World Family Tree FAQs
How do I submit my Family File?
There are two simple ways to submit your file.
- Connect to the Internet and then start your Family Tree Maker program. From the file menu, select "Submit to World Family Tree.." Your file will automatically be sent to our World Family Tree Department for processing.
- Mail your submission. In Family Tree Maker, go to the "File" menu and choose "Backup Family File" to create a backup of your file on a floppy disk. Put your name and address on the floppy disk and then put it in a protective box or envelope. Send the package to:
World Family Tree Submissions
P.O. Box 760
Fremont, CA 94537
What if I have additions or changes I have made to my Family Tree?
We always welcome resubmissions of your family tree. If you have contributed your tree recently and don't have many significant changes, you may want to wait until you do have significant changes or additions before submitting your file again. Our program may prompt you to resubmit your file after reaching various milestones (100 individuals, 200 individuals, etc.), however it is always your decision as to when you should contribute your tree.
Is Brøderbund planning to link any trees together?
Of course the names within each submitted tree are linked, but we are not making connections between the trees. You can find possible links by using the Family Finder Index and comparing the contents of different trees. If you find an individual who appears in two different trees and also belongs in your own Family File, you can merge those trees into your Family File.
How does Brøderbund verify the information in the World Family Tree?
Unfortunately, it would be next to impossible for us to verify all of the information contained in the thousands of family trees we receive. Because we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in the World Family Tree, please realize that it is meant to be a research tool, not a source of completely error-free material. The genealogical information in the World Family Tree should be a starting point from which you continue your research. Please take the necessary steps to verify all information before permanently adding it to your own collection of family information.
While we do not verify the information, we do want you to know that the quality of the information in the World Family Tree is very important to us. For example, we put all of the files we receive through an extensive error-checking process. In addition, there are several ways that we hope to maintain the quality of the World Family Tree at the highest possible level:
- We encourage all submitters to avoid submitting inaccurate or misleading information. However, we all must realize that even the most careful of researcher is bound to have errors in his or her file. We will periodically send letters to our submitters to request updates to the family trees already in the World Family Tree. This way, if submitters have made additions or changes to their family information, it will be included in a future World Family Tree.
- We encourage submitters to cite the sources of their information. By citing sources (such as census records, birth certificates, family Bibles, etc.), others can verify the information in a tree.
- We also encourage submitters to prepare their files before submitting. For example, by following certain name standards, submitters can make it easier for distant relatives to find their ancestors in the Family Finder Index.
- We check for errors, such as illogical dates (e.g. a mother born after her child) and duplicate individuals. If a file has more than a certain number of errors, it is marked for manual inspection to determine if it is of high enough quality for inclusion in the World Family Tree. Please note that we do not correct any errors that we find.
- We find deceased individuals who do not have a birth, marriage, or death
date and make a 95% accurate estimate for the range of years in which the
event took place. For example, "WFT Est 1850-1870" means that there
is a 95% chance that the event took place between 1850 and 1870. We include
"WFT EST" to indicate that we made the estimate, not the person
who submitted the file. (WFT stands for "World Family Tree.")
How does Brøderbund protect the privacy of living individuals in the World Family Tree?
Brøderbund Software is committed to protecting the privacy of living individuals in the World Family Tree, while at the same time preserving our submitters' family history and providing useful genealogical information to other family history researchers. There are two main ways by which Brøderbund hopes to protect privacy:
- We encourage submitters to remove any information that could defame, embarrass, harm, or threaten the privacy of any individual in their family tree.
- Only the names, genders, and family links of living individuals will be published. All other information about living individuals will not be included in the World Family Tree.
How is this different from what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is doing?
The LDS Church (Mormon Church) also collects family trees for inclusion in its "Ancestral File." This file contains approximately 15 million individuals and is accessible at the Family History Centers of the LDS Church. The World Family Tree differs from the Ancestral File in the following key ways:
- Access from home -- You can access the World Family Tree from your own computer.
