Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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1) What is the Family Forest?

The Family Forest® is “The World’s Most Interconnected Digital Resource of Ancestral History.” It is the best digital central source for fully documented generation-by-generation ancestral pathways connecting everyday people to each other and famous people, Hollywood stars and characters, royalty and nobility, gateway ancestors, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Middle Ages, Ancient Rome, saints, Biblical characters, and hereditary societies.

It represents tens of thousands of hours of journeying through hundreds of great historical and genealogical books and society periodicals in search of hard-to-find ancestral history, and creating a well-sourced digital map of everywhere visited. Fascinating stories about ancestors of most of the people in America and Europe were located, and users can instantly zoom in to any and all points along the journey.

The Family Forest® is the best digital central source for point-and-click exploration of the ancestral pathways leading to and from a large variety of key places, events, and individuals in human history.

With its strong emphasis of following the ancestral lines from mothers, and the descendant lines from daughters, the Family Forest® may be the most female-focused ancestral history resource available anywhere.

The Family Forest® is the best tour guide service to many centuries of professionally recorded paper based ancestral history, and it provides fascinating and enriching maps to the locations of that wealth of recorded history.

The Family Forest® National Treasure Edition spans more than 3,000 years of exciting human history. Many family lines travel at least ten generations, and some for more than sixty generations. With Progeny Software’s amazing Family Explorer 5.0 software, which is included free, this lineage-linked disc can actually calculate and display many thousands of fully sourced ancestor charts with more than one million boxes filled in on each chart.

The Family Forest® National Treasure Edition is a fun and enriching educational reference resource for students, parents, teachers, librarians, historians, genealogists, writers, actors, movie enthusiasts, and historic travelers.

2) Which Family Forest® publication is best for me?

The answer is always the latest and greatest edition which is currently the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. It includes everything in all previous editions, plus much much more and with this one disc you can re-create any or all of the more than $5,000 of reasonably priced Family Forest® secondary publications, such as the Family Forest® Descendants Series eBooks and the Family Forest® Ancestors Series eBooks.

If you are just looking for specific surname information in standard genealogical format about the descendants of particular immigrant ancestors, Family Forest® Descendants Series eBooks may be just the ticket. Many of these under-$30 titles compare favorably to, and in some ways are better than, many printed genealogies in the $75 to $150 range. However, please keep two things in mind about Family Forest® eBooks.

No matter how great a particular title is, a Family Forest® eBook compares to the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition like one still photograph compares to a full length motion picture film.

3) What is unique about the Family Forest®?

The primary uniqueness of the Family Forest® Project is in its basic mission. We are reweaving the tapestry of our past by placing individuals just one time into the one and only place they occupied in the actual unfolding of history, and connecting them to as many ancestors, descendants, spouses, siblings, and accomplishments as they deserve to be connected to.

Rather than imitating the big companies and being in a mad numbers rush to accumulate thousands of repetitions of basically the same information about the same individuals (and counting them as if they were different people), we take a much better approach. We are carefully filtering out repetitions with the goal of zero duplication; so that you are presented with high quality handcrafted distilled knowledge clearly displayed.

4) How is the Family Forest® grown?

The Family Forest® is strategically grown day by day with great care keystroke by keystroke, guided by human intelligence. We have already spent tens of thousands of hours journeying through hundreds of fascinating historical and genealogical books and periodicals exploring, in search of the best of the best ancestral history, and we are leaving a well marked digital trail of everywhere we visit so you can instantly zoom in to any points we visited along the odyssey.

There has been no slapping together of GEDCOMs, automated merging, or any other type of technology blindly running unrestrained.

5) Do I need to be a computer whiz to use the Family Forest®?

Definitely not. Anyone who completes the Introductory tour will have mastered all of the main easy and fun tools for exploring in the Family Forest®.

6) Who is in the Family Forest®?

The Family Forest® contains about the same ratio of everyday people to famous people as in the real world today.

7) Are any of my own ancestors in the Family Forest®?

The answer is almost absolutely 100% yes. We believe that everyone on the planet has at least some ancestors in the Family Forest®.

Some people will even find that some of their ancestors are so extensively lineage-linked into the Family Forest® that the National Treasure can literally create ancestor charts that fill in millions of boxes with the names of their actual ancestors, according to recorded history.

8) What do the experts say about the Family Forest®?

They describe the Family Forest® with powerful words like amazing, fascinating, monumental, and revolutionary. See some reviews for yourself.

9) What do individuals say about the Family Forest®?

“There sure is a lot of information, and I was able to add 3 Vice-Presidential lines to my own forest”! J. Bahr, Family Forest® Customer

“Connecting the names like you’ve done indeed does make one’s family tree a virtual “family forest.” But the most impressive feature of the Family Forest is that you’ve added major events of certain individuals’ lives” Family Forest® Customer

“I can hardly imagine the incredible amount of time and effort that went into the development of your people-centered project. You do a great service to our country by encouraging people to find out about their roots and engaging them personally in its history.” Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives

“These reference sources would be enjoyed by any student of history, young or old, and perhaps enable the researcher to learn that he/she shares ancestors with these famous Americans.” Joan Griffis, columnist for Illinois Ancestors “The News-Gazette”

10) What are Family Forest® Kinship Reports?

They are the computer-generated result of having Progeny Genealogy’s amazing Family Explorer 5.0 software explore from the subject of the report through the entire Family Forest® in search of every person within a certain distance, say 10-generations or 50-generations, who is related by blood or marriage to the subject, and then calculating the exact relationship between them, and displaying the closest ancestor who connects them.

What does it mean when you find that one of your ancestors is also an ancestor of a subject of a Family Forest® Kinship Report? It means that you are a cousin of that person, and within the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition you can visually explore the generation-by-generation family ties leading from your ancestor to your cousin.

11) How accurate is the Family Forest®?

This requires a two-part answer. Our part is extremely accurate. We are the tour guides who lead you to the specific recorded history about who said what about whom when and where. We might occasionally misinterpret what we read, transpose a number, or make a typo, but not often. Besides, the source locations of 99.9% of the statements and connections are just a mouse-click away.

As for the accuracy of the statements and connections themselves, there is a reasonable probability that they are true, because most of them were recorded by recognized and highly respected experts over the centuries.

We do alert Family Forest® users to instances where the experts disagree, and we are always in search of more accurate or complete statements and connections to upgrade existing statements and connections.

12) What is the best starting point for learning about the Family Forest® Project?

Here is a good one and another one at NPR.