Saturday, February 8, 2014
A Visit With Peoplefinders at RootsTech
Peoplefinders was a new vendor at RootsTech and a new-to-me vendor as well. I love me some records databases, so I went over there to view their wares. I did not tell them I was an Official Blogger, a regular blogger, or that I was a crazy library-type lady who asked odd questions about user experiences searching databases. I wanted the regular sales pitch so I could form my own impression.
The Peoplefinders crew was touting their new website myrelatives.com. It focuses on public records for living people for the most part. There are no secret records. All of this information is available somewhere online. They just collect it and provide it neatly and quickly.
The Peoplefinders employee that was answering my questions used a test name to show me how the site works. The results returned included property records, relationship records (marriage, divorce), vitals (birth, death), censuses and more. Lots more. Names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
There is also a family tree component where you can build your own tree at the site, just like all the other genealogy records vendors out there
Where is gets interesting is that in myrelatives.com, you can attach records and add people to your tree just like you can do at Ancestry.com. It is but a mere click of the mouse, and a living someone and their public record are part of your family tree.
Now I've seen the messes that result from the click-and-add options for adding people on Ancestry.com family trees. There are trees where a couple has 16 children, 13 of them are the same person just added 13 times because of lazy record attachment. At myrelatives.com, the same situation can happen...but with living people. Anyone can pull your records and add you their family tree. 13 times if they feel like it.
Is there a way to prevent others from adding me to their tree? She didn't know and went to ask. I felt a little uneasy knowing some lazy genealogy yahoo could add me and my public information to their family trees. I accept that the info is out there, I want to prevent it from being gathered if possible. The Peoplefinders person told me I'd have to make a request to have my file suppressed.
Apparently you don't have to be a member of myrelatives.com to construct a family tree. If you build a family tree and your membership lapses do you still have access to your tree? She went off to ask again. The answer is no.
$11.95 per month was the price I was quoted for myrelatives.com. There is also a $24.95 version with more options at peoplefinders.com. I was also told there will eventually be a Peoplefinders Pro edition that will have much more powerful options for finding living people. This one will be contract only.
My initial impression is that myrelatives.com might be an option for novice searchers and those who aren't familiar with public records. This is certainly a large group of those who casually do family history. I'm pretty confident with my own public records searching ability to do without this site for now. It didn't quite hook me in yet.
I did not test peoplefinders.com, so I can't tell you how that was, nor can I discuss Peoplefinder Pro.
Our own data = $$$ now so look for more public records vendors to pop up in the future. If you see Peoplefinders at an exhibit hall, do some test searches and let me know what you think.