Genealogy compare

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 held 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.

en-compare-gedcom.png

 

An Ancestris innovation

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:

  • In a proactive way, to identify the users likely to have ancestors common with yours,
  • In a listening way, to identify these same users when they do proactive search themselves.

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 !

Area-period, a "space-time" concept

In order to easily compare genealogies, we have defined area-periods.

We have divided the physical world 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.

  • For instance, "US.NY.119" would be the county number "119", which is the Westchester county of the New York state of the United States.

We have divided the time dimension 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.

  • For instance, the area-period "US.NY.119 [1890-1899]" would include all the events that occurred in the Westchester county of the New York state between 1890 and 1899.

As a result, two genealogies have something in common if at least an event of each genealogy took place in the same area-period.

 

Data Privacy

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.

  • Only users who agree to share their data can compare their genealogies with others.
  • Private data can be hidden from the comparison
  • Users can only see from your genealogy the events that they also have on their own genealogy.

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.

 

Pre-requisites

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.

 

Description

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 comparison area

The central part of the window shows 3 types of windows :

  • local genealogy windows, the main genealogy and the other ones
  • connected genealogy windows
  • comparison windows

Local Genealogies

Each open genealogy in Ancestris appears and is represented by a little window.

  • The main genealogy to compare is represented by default at the top left corner and is a blue window
  • The other local genealogies are represented by green windows. There are placed along the right hand side of the display area, around the main genealogy.

These windows look like this:

en-compare-local-main.png en-compare-local-other.png
The main local genealogy
in blue with 3 buttons

The other local genealogies

in green with 1 button

 

Meaning of icons and checkboxes

The title of this window is the name of the genealogy.

A icon is displayed at the left hand side of the window title:

  • The tree icon gedcom.png appears when you are not sharing your main genealogy for comparison with other users, and only comparing local files
  • Your profile photo stacy.png appears when you are sharing your main genealogy with other users

In the window are displayed four numbers:

  • indi.png Number of individuals in the genealogy. This number is updated automatically if the genealogy is modified.
  • fam.png Number of families in the genealogy. This number is updated automatically if the genealogy is modified.
  • geost.png Number of area-periods in the genealogy. See above what an area-period is. This number is *not* updated automatically if the genealogy is modified. Because it can be a long calculation, it is calculated on demand when you decide using the context menu of these windows. See below for the context menu.
  • even.png Number of events in the genealogy. This number is *not* updated automatically if the genealogy is modified. It is updated when the area-periods are recalculated as described above.

Three check boxes on the right hand side have the following purpose :

  • selected.png or checkbox.png Ready: if selected, the area-periods have been calculated and the comparison becomes possible. To force a recalculation, use the context menu below.
  • selected.png or checkbox.png Open: only applies to the main genealogy. If selected, the main genealogy can be compared by other users. It is automatically selected and unselected when you turn the sharing mode on and off.
  • private.png or checkbox.png Private: only applies to the main genealogy. If selected, the private information of the main genealogy *cannot* be compared nor seen by other users. By default, is it selected when the sharing mode is turned on. You have to select or unselect this feature.
    Context menu of a local genealogy

    A right-click on the window displays a context menu:

    en-compare-local-menu.png

    • stacy.png Show user profile displays your profile. See below.
    • geost.png Refresh locations and events forces a recalculation of the are-periods and events in case you have modified your genealogy locations since you last clicked the Ready checkbox.
    Your profile

    When you display you profile you should see the following window:

    en-compare-local-profile.png

     

    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.

     

    Connected genealogies

    The main local genealogy of another Ancestris user becomes a connected genealogy for you once they have decided to share it for comparison.

    • Connected genealogies are represented by little windows below the local genealogies on the right hand side of the display area

    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.

    • Active connected genealogies are represented in red
    • Inactive connected genealogies are represented in grey

    Connected genealogies look like this:

    en-compare-remote-active.png en-compare-remote-inactive.png

    Active connected genealogy

    in red.
    Comparing is possible.

    Inactive connected genealogy

    in grey.
    Comparing is no longer possible.

     

    Meaning of icons and checkboxes

    The title of this window is the name of the user.

    A icon is displayed at the left hand side of the window title:

    • The generic person icon friend16.png appears when the user profile is not yet known by you.
    • The user profile photo steven.png appears when the user profile is known.

    In the window are displayed four numbers:

    • indi.png Number of individuals in the user genealogy. This number is updated automatically if it changes and the usere remains connected.
    • fam.png Number of families in the user genealogy. This number is updated automatically if it changes and the usere remains connected.
    • geost.png Number of area-periods in the user genealogy. See above what an area-period is. This number is updated each time you compare the connected genealogy. You compare a genealogy using the 'Ready' checkbox described below.
    • even.png Number of events in the user genealogy. This number is updated each time you compare connected genealogy. You compare a genealogy using the 'Ready' checkbox described below.

    Two check boxes on the right hand side have the following purpose :

    • selected.png or checkbox.png View: if clicked, the user genealogy is scanned to detect a potential overlap between your main genealogy and the user's main genealogy. It can only be performed if the sharing mode is on. Once the user genealogy is successfully scanned, the checkbox remains selected and you need to use the context menu below to reset it. Otherwise it is unselected.
    • selected.png or checkbox.png Ready: if clicked, the user genealogy is compared to your main genealogy. It can only be performed if the View checkbox described above is selected. Once the user genealogy is successfully compared, the checkbox remains selected and you need to use the context menu below to reset it. Otherwise it is unselected.
    Context menu of a connected genealogy

    A right-click on the window displays a context menu:

    en-compare-connected-menu.png

    • steven.png Show user profile displays the user profile. See below.
    • email.png Contact user helps you contact the user by opening up your client mail and preparing a mail to their attention.
    • reset.pngReset flags resets the View and Ready checkboxes. You can then scan again and compare again the other user genealogy. This can be useful is the user makes changes to its genealogy that affects the comparison.
    • deleteuser.png Hide user hides the user window. This can be useful if you have too many users displayed and you want to remove users with whom no overlap has been detected.
    User profile

    When you display a user profile you should see the following window:

    en-compare-connected-profile.png

    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 email.png helps you contact the user by opening up your client mail and preparing a mail to their attention.

     

    Comparison

    For each comparison between the main genealogy and another one, local or connected, a comparison window is shown.

    • A comparison window is represented by a little grey window and is placed by default between the compared genealogies and linked to them on both sides by a string

    en-compare-comparison.png

     

    Meaning of icons and buttons

    The title of this window is 'Comparison' and an double compared tree comparegedcom.png 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 over the total number of area-periods.

    In the window are displayed two numbers:

    • indi.png Number of city-lastnames that are identical between the two genealogies compared.
    • even.png Number of events that are identical between the two genealogies compared.

    Two buttons are available on the right hand side of the window:

    • en-compare-map.png Comparison map: displays a comparison map view of the compared genealogies and the common areas. See description below.
    • en-compare-list.png Comparison list: displays the list of common city-lastnames and events between the two genealogies compared. See description below.
    Comparison map

    The Comparison map is the following window:

    en-compare-comparison-map.png

    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.