy with all the other ones, local or connected.
You decide which one of the local genealogies will be the main genealogy to compare with all others.
Only the main genealogy of each user can be shared at a given time with the other users.
Each genealogy is represented by a little window and placed into the display area of the workspace, the comparison area.
The rest of the tool is made of a window title and a toolbar.
The central part of the window shows 3 types of windows :
Each open genealogy in Ancestris appears and is represented by a little window.
These windows look like this:
The other local genealogies
in green with 1 button
The title of this window is the name of the genealogy.
A icon is displayed at the left hand side of the window title:
In the window are displayed four numbers:
Three check boxes on the right hand side have the following purpose :
A right-click on the window displays a context menu:
When you display you profile you should see the following window:
Your profile displays the information you specified in the preferences of the Genealogy compare tool. See the corresponding section below.
In addition, it displays the number of connections you made to other users and the period of time during which you made them.
The main local genealogy of another Ancestris user becomes a connected genealogy for you once they have decided to share it for comparison.
A connected genealogy can be active or inactive.
It is active when the user is currently sharing its main genealogy. It becomes inactive when the user is no longer sharing it.
Connected genealogies look like this:
Active connected genealogy
in red. Comparing is possible.
Inactive connected genealogy
in grey. Comparing is no longer possible.
The title of this window is the name of the user.
Two check boxes on the right hand side have the following purpose :
When you display a user profile you should see the following window:
A user profile displays the information specified in the preferences of the Genealogy compare tool for the other user.
In addition, it displays the number of connections they made to you and the period of time during which they made them.
Also, an email button helps you contact the user by opening up your client mail and preparing a mail to their attention.
For each comparison between the main genealogy and another one, local or connected, a comparison window is shown.
The title of this window is 'Comparison' and an double compared tree appears at the left hand side of the window title.
The first element in the window is the overlap between the two compared genealogies. The percentage indicates the ratio of common area-periods.
In the window are displayed two numbers:
Two buttons are available on the right hand side of the window:
The Comparison map is the following window:
This window displays your genealogy in blue circles and the compared genealogy, local or connected, in green circles.
Each circle represent an area-period. See definition above. The larger the circle, the more ancient the period is.
Common area-periods are displayed in red. Here we can see 18 area-periods in common between your genealogy and the Kennedy genealogy located at Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and New York. Several periods can exist for a given location.
For a comparison map with a connected genealogy, only the common areas of the connected user are displayed. In the example below, we only see 12 area-periods of Steven's main genealogy, called 'Collins'. These are areas in Boston and Vermont.
As you can also see, the blue circles are the same as they represent the same area-periods of the my genealogy, the 'Harper' genealogy.
The Comparison list is the following window:
This list displays the common lastnames found in cities within the common areas.
A common area-period does not necessarily mean there will be a common lastname in the same city as the other genealogy.
Above is the example of the common elements between the Harper genealogy and the Kennedy genealogy. While 18 area-periods were common between these two genealogies, only 2 of them have actually common events.
Each match is displayed on 5 lines :
In this list, a click on the red event line displays the corresponding event in the Ancestris editors. Obviously, this is not possible when the genealogy is a connected genealogy because the Gedcom file has not been copied across to your Ancestris application.
The export button at the bottom right corner can be used to get this list into a spreadsheet.
The title of the window indicates in brackets the number of connected, other than you, currently connected to the Genealogy compare tool, and therefore available for comparison.
The toolbar looks like this during use:
This button displays the currently opened genealogies in Ancestris. Clicking on the button brings up a drop-down menu listing the Gedcom file names. Only one can be selected at a time. This is the main genealogy and it can be compared with the other ones.
This button displays the connected Ancestris users excluding yourself.
Clicking on the button updates the list.This list is automatically updated every minute.
Clicking on the little arrow of the buttons brings up a drop-down menu listing the connected users with various pieces of information for each of them.
A click on the column header sorts the table according to the column in ascending order. Another click will sort it in descending order.
These two push buttons go together. The green button turn on the sharing mode. The red button turns off the sharing mode.
