Archive for the ‘New Features’ Category

Introduction to FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world.  It is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The FamilySearch services and resources are focused on helping you learn more about your family history.  FamilySearch is also a centralized location for recording and archiving your family tree online.  Only records of those who are deceased are available for others to collaborate with.  You can enter and keep track of family members that are living, but these will only be available for you to see.

With tons of records becoming available everyday and their revolutionary ‘volunteer-driven’ indexing programs, this not only the place to keep and share your family history, but the place for discovering more about your family history.

Whats New at FamilySearch?

If you have not been keeping up with the changes at FamilySearch, you are in for three cool surprises.

 1> For a year now, FamilySearch is available to everyone.  Previously it was only available to LDS Church members.  If you do not yet have a FamilySearch login, we encourage you to do so now.


2> Photos and stories can now be attached to the Family Tree!  We all know that a family history is not complete without Photos and Stories.  FamilySearch now allows photos and stories to be entered/uploaded and connected to people in the family tree.  This is great news for Family Photoloom users!  Read more below.

FamilySearch now with photos!

FamilySearch now with photos!

3> FamilySearch has completely revamped their site design and interfaces to their internal services called APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).  FamilySearch is encouraging third parties (such as Photoloom) to add and enhance services through the use of FamilySearch’s published APIs.  This is a win-win for FamilySearch and the companies like Photoloom.  In the end, the real winner is the end user.  You get the benefits of a solid family tree data source AND the revolutionary features and enhancements that come from other specialized companies like Photoloom.

Photoloom and FamilySearch

Photoloom uses these FamilySearch APIs today to pull information about your ancestors from FamilySearch into Photoloom so that you can organize your pictures around your family history.

Photoloom was previously certified with what they called their “New FamilySearch” APIs.  With the recent updates in design and architecture there is a “New-New” FamilySearch API, that we now call “FamilySearch Family Tree”.

Photoloom is currently in the process of being re-certified with the “Access” level FamilySearch Family Tree APIs.   The “Access” level of certification allows Family Photoloom to pull in information about your ancestors from FamilySearch.

What’s Next ?

It’s only natural… Photoloom is the easiest way to organize your Photos around your family history.  Now that FamilySearch is allowing photos and stories to be added to the Family Tree…   Yes, you go it!  Your Photos and Stories, that you have organized around your family history in Photoloom, will be sharable on FamilySearch!!

This functionality is currently in development.  Once complete, we will apply for the “Connect” level of certification with FamilySearch.  This will allow the stories and photos that you are collecting and organizing with Photoloom to become attached to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Photoloom’s one step Photo Tagging

Photoloom provides a one step process for tagging ancestors in your photos.  Since Photoloom’s person records also include a connection (relationship) to the family tree.  Adding a photo or a story to your FamilySearch Family Tree will be a snap, and much simplified over the 7-step process that FamilySearch uses.

Here are the steps needed to tag a photo with a person in your family tree:

Photoloom (pictures already uploaded)

#1 Drag record onto picture (if needed) Adjust tag rectangle, and you are DONE

FamilySearch (from ‘Photos’ section, pictures already uploaded)

#1 Click picture (if needed) Adjust tag circle area, and you are just getting started J

#2 Type a name for a “Persona name”, press enter.

#3 Click “People” tab for a list of “Persona” tagged pictures

#4 Click one of these Persona Portraits

#5 Type in the PID number or Search for person in the tree

#6 For a “Search”, type in identifying information, click ‘Find’

#7 Press “Link” or “Select” button, and you are DONE

This next level of certification with FamilySearch will be an excellent match allowing the value that Photoloom was design for to be returned back to the FamilySearch Family tree.

Look for updates here on this blog: http://www.photoloom.wordpress.com

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We first began offering LIFETIME Premium  Membership six months ago as a “Show Only” special at family history events.  Folks especially like the idea of paying a one-time membership fee for a lifetime of great, unlimited Family Photoloom service.  Now it’s become so popular that we’ve decided to start offering it to everyone – online!