- More information on living individuals -- The names, genders, and family links of living individuals are published in the World Family Tree. In the Ancestral File, you can only access information about living individuals who are members of the LDS Church. The names of non-LDS living individuals are replaced with the word "Living," and no one can access any information about these individuals.
Can I submit someone else's tree?
Only if you have the permission of the person who researched and compiled the information in the family tree. Even if you did the research for another person's family tree, you must have the permission of that person before you can contribute their family tree. We want to ensure that no one is surprised to find their family tree in the World Family Tree (unless it was contributed by a person who has researched common family lines!)
If another person researched or compiled the information in a family tree you would like to contribute, encourage that person to send the information to us. They may call (510) 494-2823 to request a copy of the informational pamphlet entitled "An Introduction to the World Family Tree." You may also print out a copy of the instructions for contributing to the World Family Tree Project to give to him or her.
Are you going to change any of the data in my file before you publish it?
We recognize the importance of preserving all of the information in your Family File just as you entered it. Therefore, we only make three types of changes to the original file.
- For privacy reasons, we exclude information about living (or potentially living) individuals, except for their names, sexes, and links to other individuals in the family tree. The words "Information hidden for privacy reasons" or "Private" appear in the fields of potentially living individuals.
- We eliminate profane words.
- We find deceased individuals who do not have a birth, marriage, or death date and make a 95% accurate estimate for the range of years in which the event took place. For example, "WFT Est. 1850-1870" means that there is a 95% chance that the event took place between 1850 and 1870. We include "WFT Est." to indicate that we made the estimate, not the person who submitted the file. (WFT stands for "World Family Tree.")
How will I know when you have my family tree?
We will notify you of the receipt of your family tree through our Family Tree Maker magazine. If you're not already receiving a subscription to this magazine, one will be started upon receipt of your WFT contribution. Look for your mailing address on the magazine, and just above that will be a statement indicating which volume of the WFT your tree will be on. It can take 3-6 months for your tree to be included on a CD, so keep checking for the info just above your mailing address on subsequent magazines. If your file is damaged in some way, we will request another copy of your family tree.
What if I don't want to give my name, address, and phone number?
Brøderbund must have your name, address, and phone number (the phone number is helpful, but optional) in case there is a problem with your file. In addition, while we are not including the names, addresses, and phone numbers of submitters on World Family Tree CDs, we have set up the Submitter Information Service whereby World Family Tree customers can obtain the address of a submitter to the World Family Tree.
What if my tree isn't done?
Most people think their tree could use more work. However, even a small tree is extremely valuable to someone who finds a connection to it. Therefore, we encourage everyone to submit his or her trees no matter how complete or incomplete, large or small. We will periodically give submitters the opportunity to submit updates.
What if my family tree isn't completely accurate?
We realize that much of the information in people's family trees was probably collected by speaking with relatives. For this reason, we do not expect complete documentation of family information. If you did get information from sources outside of your family, we encourage you to record those sources in Family Tree Maker' Source fields (see "Recording Sources" in your Family Tree Maker manual).
We also understand that the potential for data errors exists, even in the most careful genealogist's family tree. We encourage you to research carefully, and to try to avoid submitting confusing or misleading information. If you have Family Tree Maker for Windows version 3.0 or later, the Family Tree Maker Deluxe CD-ROM Edition version 3.0, or Family Tree Maker for DOS version 4.0, you can check for potential errors by printing a Data Errors Report. To find out how to create a Data Errors Report, refer to your Family Tree Maker for Windows version 3.0 manual or DOS version 4.0 supplement.
At the same time, those who use the World Family Tree should recognize that it is meant to be a research tool, not a source of completely error-free data. The genealogical information in the World Family Tree should be a starting point from which to continue researching.
I submitted my tree, but it's not on a World Family Tree CD. Why not?
There are four reasons that someone's family tree may not have made it onto a volume of the World Family Tree:
- We did not receive the submission in time for inclusion in the latest volume. If there are no problems with the file, it may be on a future volume of the World Family Tree.
