Data Reseources Genealogical Data
5 Computerized Genealogical Data
Development of Internet and user-friendly computer programs awoke a real boom in computerization of pedigree data by professional and non-professional genealogists. The process of computerization started in early 90s and now the number of computerized genealogies is being increased in geometrical progression. Most of such genealogies are kept as private collections or databases with restricted access (information could be disclosed to relatives only). We list below the sources of genealogical data available in public domain as well as data sold by commercial organizations and persons. Also, the most important collections of computerized genealogical data with restricted access are mentioned below.

Technical note. Although each particular genealogical software has its own data format, the genealogical data could be shared among other genealogists through the so-called GEDCOM format. GEDCOM stands for the GEnealogical Data COMmunication standard proposed by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and adopted by many developers and users of genealogical software. The purpose of GEDCOM is to simplify the exchange of computerized historical and genealogical information. GEDCOM files are created in ASCII (text) format with special fields containing family information at the beginning of each line. The most common fields contain personal (name, birth date and place, death date and place) and family (links to spouse and children and links to parents and sibs) information. In some cases data contain more detailed information (occupation, title, religion, cause of death, burial place, special comments). It is worth to notice that in most cases only 7-15% of persons listed in GEDCOM files have exact dates of births and deaths as well as dates of birth and death for the parents. Thus, only small part of this information could be used for scientific analysis.

Listed below there are the most important sources of computerized genealogical data.

5.1 Computerized Genealogical Data on CD-ROMs

5.1.1 Peerage CD - the Peers and Royal families of Europe

This CD-ROM provides demographic information on 33,497 individuals (19,380 males and 13,667 females) and 18,125 marriages. The database was compiled by John Bloore, based on a test file provided with the genealogical program PEDIGREE that contained about 250 individuals, ancestors of the present Queen of England. As the program grew in size, a database was first created for the ancestors of the Prince of Wales (5,499 individuals) and was then expanded to include the lineages of the hereditary British peers. The database, alphabetically registered, now spans the Dukes and Earls of Abercorn to the Barons of Willoughby de Broke. Because of extensive connections between the British peerage and aristocratic families in the rest of Europe, about 15% of the entries refer to individuals outside the UK, mostly in Germany and France.

As for data quality, special notes (see below) from the database author (John Bloore) should be taken into account before using the Peerage CD data in longevity studies.

Authorised distributors:

1. Mr. Ron City, 4 Bradwell Road, Netherton, Peterborough, PE3 9PR

2. S & N Genealogy Supplies, Greenacres, Salisbury Rd, Chilmark, SP3 5AH

General notes from the database author (Mr. John Bloore):

1. "These databases are supplied on an "as is" basis and although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, this cannot be guaranteed 100 percent. The author is constantly updating the information to correct errors where found, fill in details for incomplete records and to cross check information with other sources".

2. "It should also be realised that this database will never be complete. To make it so would be a job of the magnitude of the IGI [The IGI (International Genealogical Index) is an index of all temple ordinances performed by Latter-day Saints (Mormons) on behalf of deceased persons and gathers together all the parish records into one central source]! Although in most cases, I have attempted to include all known children (and their spouses), there are many instances where this has not been done and only the direct ancestors included to link".

The genealogical data are based primarily on the following sources: [80, 99, 120, 121, 165, 177].

This data set was used in the study of human longevity and reproductive success [176]. For critical review of that study and the dataset see [61].

5.1.2. World Family Tree Archives CDs

The most important source of data on familial longevity is the so-called World Family Archives data set. The World Family Archives is a collection of computerized genealogies distributed on CDs (currently more than 30 volumes) by BrŘderbund Software, Inc. - a company that also distributes Family Tree Maker genealogical software.

Broderbund Software initiated the World Family Tree Project after years of requests from Family Tree Maker customers who wanted a way to share their family information with each other. Thanks to the thousands of contributors to the World Family Tree, it has become one of the largest collections of family trees in the world -- and the largest one available on CD-ROM. The World Family Tree Archives CDs contain over 50 million names and 75,000 family trees.

World Family Tree CDs contain family trees dating from pre-1600 to present, first families of the United States and trees containing individuals from all over the world, complete with event dates and family links where known. These trees contain first and last names, dates of birth, marriage, and death, and names and relationships of family members These CDs exclude information about living individuals except for their name, gender, and family links. All pedigrees can be exported as GEDCOM files.

Some trees also contain source notes and biographical information. You can view this family information in Ancestor trees, Descendant trees, Outline Descendant trees, Outline Direct Descendant trees, Kinship reports, calendars, and an unlimited number of customizable reports.

To view the information in the World Family Tree, one of the following programs is necessary:

• Family Tree Maker for Windows (diskette), version 3.0 or later;

• Family Tree Maker for Windows (CD-ROM), version 3.0 or later;

• Family Tree Maker Deluxe Edition II for Windows, version 3.01 or later;

• Family Tree Maker Deluxe Edition III or later for Windows, version 4.0 or later;

• Family Tree Maker Deluxe Edition II for Power Macintosh, version 3.02 or later;

• The Family Archive Viewer.