Lifetime Premium Members receive:

  • No Yearly Membership Fee
  • Unlimited Image Uploading
  • Unlimited Guests
  • “No Ads” option / larger image-viewing field
  • 5 Gigabytes of Storage
  • Personalized URL (i.e., http://www.familyphotoloom.com/smith) [upon request]

Both yearly and Lifetime Premium Membership are available on our website, and it takes just seconds to join.   We now accept payments through Paypal (you don’t need a Paypal account), so you can rest assured that your personal information is safe and secure. Click here to get started.

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We are constantly working to make Family Photoloom better and easier for you, and today we want to introduce you to our newest feature:  Super-easy record merging.

When using Family Photoloom, you may occasionally find that you have created duplicate records for an individual.  (If you import data from New FamilySearch, it is even easier to wind up with duplicate records.)

Have no fear! It’s easy to merge records in Family Photoloom!

  1. Click (using the mouse) to select on the 1st record you would like to merge.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl-key (Windows users), or the Command/Apple key (Mac users).  While holding this key down on the keyboard, use the mouse to select the second record to merge.
  3. Click either one of the green “MERGE” buttons.

That’s it, your records are merged!

Performing a merge of two records will combine:

  • The record’s vital information (name, death, birth date/place)
  • All portraits created with the two records
  • All relationships created with the two records

Ready to start hanging pictures on your family tree? Sign up for your FREE Family Photoloom membership today!

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February was an exciting month at Photoloom all the way around! For starters, we’ve made big changes to our pricing model. Family Photoloom now offers a FREE account that will meet the needs of most casual users. Free Membership now provides a much broader range of service than our previous “Trial” account, and includes up to 200 image uploads and 10 guests. Sign up today!

Upgraded “Premium Membership” will still be available to individuals and organizations that need heftier service, still at the low price of $39 a year. Premium Membership includes unlimited uploads and unlimited guests, plus a personalized Family Photoloom URL (i.e., ww.familyphotoloom.com/smith). Additionally, we now also offer Lifetime Premium Membership for a one-time only service fee of $90.

I don’t want this post to go on forever, so here’s a quick overview of the recent updates, changes, and improvements we’ve experienced:

  • New Membership structure:
    • FREE – Updated & Expanded to 200 pictures/ 10 guests
    • Premium Members – Additional benefits include unlimited pictures / unlimited guests (yearly service fee)
    • NEW Lifetime Premium – A one-time service fee gets you Family Photoloom for life.
  • New affiliates:
    • Use your Family Photoloom images to create charts and beautiful heirloom-quality art.
    • Keep checking back – we will be adding more affiliates soon!
  • New Account functions:
    • Quick rotation of images that are sideways or upside-down
    • Easy merging of duplicate records
  • New FamilySearch Certification:
    • Import information from New FamilySearch into Family Photoloom.
    • Link ancestors photographs and documents into the New FamilySearch Global tree
  • New website:
    • Complete website renovation
    • New blog location – we’ve moved from Blogger to WordPress!

Please take some time to visit our website, log into your account, and check out our new features. And please tell your friends and family about Family Photoloom!

P.S.  Just a note on our new blog location:  I had to clear my cache for the redirect from the Photoloom website (Menu►Read►Our Blog) to work.  So, if you’ve visited our blog before by going through our website, you may need to do the same thing.  When is this computer just going to learn to read my mind?  Wait, no, I don’t want that.  I take that back.)


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Photoloom has a new face! We’ve changed our color scheme and tweaked our logo. Now if you look closely, you can see a “tree” woven into our photo-corner ~ the perfect marriage of photos and family history!

Serendipity is my all time favorite word.

Last Thursday night, I was reviewing some updates our daughter had made to some of our graphics when Serendipity snuck up and stamped on my toe. All of a sudden, I saw “the tree,” right there in front of me. Sure, it was sideways and hidden, but it was there.

Has that always been there? Why haven’t I seen it before? Why did it taken me three and a half years to see something so obvious?

