& European Family Forest Odyssey Edition
by Steve Johnson
June 16, 2001
The American & European
Family Forest Odyssey Edition is the 6th edition of a database
product containing information extracted from a variety of historical,
genealogical, and biographical reference books, and then weaved
together into a family tree. The publishers of Family Forest provided
me with a pre-release version for this review.
Several hundred published sources make up the bibliography of this
fascinating product, covering royalty, U.S. Presidents, noted persons,
prominent families, and not-so-famous people. It includes people
from the present day all the way back to more than 2,000 years ago.
What makes this database interesting is that many of these people
have been linked to each other allowing you to navigate through
their ancestors and descendants. The makers of Family Forest describe
themselves as "tour guides ... digitally connecting the dots
of 2,000+ years of professionally recorded paper-based history".
Each person in the database contains at least one fact, such as
a date of birth, death, marriage, or some other noted achievement
or status. Each fact is supported by bibliographic reference.
Millisecond Publishing Company, the publisher of Family Forest
Odyssey Edition, have published other editions of Family Forest,
including the Family Forest Millennium Edition, the Presidential
Family Forest, the Founders & Patriots Family Forest, the Delaware
Family Forest, and the Pittsburgh Family Forest. The new Odyssey
Edition combines all these editions and then adds more new information
of its own.
Exploring the Family Forest
|The Family Group Sheet. Click to enlarge
Family Forest uses Progeny Software's Family Explorer to browse
the contents of the database. Family Explorer contains features
that allow you to view descendants and ancestors of every person
in the database. It's a very cool app. You can click on any person,
and get a variety of charts, including their new "hourglass"
The Family Forest comes with a 10-minute introductory tour, which
is a set of instructions guiding you through various persons in
the database, demonstrating both the vastness of the database as
well as the features of Family Explorer.
The tour starts out by viewing the details of Edward Dean Adams,
who according to Family Forest, "negotiated a gold deal to
avert a U.S. financial crisis".
The tour instructs you to view Adams' descendancy chart, where
you click on one of his great-grandchildren, Judith Adams. From
there you click on a series of other people, taking you back-and-forth
through 1,200 years of ancestral history, from King Alfred the Great
of England, to Mary Queen of Scots to our own President George Washington,
all of which are connected through marriage or blood. Quite fascinating!
|The ancestral chart. Click to enlarge
I tried searching for some names in my wife's ancestry. She is
a Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter of Lucina Sayles, who is
descended from John Sayles and Mary Williams. Mary was the daughter
of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island. So, I searched for
Sayles, and I found the couple of John Sayles and Mary Williams.
Family Forest did not have the entire Sayles descendancy. But,
it did show one of their children, Isabel Sayles. So, I followed
it along, and it showed that Isabel is a direct ancestor of the
Vanderbilts of New York. So, I sat back, and told my wife that not
only is she a direct descendant of Roger Williams, but also a distant
cousin of the Vanderbilts!
Family Forest contains a bibliography of hundreds of genealogical,
historical, and biographical sources. The folks who put together
Family Forest mull their way through these sources extracting names,
dates, relationships, and facts, storing them into the database,
and weaving the relationships together.
|A sample of Family Forest's bibliography. Click
You'll find sources pertaining to royalty such as, "Britain's
Kings And Queens, 63 reigns in 1100 years", by Sir George
Bellew. There are sources pertaining to U.S. Presidents such as,
"Facts About the Presidents, A Compilation of Biographical
and Historical Data, Sixth Edition", by Joseph Nathan Kane.
Also included are sources about prominent families such as, "Rockefellers,
An American Dynasty", by Peter Collier & David Horowitz,
as well as noted persons such as, "Notable American Women.
A Biographical Dictionary. Volume II G-O, Volume III P-Z",
by Radcliffe College.
Literally speaking, Family Forest represents an extraction of names
and facts pulled from hundreds of these sources, stored into a database
and weaved together, creating a pedigree-linked genealogical index
that serves as historical reference.
Who Should Buy Family Forest?
If you are professional genealogist, it'd be well worth the money
to buy Family Forest. In essence, it serves as a genealogical index
of hundreds of genealogical, historical, and biographical works,
complete with bibliographic references.
If you are not a professional genealogist, you'd still have hours
of fun perusing the genealogies of noted persons, and may even discover
that you're distantly related to someone famous.
Writers and journalists will find this a useful research aid. If
you need to know where President Clinton was born, or the name of
Benjamin Franklin's wife, or the names of those who signed the Declaration
of Independence, Family Forest can give you the answer.
Librarians might want to consider adding Family Forest to their
collection of reference material. It would become a popular item
in any Family History Center.
Family Forest does not contain every famous person or family,
but it does incorporate a massive amount of information pertaining
to the history and genealogy of famous and not-so-famous people.
Family Forest Odyssey Edition can lead you to books and periodicals
that you may not otherwise know to buy, rent, or borrow. It also
lets you know of a great number of instances where the coverage
of two or more books and periodicals link to each other, and thereby
increasing the usefulness of each.
Considering the price, you're getting an incredible value of work.
Historical, genealogical, and biographical references from hundreds
of famous books, indexed, and weaved together genealogically, and
annotated with bibliography. You won't find anything else like it
Family Forest Odyssey Edition is due to come out this July. Right
now, you can purchase any other edition of Family Forest for just
$34.95, and then automatically receive the Odyssey Edition at no
charge once it is available. The Odyssey Edition includes ALL of
the other Family Forest editions, and then some.
Purchase Family Forest from its website at: http://www.familyforest.com.