Ancestry invites you to “meet” the app and proceeds to introduce it to you as you scroll down.
The first graphic is a picture of Elvis Presley on a smartphone screen, the caption invites you to “Discover if your friends or favorite celebrities are family.”
The next graphic is a huge screen-wide close up of a dazed-looking Marilyn Monroe; this caption is about “boast-worthy connections” We’re Related can show you.
The fifth and final graphic is Louis Armstrong. Here, Ancestry takes a moment to brag about their millions and billions and millions of trees, connections and profiles.
Because the new app apparently uses family trees from its website to help make connections, it really shouldn’t be taken seriously. So many of those trees have no source documents to substantiate the claims they make.
Reviewers at the App Store pretty much either love it or hate it. There are lots of people who are clearly using it for entertainment value and that’s cool. I am worried for the ones who are all googly-eyed about seeing the names of their grandparents for the first time or how they are related to this famous person or that famous person. They are “totally recommending” this app for people who want to find their roots. *sigh*
I have not personally used the app and will not download it for a couple of reasons. I don’t need/want anything accessing my The Facebook. I don’t want anyone else’s corrupted misinformation connected to me or my information in any form or fashion.
I understand Ancestry’s attempt to get younger people interested in and promoting genealogy via social media. But this isn’t genealogy. In my opinion, this app is genealogy in its lowest form—Facebook entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Facebook meme just as much as the next genealogist. I'm simply tired of hearing people say, when they find out I am a professional genealogist, “Oh yeah, we’ve traced our tree all the way back to King George.”
I smile and nod, while in my head I’m saying, “No you haven’t.”
A shaky leaf dumped in with a bunch of other shaky leaves. That’s why you think you’re “all the way back to King George.”
You probably aren’t related.
App store and Facebook icon images courtesy Wikimedia Commons