FGS-RootsTech 2015 – New Vendors

With my first trip through the Exhibit Hall this year, I noticed that there were a number of new-to-me  companies offering a variety of goods and services, but I also noticed that a number of the new companies I saw last year had not returned in 2015.

I really enjoy seeing what is out there in the genealogy world and always end up with a bag full of product sheets and business cards. A common theme of many of these new companies is to both collaborate with others and to make family history a more engaging process for youth.

First, I want to make clear that I am NOT recommending any of these companies, with the exception of the first one in the list because it is FREE. The rest of the companies are listed with a short summary of their product/s and a link to each company website. I have not received any compensation of any type for mentioning them, but they represent new choices to be investigated if you, personally, are considering similar products.

1. Genealogy Gophers is like Google Books, where thousands of books can be instantly searched. The sales rep explained that when a person enters a name in the search box, a survey question will appear, but that only one question per day will pop up. Genealogy Gophers earns five cents each time a survey question is answered by a site visitor. That is how they make their money. I tried it out. I was given the opportunity to answer “6 or fewer” (it was six) questions, but it gave me survey-free access to the website for a week.

When I entered “Samuel Scripture” of Massachusetts, 15 hits came up. Eleven of them had to do with my Samuel Scripture. The others were Samuels in Massachusetts.

I don’t think we can have too many ways to search online books for free, so this site is a keeper. You don’t even need an account, as it is just a search engine.

The remainder of companies on this list are included FYI only, with no recommendations being made about them because I have never used any of their products or services. They are also not in any particular order or grouped in categories.

2. Lucidpress.com was one of the four finalists at RootsTech this year. Its website says it is a design and layout app that allows the user to create “beautiful print and digital documents.” Their conference brochure advertises “Bring your family history to life with rich interactive stories.” Signing up is free and there is a “try it” link, which I did not try.  I would have liked to have seen a short video about this product, but the link at the bottom of the home page to “Watch the full story” goes to a YouTube video that is no longer available. Google Apps Marketplace says the app is free.

3. rootspoint invites users to “embark on a journey to uncover your stories. This is a subscription-based site that is offering some specials right now on membership, which you can view on their webiste. Membership provides access to the 1940 U.S. census, 1841-1902 UK censuses, U.s. military records (I didn’t see a description of which records those are), U.S. family histories and “9200 upcoming databases from the U.S. and Canada.”

4. Kinpoint is a FamilySearch certified product that allows you to “see what’s missing at a glance” using an interactive software program that helps track where you’ve been in your research and missing holes that need to be filled. You can map your ancestors’ homes and there is a “Connecting Generations” feature that allows you to view photos. Kinpoint is a subscription site that is 50% off for this week only.

Seven sites for readers to explore seems like a good number for one day. Tomorrow’s post will present a few more new companies and their products.


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