If you’ve been working on your family history for any amount of time, you’ve asked yourself these very questions. There you are, hunched over your desk, scanning the same document for the hundredth time, when suddenly something completely new jumps out at you. Something that HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE, just waiting for you to find it. And most of the time, this happens when you are all alone, and you want to jump around the room and hug someone and tell them about the cool thing you just discovered, but there’s no one there and so you have to just kind of squeeze yourself and smile a lot.

Or maybe that part’s just me.

Anyway, my point is, things don’t always happen like we expect them to. And sometimes that’s a good thing.

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Big things are happening at Photoloom! Just for starters, we are now an official software affiliate with New FamilySearch, and are working to become “New FamilySearch Certified.”

With our upcoming 3.0 release, Family Photoloom members will be able to import information from New FamilySearch* and tag their pictures with New FamilySearch IDs, enabling their pictures to be associated with records stored in New FamilySearch.

What does this mean for you?

  • You can import your genealogy information into your Family Photoloom account directly from New FamilySearch, so you will no longer need to type it in.
  • You can help ornament the New FamilySearch Global Tree with the pictures and documents you tag in Family Photoloom.  You have complete control over what is kept private and what is made available to other researchers.
  • Together, we are paving the way for a new generation of “image enriched genealogy.

Update: We have completed Beta testing and are now New FamilySearch Certified!  (Whoo-hoo!)  Click here to read more about how Family Photoloom works with New FamilySearch.

* FamilySearch is a family history website provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It provides its resources free of charge to the public and is one of the most heavily used genealogy sites on the Internet. A new website, now known as New FamilySearch, that gives users the ability to edit data was launched in 2007, and is incrementally becoming available to genealogists worldwide. For more information, click here.

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Just over a week ago, this picture of my friend Marilee and me on our first day of 1st grade appeared as part of another post. Now I’d like to tell you a little bit more about it, and what it represents.

Marilee and I have been friends for well over forty years. I hope we are friends for at least forty more. She appears in countless pictures and memories from my childhood, and my life might be completely different had I not experienced her friendship and her family.

But in a hundred years, when my great-great grandchildren look through my family history, will they find Marilee? Not likely, if I organize it with with the tools currently available: there’s no place for Marilee in traditional genealogy and family history programs, because she falls outside the fixed categories (i.e., mother, father, child, etc.) that they recognize. For them, Marilee doesn’t exist. Neither does my Grandpa Fred, or my birth-mother and her children (my siblings!), or Sheila, my cat of 16 years.

Family Photoloom is changing all that. Our Extended Relationship Indexing (patents pending) allows you to include anyone or anything that enriches your story in your family history – special friends, step and foster children, birth-family members, pets, family heirlooms, favorite vacation spots, secret family recipes…there is a place for every one with Family Photoloom. Here’s how it works:

How to Set Extended Relationships with Family Photoloom
Relationship Setting means to attach one Record to another, creating a specific relationship between the the two. Setting relationships in Family Photoloom takes less time than it took to read this sentence.
Before you begin either option, be sure the individual you wish to index is entered in your Records (the left column). You do not need to have a picture of them tagged to complete indexing.

  1. Go to the Relationship View, and select the Record of the individual you wish to be the focus. You can do this by clicking and dragging the Record, or by clicking the green Relationship Icon that appears by the Record.
  2. Select the Record of the individual you want to “attached” to the Focus Record, and click-&-drag the individual into the appropriate field in the Relationship Setter (e.g., Spouse, Sibling, Child, Other).

  3. Check the appropriate relationship boxes in the drop-down (Not necessary for “Other” field.) and customize the description of the relationship at the top of the screen.

Have some fun and experiment a little with your Family Photoloom account. (Get you FREE Family Photoloom Trial account here.) In coming weeks, I’ll explain how you can organize images into categories, include things like memorabilia, and even organize your church wedding co-op (or any other groups).

Extended Relationship Indexing is something we all need it, because family history isn’t just about branches—it’s about connections.

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