February 6, 2001

For Further Information Contact:
Elaine Fraim, Media Coordinator
(908) 963-1277

New Suite of Free "Roots" Services for Genealogists

Genealogy Today ( unveiled an enhanced site design and launched several new services. Designed to make research and finding fellow genealogists easier, these new tools offer a variety of information organized by topic, location and surname.

Two years ago, Genealogy Today was launched with the mission of tracking new information for heritage research. Staying true to that mission, the web site now contains links, articles and queries on over 40,000 surnames, and today is launching a series of new features and services to help organize and expand this wealth of information.

"The amount of genealogical data being published onto the Internet is overwhelming," commented Illya D'Addezio, owner of Genealogy Today. "The new tools we've developed are designed to help people manage their research projects, while making it much easier to locate information on our site."

Here's a summary of what's included:

  • Roots Web - Links to over 20,000 web sites categorized by region or topic.

  • Roots Team - A free research-oriented membership service.

  • Roots Family - A collection of queries combined from a variety of databases.

  • Roots Clubs - Online groups where members can share information.

  • Roots Library - A feature that allows members to sell, swap or trade lookups.

    At the core of the new services is a comprehensive database called the Online Genealogy Index, which is essentially a catalog of everything the site has to offer. What makes this so unique are the three ways that the information is organized. "The index was built around the way people research genealogy," added Illya. "You can find anything by surname, topic or geographic location. Behind the scenes we combined our existing databases so that links, articles and queries can be located in a single search. And now we've added more features to the mix."

    The Online Genealogy Index incorporates several databases acquired in 2000, including First Name Basis and Family Tree Climbers, along with the archives of GenToday-L, Serendipity, the newly acquired Hot Chocolate newsletter, and all of the regularly published columns. New to the mix are Famous Roots, a database of celebrities and their genealogies, and Lost & Found, a service for breaking down brick walls.

    "Now that we made it easy to locate information on our own site, we wanted to build tools to help researchers manage their projects. We nicknamed our free membership service, Team Roots," explained Illya. "The key component is a personalized research area that is built for each member. It is essentially a console for tracking everything related to ones' ancestry."

    Team Roots members can register of all the surnames they are researching, add bookmarks to pages in the Online Genealogy Index or elsewhere on the Web, and profile specific ancestors (who they consider to be their "brick walls") into the new Lost & Found database. In addition, they can form online groups, called Roots Clubs, that are designed to help them interact with other members researching similar topics, locations or surnames. The surname registry, Lost & Found and Roots Clubs are all accessible from within the Online Genealogy Index.

    Another new service is the Roots Library, which allows Team Roots members to post items from their own personal collections that they are willing to sell, swap or offer lookups from. "This is an extension of the popular Phone Book Exchange we started last year," explained Illya. "Now members can post any materials (books, old newspapers, group sheets, etc.) they own that could benefit others."

    More services are planned for later this year, including Family Reunion announcement and planning tools, an industry address book for locating regional archives and professional researchers, and a genealogy event calendar. "Is our mission changing?" Illya was asked. "Not really. You'll still find the latest web sites, recent news headlines and timely articles at Genealogy Today. Now it'll just be a whole lot easier."

    About Genealogy Today

    Launched on February 6, 1999, Genealogy Today highlights "What's New" for researchers and provides tools for both advancing and organizing family tree projects. During 2000, the site was expanded as a result of the acquisitions of First Name Basis, Family Tree Climbers, GenToday-L, Serendipity and Hot Chocolate. Visit our home page:

    Visit our "contact us" page for additional inquiries.


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