The difference between World Family Tree Archives CDs and the information obtained using the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Ancestral File:

The LDS Church (Mormon Church) also collects family trees for inclusion in its "Ancestral File." This file contains approximately 15 million individuals and can be accessed 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 -- the World Family Tree archives could be accessed from the office or home computer;

•More information on living individuals -- In the World Family Tree, the names, genders, and family links of living individuals is published. In the Ancestral File, only information about living individuals who are members of the LDS Church can be accessed. The names of non-LDS living individuals are replaced with the word "Living," and no one can access any information about these individuals.

More detailed information on the World Family Tree Project could be obtained at the Family Tree Maker Web site: http://www.familytreemaker.com.

By now the following 32 CDs are available:

a. World Family Tree: Vol. 1-2, pre-1600 to present:

World Family Tree Volumes 1-2 contain approximately 6,000 family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Nearly 3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

b. World Family Tree: Vol. 3, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains 6,664 family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Over 3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

c. World Family Tree: Vol. 4-7, 9-12 pre-1600 to present:

Each of these CDs contains over 4,000 family trees. Nearly 3 million individuals in each CD are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

d. World Family Tree: Vol. 8, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains nearly 4,000 actual family trees. A highlight of this CD is that 18% of these trees have been submitted by Family Tree Maker customers from the United Kingdom. Overall, 3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

e. World Family Tree: Vol. 13, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains over 3,700 family trees. Nearly 3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

f. World Family Tree: Vol. 14, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains approximately 3,400 actual family trees. Nearly 2.5 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

g. World Family Tree: Vol. 15, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains approximately 3,600 actual family trees. Nearly 3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

h. World Family Tree Volume 16, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains approximately 2,500 actual family trees. More than 2 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

i. World Family Tree Volumes 17-19, pre-1600 to present:

These CDs contain approximately 2,300 actual family trees. Approximately 2 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

j. World Family Tree Volumes 20, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains 2,700 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Nearly 1.5 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known. Some records contain additional source notes and biographical information.

k. World Family Tree Volumes 21, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains approximately 2,500 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Approximately 2 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

l. World Family Tree Volumes 22, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 3,000 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 2.5 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

m. World Family Tree Volumes 23, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 3,400 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 2.3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

n. World Family Tree Volumes 24, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 2,800 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 2 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

o. World Family Tree Volumes 25, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 3,200 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 1.8 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

p. World Family Tree Volumes 26, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 2,300 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 1.5 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

q. World Family Tree Volumes 27, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 3,000 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 1.8 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

r. World Family Tree Volumes 28, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 3,000 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 1.9 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

s. World Family Tree Volumes 29, pre-1600 to present:

This CD contains more than 1,630 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 950,000 individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

t. World Family Tree Volumes 30, pre-1600 to present:

This 2-CD set contains 1,612 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Approximately 1.1 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

u. World Family Tree Volumes 31, pre-1600 to present:

This 2-CD set contains 872 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Approximately 1.2 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

v. World Family Tree Volumes 32, pre-1600 to present:

This 2-CD set contains 863 actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Approximately 1.1 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

w. World Family Tree: Family Albums, Volume 1:

This is the first in a series of special-edition World Family Tree CDs that contain considerably larger family trees than most other World Family Tree volumes. It contains sixty-five actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. More than 100,000 individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known. The family trees included on this CD contain an average of 1,500 individuals -- twice as many as any previous volume of the World Family Tree. The vast majority of the trees contain photographs and other scrapbook items to add even more value to your Family File.

x. World Family Tree, European Origins Volume E1:

This World Family Tree European Origins CD features nearly 1,000 actual family trees with European-born ancestors. The trees on this CD have been selected from World Family Tree Volumes 1-12. Over 1.3 million individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known.

A significant portion of the individuals in each tree have event locations from England, Germany, Austria, France, Italy and/or other European countries. Some records contain additional source notes and biographical information.

5.1.3 Family Pedigrees Series of CDs

This series of CDs is also distributed by the Broderbund Software, Inc. (http://www.familytreemaker.com)

a. Family Pedigrees: United Ancestries, 1500-1990. Family Archive CD 100

This CD contains approximately 750,000 records, representing all the pedigrees and family group sheets prepared by United Ancestries, Inc., and its predecessors over a 30 year period.

These records were chiefly prepared by professional researchers for their clients and then linked into a single database. Most birth dates fall before 1850, and some select records date from before 1500. Many of the Royal lines of Europe are included.

