What is this GenSeek of which you Speak?

Tuesday, 20 Jan 2009 | by Mark Tucker


What do you mean you have never heard of it before?  You must not be on Twitter

What is Twitter you ask?

The quick explanation of Twitter is that it is like blogging, but you only have 140 characters to get your message across.  Some call it micro blogging.  What do you twitter about?  You answer the question: “What are you doing?”  Some take it literally and some just share what they are thinking about at the time.  It is a great way to connect with others you may never meet in person.  It is also a great way to get the inside scoop on things that are happening in the genealogy world.

Twitter Detective

When I joined twitter on 19 December 2008, one of the first people that I “followed” was Paul Allen, the CEO of  What that means is that any “tweet” that Paul posts, I would see as well.  I was able to follow Paul on his recent trip to Auckland, New Zealand.  And that is where I first heard about GenSeek.

There are only a few tweets that mention GenSeek, so all we have right now is a name and its goal to be the “world’s gateway to family history content.”

Here is a snapshot of my TweetDeck pane that shows a Twitter search for “genseek” with the most recent tweets on top:

Transcript of Twitter search for “genseek”:

 Dave_Whittle: @paulballen Hi, Paul. So what will set GenSeek apart from the crowd?
Mon 19 Jan 15:34

 paulballen: @marktucker will be coming out in the next 2 months or so. Until then, we could email you a powerpoint, but that’s about it.
Mon 19 Jan 15:31

 TamuraJones: @paulballen FamilyLink has the domain. Australians probably think of Jenny’s first. Will that return on
Mon 19 Jan 02:49

 marktucker: @paulballen – Where can I find out more information about GenSeek?
Sun 18 Jan 19:53

 paulballen: Nearly all the genealogists we meet are enthusiastic about GenSeek and want to help us make it the world’s gateway to family history content
Sun 18 Jan 18:51

 paulballen: 7:30 am in Auckland. Getting ready for day 4 of genealogy conference. Will show GenSeek, and today.
Sun 18 Jan 11:29

GenSeek Speculation

I wonder if this has anything to do with an announcement that was made in May 2008 about a partnership between FamilySearch and to produce what Paul called, the Family History Library Catalog 2.0.   What could be a better “gateway” than a library catalog?  Here is a quote from the May 2008 post:

“The new catalog …may become the single best starting point for family history searches”

This blog post and the corresponding FamilySearch announcement promise big things for FHLC 2.0 and I haven’t heard much about it since then.  So maybe this is it.

Even if GenSeek doesn’t turn out to be FHLC 2.0, something exciting is happening at and within weeks we should know what it is.

And about that Twitter thing?  If you do decide to join the Twittering masses, you are welcome to follow me if you like.


  1. Mark, suggest copy & paste of search result to include the text in addition ot the picture for accessibility. Meanwhile, the old and are in the Internet Archive.

    Comment by Tamura Jones — 20 Jan 2009 @ 1:38 am

  2. Tamura,

    Good idea. Updated post to include a transcript of the search results.


    Comment by Mark Tucker — 20 Jan 2009 @ 6:49 am

  3. Mark,

    You are absolutely correct. is the site where we will be launching the Family History Catalog 2.0. Not only will everyone be able to add new sources, and improve the descriptions of existing sources, but we will also be linking to the online versions of all the sources as soon as we (or the community) can create the links.

    The most exciting part of GenSeek was announced in Auckland, but I don’t believe we are ready to announce it to the general public yet. But as soon as we do, you can be sure that I will tweet about it!

    Comment by Paul Allen — 20 Jan 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  4. [...] Mr. Allen confirmed the speculation that GenSeek is the realization of the partnership between and FamilySearch to update the Family [...]

    Pingback by Seeks Chief Genealogy Officer | ThinkGenealogy — 21 Jan 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  5. [...] fortunate to live close to it. I learned this week for the first time of plans for GenSeek (see here and here); I think it would be very cool to be able to submit indexes to those resources that are [...]

    Pingback by Taneya’s Genealogy Blog » Blog Archive » My First ScanFest — 26 Jan 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  6. Hi Mark,

    On pg. 138 of Paul Larsen’s book Crash Course in Genealogy, there is a whole paragraph about the website. If what I heard is true about this website, it is going to be even more amazing than Record Search pilot. It will enable individuals to research digitally, social network, and make the FHC resources available in ways never before possible and all at no cost!

    Comment by Vicki Pfeffer — 5 Sep 2009 @ 1:29 pm

  7. Just noticing August 2011: does not exist.

    Comment by Louis Kessler — 13 Aug 2011 @ 9:23 am

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