FAQ

1 - How What Who Where Why When

My GEDCOM is too Big. How can I split it?

GEDCOMs are often large and we are unable to upload anything bigger than 10mb.

Luckily, many software systems enable you to download a part of your tree. As we find instructions for each, we will add links here to help you out.

How can I manually link a surname to a place?

At the moment, places and surnames are only linked when a GEDCOM is imported.

However, this idea will make a great improvement to Evidentree and so we will work on this with haste. As soon as it’s ready, we will let you know.

What happens when I upload a GEDCOM?

A GEDCOM import initially looks at all individuals. These are saved to our database temporarily. Then we look through these and extract all unique surnames and places. We show a count of how many unique surnames and places were found.

At this point, all living individuals are deleted from the temporary database store. If you have allowed us to keep non-living individuals (for potential future features) these are saved but are not accessible to anyone.

A count of how many individuals were found is also shown on the results screen but you will likely see a lower number in your statistics area on the right side. This is because the statistics area only counts those we have kept.

If there was a surname that was extracted and all the individuals carrying that surname were living (and therefore delete) the surname still shows and is linked to your account. This is because it is non-identifying information and you are likely to be able to help people researching this name.
If you still want to delete the surname from your lists, you can.

At this moment, importing a GEDCOM to Evidentree is much more powerful than manually adding names and places because we are able to automatically link surnames to places when we analyse your GEDCOM.
We are working on making a manual way to link these in the near future.

Why won’t my GEDCOM upload?

There are a few reasons why a GEDCOM won't upload to Evidentree.

Some things to try/check are:

  • Is your GEDCOM file smaller than 10Mb?
    This is important because the server will not accept larger GEDCOMS
  • Is the GEDCOM file encoded with the UTF-8 character set?
    Look on the first few lines of your GEDCOM file for a line something like "1 CHAR UTF-8" (the number in front of this may be different to 1...). If you see one with "1 CHAR ANSI" or "1 CHAR ANSEL" then you should ask your software to export the GEDCOM as UTF-8 encoding or character set. This might very well solve your problem.
    Please see the special notes for Family Historian users below.
  • Do you have any special characters / illegal characters in your GEDCOM?
    Examples include:
    • Date fields with arrows or brackets - 2 DATE (<1880>)
  • Is there a problem with your connection?
    Does it take a very long time for your file to upload and then your screen freezes up somewhere?
  • Is your GEDCOM correctly formatted?
    Hopefully it is. But alas, some software spits out GEDCOMS with strange information or formatting. Feel free to contact us with a copy of your GEDCOM and we will look into it for you

If this hasn't helped, please contact us with a copy of your GEDCOM so we can look into this further.

Family Historian Users

We found out the following with a little searching online:

The reason many products no longer accept FH GEDCOM files is that they are now encoded using UNICODE UTF-16 format, which is the easiest way to support all UNICODE accented characters and symbols, but is not universally accepted by all products.

The built in command File > Import/Export > Export > GEDCOM File allows other formats such as UTF-8 and ANSI to be created, but the best solution is the Export Gedcom File Plugin, which has dedicated export modes for many genealogy products, and in the latest version now includes an (ANC) Ancestry Family Tree option. For Tribal Pages try the (Std) Standard GEDCOM 5.5 option. Check the Plugin Help & Advice pages for further details.
How can I delete my data and/or account?
I’ve just joined. What now?

For Evidentree to work best, you need to add at least three places or surnames (more is better) that you are researching.

The best place to start this process is our Quickstart page.

If you have one, uploading a GEDCOM file will automatically add your names and places and you will be well on your way to finding plenty of fellow researchers.

Our walk-through video might also help you a great deal.

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What Can I Do at Evidentree?
The main idea behind Evidentree is to bring family historians with similar research interests together.

We do this by making lists of the names and places that members are researching. When you join Evidentree, you add your research interests to the system and are then able to connect with other members with the same. The quickest way to add your names and places to the Evidentree system is by importing a GEDCOM. But don't worry, if you don't have a GEDCOM, you can also add places and names manually.

Best of all, you remain in complete control of your data and privacy the whole time.

 

2 - Your Data and Privacy

What happens when I upload a GEDCOM?

A GEDCOM import initially looks at all individuals. These are saved to our database temporarily. Then we look through these and extract all unique surnames and places. We show a count of how many unique surnames and places were found.

At this point, all living individuals are deleted from the temporary database store. If you have allowed us to keep non-living individuals (for potential future features) these are saved but are not accessible to anyone.

A count of how many individuals were found is also shown on the results screen but you will likely see a lower number in your statistics area on the right side. This is because the statistics area only counts those we have kept.

If there was a surname that was extracted and all the individuals carrying that surname were living (and therefore delete) the surname still shows and is linked to your account. This is because it is non-identifying information and you are likely to be able to help people researching this name.
If you still want to delete the surname from your lists, you can.

