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Genealogy This Week - 27 March 2010


Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists:

Family Search Labs – If you are one of those genealogists searching for the latest, greatest thing to help you break through those genealogy brick walls (aren’t we all) then you should try FamilySearch labs. This website has all the beta projects for the massive FamilySearch website.  Included is a prototype search engine, a genealogy research wiki and a forums page. [Link]

Links between China and the West Go Back Millennium – Apparently, Marco Polo was not the first European to travel to China.  Not even close.  A new archaeological find was announced this week. A find in the deep deserts of China called the Tarim mummies suggest that Westerners were in China some 4,000 years ago. You can read about how a group of blue-eyed, fair-haired Europeans came to be buried in upside down boats in the middle of a desert in Western China. This beats anything from an Indiana Jones movie…[Link]

A New Person Search Engine – Here is another great site to help you break through those genealogy brick walls.  Personas is a specialty person search engine.  It comes from the world-famous MIT media labs and it is a fascinating tool.  This experimental prototype uses advanced data mining techniques to build a profile of a person either living or dead.  The site will not give you a series of links like other search engines.  Instead, it will build before your eyes a continuous flow of clusters of information about a person.  Start by typing in your name to see how it works.  You will almost certainly be shocked by the power of this tool.  This experimental search engine works best for people with uncommon names and it is a great site for getting ideas on how to track down living relatives by their hobbies and activities. [Link]

Are You a Google Chrome User? – If you are then you should know that the free web browser from Google actually carries a unique client ID on every computer where it is installed.  That means that Google could technically track your every move across the entire internet. [Link]

How Pervasive is Google? – This video about Google provides an interesting summary of Google’s business plans.  Although we don’t necessarily agree with the conclusions this video literally draws, it is very thoughtful.  After watching this video you will get a much better understanding of the true scope and magnitude of Google’s activities.


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