- The file was damaged. We will notify you if we need a replacement file.
- The submission contained too many errors. We put each of the submitted family trees through an extensive error-checking process. While errors are inevitable, some trees contained an excessive amount of errors (such as illogical dates) and were rejected. We will notify you if your family tree was rejected for this reason.
- The submission was compressed. If you contributed a family tree that was compressed with a utility such as PKZip, the family tree may not have made it onto the latest volume. Compressed files require more time to process, and we may not be able to use them right away.
If I contribute to the World Family Tree Project, are you going to put my name and address on the CD?
Submitter names are available free through the Submitter Information Service at www.familytreemaker.com. However, there are two reasons why we do not put the names and addresses of the submitters on the World Family Tree CDs themselves.
First, to keep submitter addresses as up-to-date as possible. By keeping all submitter addresses in a central, up-to-date database rather than putting them on the CDs themselves, we are able to provide more accurate information.
Second, to protect the privacy of our submitters. By keeping names, addresses, and phone numbers separate from the World Family Tree CDs, we can minimize the number of letters and phone calls the submitters receive, especially from direct mail marketers.
If I contribute to the World Family Tree, will others who find a connection to my tree be able
to contact me?
We believe that one of the best reasons to put your family tree on CD is the chance that you will help distant relatives with their genealogical research, and that these distant relatives will be able to help you in return. We therefore have set up the free Submitter Information Service that allows World Family Tree customers to get the name and address of a submitter. You can find the Submitter Information Service at www.familytreemaker.com., or contact Brøderbund software if you do not have access to the World Wide Web.
How can I contact a World Family Tree contributor?
You can easily request the name and address of a World Family Tree submitter by using our online World Family Tree Submitter Information Service at http://www.familytreemaker.com/cgi-bin/subinfo.cgi. There is no additional charge for this service.
What if I find an error in my file after I submit it to the World Family Tree? Can you make a correction?
Most submitters are bound to find errors in or make additions to their family tree after they have already submitted it to the World Family Tree. Unfortunately, it is impractical for us to make these changes or additions to every submitter's file. However, you will periodically have the opportunity to submit and updated for your file.
How can I access the information in the World Family Tree?
To view the information in the World Family Tree, you must own version 3.02 or later of one of the following four programs:
For more information about these products, please visit Family Tree Maker Online at http://www.familytreemaker.com or contact Customer Service.
- Family Tree Maker for Windows
- Family Archive Viewer (this is a demo copy of the above program)
- Family Finder Index and the above viewer
- Family Tree Maker for Power Macintosh
How do I know which World Family Tree CD is for me?
Before purchasing a World Family Tree CD, you can search in the Family Finder Index to find matches for your ancestors' names. If you do find matching names, then you will know which World Family Tree CD or other Family Archive CD may contain more information about your relatives.
All of the individuals on our World Family Tree CD's along with other names
from our data CDs are indexed in the Family Finder Index, which is included
with Family Tree Maker and the Family Finder Index and Viewer. The Family Finder
Index is also available online, so you can search the index of the World Family
Tree CDs using your modem and phone line!
How much do the World Family Tree CDs cost?
The World Family Tree CDs sell for $19.99 each. We also offer special
value-priced bundles. In addition, you can purchase a monthly or an annual
subscription to the complete World Family Tree online collection.
Can I access the World Family Tree if I don't have a CD-ROM drive?
If you do not have a CD-ROM drive, you can purchase an online
subscription that allows you to access the complete World Family Tree collection
How often will additional volumes of the World Family Tree be released?
Because the World Family Tree Project is in its infancy, we cannot predict how frequently we will release new Volumes. If the excitement about the World Family Tree continues at its current pace, we will release additional volumes frequently.
Will Genealogy.com pay for my family tree?
Genealogy.com does not pay for submissions to the World Family Tree Project. However,
we do reward submitters with a $10 coupon which is good on selected Brøderbund
products, including any World Family Tree CD, Family Archive CD, or Family Tree