This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting with my cousins for lunch. It was wonderful to see relatives I had not seen in several years and particularly nice to see them for a happy event since we have experienced so many family losses in recent years. As I looked at all the family photographs I scanned a while back and studied the family genealogy that my Aunt put together I found myself wishing I could put together a family tree of some sort. Naturally, this idea did not strike me until the day before our get together. After searching for a while I came across a great FREE beta resource called Family Mingle. I was initially drawn to the logo since it featured little birds and our family name is Crane. I soon discovered that this beta product is impressive and simple to use. I feel very fortunate to have come across this marvelous genealogy tool and yes, I did stay up a good part of the night to input over 170 family members and photographs.
The program is intuitive, can be easily customized, and gosh darn it has some great features besides! For example, I can very easily invite family members to mingle when I add an email to a family member…when you send an invitation to family members you can customize the message and they will automatically be assigned a password, which they will probably want to change the first time they use the application. Uploading photographs is quick and simple. I created several family albums that could be shared with family members and the photo albums can be viewed in slide show format. Family members can even comment on photographs…a real plus if you have a few mystery individuals in some of your photographs! Watch the online tutorial after you register for an account. I have also included a few screen shots relating to some of the features of the program along with some notes below.
Here is a screenshot of the homepage….
Here is a screenshot of the family tree page….
Here is the menu you will see when you click on the plus sign that appears when you mouse over a photograph….
I could go on and on, but the truth is you need to set up your own account and start to use the interface to truly appreciate Family Mingle. Oh, and by the way… this would be a great tool to use the next time you ask students to work on their family tree and biography. I highly recommend it for students 13 or older, though I must mention that their is a chat feature that activates if more than one family member is online at a time … I anticipate (and hope) that Family-Mingle will help bring our spread out, somewhat fragmented family closer. Go forth and mingle…you (and family members) will love using this free, password-protected family-oriented tool!