When the sharing mode is on, the Gedcom compare icon changes and a connection line is made between the two trees of the icon.
These buttons do not actually perform any comparison. Their role is to make declare yourself as a connected user and to open up your main genealogy for comparison. You then appear in the connected user list of the other users.
The scan may take some time and a rotating button is displayed during the scan with the connected user name next to it.
As overlaps are calculated, the result appear in the comparison window. See above.
Pressing this scan button performs the same action as pressing all the 'View' buttons of the Connected genealogies.
This button displays the Statistics and Results of the various comparisons.
The 4 indicators to the right of this button represent the total number for all users including yourself, of the respective indicators in the connected list:
The remaining 3 indicators represent the connections made to you:
This window is the following:
Is displays 3 sections of statistics:
These statistics only include comparisons made across connected users. They do not include comparisons made between two local genealogies.
This button re-arranges the windows in the display area.
This can be useful after you have moved around the windows, to display everything neatly again.
This button customizes your profile.
See the Customization section below for more details.
The purpose of the comparison tool is to find common ancestors between your genealogy and someone else's genealogy.
Either you get someone to send you its Gedcom file or else you ask that person to load it in Ancestris. Either way, you then use the Genealogy compare tool to assess the commonalities.
Because you do not necessarily know where your next findings will come from, you can turn on the sharing mode on your main genealogy and wait for someone to have an overlapping genealogy with yours.
In case you are comparing your genealogy with other user's genealogies, follow the instructions below. If you are not interested in comparing with other users' genealogy, simply follow these other instructions.
The first things you will see when launching the Genealogy compare tool is the set of connected users. They will appear as red 'Connected genealogy' windows.
You will also see them by using the Connected users button of the toolbar.
Please note that the first time you calculate the area-periods of a genealogy, it might take a bit of time if locations have no geo-coordinates. Ancestris will look for them on the Geonames database.
Now, if people from the Ancestris community are also using the Genealogy compare tool at the same time, they will see you appear on their screen, within a minute or so.
If your profile is not filled in, simply go to the Preferences and fill it in. See the Profile section in this page.
You can then either wait for someone else to scan your genealogy, or else launch a scan yourself.
Once in sharing mode, you can scan connected genealogies one by one or all at once.
The scan will begin. You can see the little wheel turning and the name of each user whose genealogy is being scanned.
The scan results appear as overlaps in the comparison windows.
This is a efficient way to only compare genealogies where an overlap exist.
For genealogies that overlap with yours, you can then perform a comparison.
The comparison starts and will also retrieve the user profile.
At the end of the process, the photo of the user should appear in the window title and both checkboxes should be selected and green.
Whether you made the comparison yourself or the other user did, you will both see the same results.A slight difference might exist depending on whether you both showed or hid the private information, or only one of you did.
Final results are made of 3 levels:
The overlap level is expressed as a percentage of all the area-periods of the compared genealogies. Both you and the other user should see the same percentage.
Open the Comparison map to see where the corresponding areas are.
The city-lastnames level is expressed as a number. The details are listed in the Comparison list.
The event level is expressed as a number. The details are listed in the Comparison list.
If no results are displayed, it means that there was no match. You can then hide the user using the checkbox in the Connected users list, or using the context menu the connected user window.
In case there are enough common elements between you and a user, you may contact them.
For that, use the Mail button in the user profile or use the Context menu of the Connected user window.
The email button allows you to automatically generate an email to this person with your email client.
All you have to do is complete the email and send it.
The comparison between local genealogies is a simpler version of the steps above:
It is possible to customize your profile, adjust the quality of searches, and manage the list of Known Friends.
If you want to compare your genealogy with the genealogy of other users, you will need to indicate your profile here. It serves two purposes:
Of course, you can indicate anything you like in these fields, and put the picture of Zorro for instance. But as with social networks, you will sooner or later get banned and no one will want to let you compare your genealogy.
So it is in your best interest to give the right information if you want to benefit from this comparison feature.