At this moment, importing a GEDCOM to Evidentree is much more powerful than manually adding names and places because we are able to automatically link surnames to places when we analyse your GEDCOM.
We are working on making a manual way to link these in the near future.

How can I delete my data and/or account?
Are you going to sell my data?
No.

Any data you provide to Evidentree is only used for the services that we offer on site. This means, to help you identify the places and names you research and to make connections with other family historians.

Do I Have to Register to Use Evidentree?
No. You can use Evidentree without registering and still search for names and places. You can also access some community groups and post.

But to get the most out of Evidentree - that is, to find and contact other family historians with the same interests as you, or indeed for them to find and contact you - you need to register and add your research interests.

Don't worry, registering is free and painless. You can even join via your Facebook, Google or LinkedIn account. This means that your password and details are safe with them.

3 - Account Management

How can I delete my data and/or account?

4 - Social Community Features

I admin a Facebook group. Why would I use Evidentree?

Like you. the founders of Evidentree are admins of Facebook family history groups. It was in one of these where a discussion about problems we were having (managing files and lists of member research interests) that resulted in the development of Evidentree - our solution.

We aren't here to compete with Facebook, we are here to complement it. You see, one major shortcoming of Facebook is that there is no easy way to tell what group members have information about a given name or place without asking questions in the group. These questions have often been asked many times and the chances of the right group members even seeing them are fairly low.

So, one of the best things you could do, is link to the appropriate name or place on Evidentree in reply to posts like this in your group. That way, your users will come to know about the great system we have and how quickly they can locate each other.

You are more than welcome to create a group here on Evidentree and run it parallel to your Facebook group. We would love you to invite your members to come and join.

The other major difference? Evidentree is designed by family historians FOR family historians. We aren't an international commercial behemoth just happy to host you and your group for income... we live and breathe family history.

I am in a Facebook group. Why would I use Evidentree?
The founders of Evidentree are in many Facebook groups too. We aren't here to compete with Facebook, we are here to complement it - complete it even, if you like.

You see, one major shortcoming of Facebook is that there is no easy way to tell what group members have information about a given name or place without asking questions in the group. These questions have often been asked many times and the chances of the right group members even seeing them are fairly low.

We had this problem in one of our groups and decided we really needed to solve it. That is how Evidentree came to be.

Sure, we also have group functions on Evidentree and you may like to use these in a similar way to Facebook - perhaps even one day moving all of your group work to us.

The other major difference? Evidentree is designed by family historians FOR family historians. We aren't an international commercial behemoth just happy to host you and your group for income... we live and breathe family history.

5 - About Evidentree

Where can I contact you?

The easiest way to contact us, at the moment, is by visiting our Facebook page at fb.me/evidentree

Who is behind Evidentree?

Evidentree was born out of a conversation between admins of a Facebook ancestry group.

Group members, naturally, wanted to find other members who were researching the same places or people as them. This resulted in lots of timeline messages reaching out - and many of these messages would be for the same names or places yet they were often not being seen by the right people. We also managed documents with lists of names and places members were researching but the management of these was cumbersome and they weren't being used efficiently.

We needed a solution.

One of the admins, Greg Scowen, had an idea about how a community-centered website could provide such lists and connections by using crowd-sourcing techniques. He sat down for a few hours each night (after his day job) and built Evidentree. The site was initially presented to the members of that original Facebook group and they joined as the first users. Other admins from that group joined Evidentree as part of the admin team.

I use Lost Cousins. Why would I use Evidentree?

Lost Cousins is a great site and it offers some similar features to Evidentree, in that you can use Lost Cousins to identify family members who may be researching the same people as you.

The founders of Evidentree use Lost Cousins too. If you aren't using it yet, you should pop over and have a look at www.lostcousins.com

We will continue to use Lost Cousins and Evidentree alongside each other. This can only double our chances of finding research contacts. One thing is for sure, so long as Peter Calver (the founder of Lost Cousins) continues to produce his fantastic newsletter, we won't be leaving the site in a hurry.

I use/subscribe to Ancestry, FindMyPast, etc. Why would I use Evidentree?

Sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast are superb at providing records and for hosting family trees. The founders of Evidentree subscribe to both.

At Evidentree, we don't keep records like this. Our purpose is communal - connecting you to other researchers. We leave the supply of records to other sites, like those named.

In fact, you will find links to records at these in our upcoming community library and you may also see adverts for these sites on Evidentree. Any action you take on those sites after clicking on those adverts helps pay for Evidentree to keep running and developing new features.

What Can I Do at Evidentree?
The main idea behind Evidentree is to bring family historians with similar research interests together.

We do this by making lists of the names and places that members are researching. When you join Evidentree, you add your research interests to the system and are then able to connect with other members with the same. The quickest way to add your names and places to the Evidentree system is by importing a GEDCOM. But don't worry, if you don't have a GEDCOM, you can also add places and names manually.

Best of all, you remain in complete control of your data and privacy the whole time.