This CD contains individual's name and sex, genealogical links between individuals that could be export into Family Tree Maker and other GEDCOM-compatible genealogy programs

b. Family Pedigrees: Everton's Computerized Family File, Volume 1, 1400s-Present.Family Archive CD 12

Family group sheets, such as those collected in this Family Archive, are among the most useful types of records because they compile information on entire families. Unlike previous publication of Everton's Computerized Family File, which included just a name index, this Family Archive includes an index as well as images of the actual family group sheets. Combined, these family group sheets provide information on approximately 389,000 individuals from all fifty United States and around the world (including Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Prussia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland).

c. Family Pedigrees: Everton Publishers, 1500-1990. Family Archive CD 15.

This CD contains approximately 100,000 family groupings from Everton's Family File 1 & 2 and "Roots" Cellar Vol. 1, providing information on about 1,000,000 individuals. Most of these groupings are from the United States and Europe, but some are from Latin America, Canada, the Pacific Islands, and Asia.

d. Family Pedigrees: GENTECH95 & ARI, 1500-1989. Family Archive CD 108.

This CD is a linked-relationship genealogy database containing 177,859 individual records from 103 GEDCOM files. The files were contributed to GENTECH, Inc. by family historians attending the GENTECH95 Conference, and compiled into a linked database by Automated Research, Inc. Each one of the GEDCOM files includes documentation (source notes), which add to the reliability of the data. Such documentation, while highly desirable, is uncommon among other linked genealogy databases.

5.1.4 Acadian and French-Canadian genealogies CD

This CD has been developed and distributed by Canadian genealogist Yvon Cyr. It contains about 200 GEDCOM files on over half million names for descendants of first French Canadians and Acadians. This CD is available for purchase (http://www.acadian.org).

5.1.5 The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry CD-ROM Project (GRANDMA)

GRANDMA is a project of the California Mennonite Historical Society's Genealogy Project Committee. Distributed on CD-ROM, the new volume 2 CD of the database contains 267,864 names of persons whose ancestral lines can be traced to Mennonite communities in Poland and Russia. Volume 2 is now available for purchase. For more information contact: California Mennonite Historical Society, 4824 E.Butler, Fresno CA 93727.

5.1.6 The Nobility of Greater Poland (Teki Dworzaczka CD)

This CD contains historical and genealogical sources on the nobility of Greater Poland in the 15th to 20th centuries. In particular, it contains all the unpublished research on the nobility of the Poznan / Posen region of Poland by the eminent Polish genealogist and historian- Wlodimierz Dworzaczek. His 1957 publication Genealogia established him as one of the "Dean" of Polish genealogical research. This CD comprises:

193,691 notes from 15th to 18th castle and court records •61,957 notes from 16th to 19th Roman Catholic & Protestant parish church records. •11,855 notes of obituaries from Dziennik Poznanski •1,026 notes from other 18th century newspapers (notices of lands sales and marriages) •252 extracts of wills •Pedigrees constructed from the Poznan, Pyzdry, Walz, Wschowa and Piotrków tribunal records •12,000 pages from the unfinished armorial Historical and Genealogical Materials for the History of Grander Property in Greater Poland.

Gedcom Database. This database contains data on over 50,500 people including their family relationships, the coats-of-arms (herb.) used by the family, property held, their occupation or office, the years in the position and the source. Users can also import the data into their favorite genealogy programs, which have multi-lingual support. This CD is distributed by GenQuest company.

5.1.7. The Nobility of the Roman Empire and Other European Nobility

This CD contains information for 110,000 individuals who comprised the nobility and upper aristocracy (Emperors, German Emperors, Kings of subcounties, Electors, Dukes, Archdukes, Grand Dukes, Dukes, Princes, Marquis, Land Counts, Counts, the Patriarchs of Aquileja, Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots and Abbesses or the children of such) of the Holy Roman Empire and its successor states. Information supplied for the individuals include: length of office, predecessors, successors, names of parents with links to their information, date and place of birth, death and cohabitation with wives, concubines, etc., and children from each union. Each individual record is referenced with sources. The CD is searchable by office, person, or a combination of names and places. The genealogical data, however, are intentionally protected against exporting from the CD. This CD is also distributed by GenQuest company.

5.2 Genealogy (GEDCOM) files available on the Internet

Some genealogical data could be downloaded from various ftp sites on the Internet. There are several anonymous ftp sites (available for public use) which contain genealogy files (in GEDCOM format). The most important of them are:

1. Germans in Russia ftp site: pixel.cs.vt.edu.
2. Genealogy page: ftp.cac.psu.edu.
3. Genealogy Online: ftp.genealogy.org

The computerized genealogical data listed in this Chapter could be accessed or purchased without any restrictions. We list here the most important sources that contain large collections of files in GEDCOM format giving the opportunity to extract data on family longevity for further analyses. We do not present here sources with small number of genealogy files or genealogy data that are not presented in GEDCOM format. It is also important while using these data to follow copyright rules established by each particular company, organization or person selling or distributing genealogical data.

Data Reseources Genealogical Data

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Data Resources for Biodemographic Studies on Familial Clustering of Human Longevity
Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D.
Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.
© 1999 - 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871
http://www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol1/4