Algarve resident impresses Belgian Genealogy Society

dnaI was very surprised lately to learn that on a daily base millions of people worldwide are in one way or another involved, ‘in the mysterious world of genealogy,’ meaning either they are looking or enquiring about their family and in particular their ancestors or they are busy building their family tree, writes Guido Andries.

By looking into Google or Wikipedia one can see the thousands of websites and data bases available for interested people to use.

Only a couple of weeks ago, during a chat with my grandson, he suddenly asked me “grandpa, I am doing my homework now, would you please help me…. “Where and when were you born? Where and when was granny born? Where and when was Uncle Tom born?”

To my surprise this eight-year-old boy is learning in school to make a genealogical tree of his immediate family.

Over the past few years, several members of our family bravely started studying their own family trees.

However, after only a couple of months, they all stopped for the same reasons: the work is very time consuming and it is so frustrating as many members of the family simply refuse to help by providing the necessary data.

Nevertheless, we decided to give it another try and now, a couple of years later, on 15.10.2018 our family book is ready for distribution to the members of the family.

A “brand new concept”

In the ad hoc literature we can find maybe 100 different shapes and forms of family trees. However, we preferred to develop a concept that:

1. shows the members of the family (old and young) in the most correct possible way and status = the traditional professional genealogical tree

2. shows all the family members in pictures = the traditional photo album

3. allows to make the connection between the tree and the pictures = this relationship has never been tried or experimented with before

As such our brand new concept is the following: we put a traditional ‘x and y-axes’ (the well known system used for road maps) over the family tree and then codified each “head” on the ad hoc pictures and so, after maximum five seconds processing, the relationship is made between tree and picture.

We have called the new system, the ‘active family book.’ - see first picture below.


This new system now allows users to introduce a lot of “related information or target groups” in the family book. As such we can visualise “historical facts” or “friends of the family” or “the family’s hotshots,” etc.

In Belgium, the Flemish Genealogy Society had been informed about the experiments we were doing with this kind of dynamic family book and was so surprised and impressed that it immediately commissioned a full assessment.

The study is ready now and will be published in the national, specialised genealogical magazine “De Stam” (the genealogical tree), on December 1st.

The pictures below clearly show the basics of the new system.

We have to be aware that this system opens also other new perspectives. Example: if a suitable App is developed it will be possible to find the ad hoc pictures in less than a second, simply by touching the computer screen showing the family tree page … and, there is your picture!






The new ‘active family book’



















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