9 Genealogy Predictions for 2009 Reviewed

Tuesday, 29 Dec 2009 | by Mark Tucker

In December 2008, I wrote a blog post titled 9 Genealogy Predictions for 2009.  It is now time to review that list and see how well the predictions matched reality.

1.  Two more desktop genealogy applications will support source citation templates from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained. Currently Legacy 7 and RootsMagic 4 support this. The other two might likely be Family Tree Maker and The Master Genealogist.

Family Tree Maker 2009 now supports source citation templates following Evidence Explained.  To my knowledge, no other desktop genealogy applications have announced this support.

2.  One major online database (Ancestry, WorldVitalRecords, FamilySearch, Footnote) will announce upcoming support for Evidence Explained source citations.  Other sites will soon follow with their own announcements.

I am disappointed that none of the mentioned online databases support Evidence Explained source citations.  Please correct me if I am mistaken.  If GenSeek is released in 2010, maybe it will be the first.


3.  FamilySearch Research Wiki will grow to over 30,000 content pages (excluding talk and stub pages) by the end of the year. As of 28 December 2008, there were 12,573 content pages.

On December 28, 2009 there were a total of 20,298 content pages on the FamilySearch Research Wiki.

4.  FamilySearch will announce a replacement for GEDCOM. GEDCOM will still be supported for many years as software will support it as well as the newer format. Reasons for the new format will be to better support source citations and media.

This did not happen in 2009, but it might happen in 2010.

5.  I hope I am wrong about this one, but with the current economic downturn we could see financial pressure force one of the more-recently-started genealogy companies to merge with or be acquired by another company.  Worse case scenario, it could go bankrupt.

To my knowledge this did not happen.  In fact, Ancestry went public in 2009.

6.  Many more genealogy societies will join the social networking site, Facebook, by adding a group page. Searching groups today for “genealogical society | genealogy society” (the pipe symbol “|” means “OR”) returns 80 results. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of 2009 the total was over 200.

Finally a correct prediction! Doing a group search on Facebook resulted in 286 results for genealogy societies.

7.  More genealogy applications will be available for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. Currently the iTunes App Store only lists three applications: MobileFamilyTree, FamViewer, and Shrubs.  This last holiday season, the iPod Touch was a hot item.  I wonder how many genealogists own one now.

This one was easy to predict as even one more app would have fulfilled the prediction.  There are currently 7 applications listed in the App Store:



MobileFamily Tree – $4.99


Reunion – $14.99




GedView – $3.99


FamViewer – $14.99


Mobile Tree – $4.99


Shrubs – $9.99


iCensus – $3.99


To learn more about some of these apps, check out the blog post titled, Genealogy Apps for iPhone, by Joan Miller. 

8.  Through blogs and podcasts, genealogists will hear more about the benefits of Web 3.0 (also called the Semantic Web) and how it applies to genealogy.

Web 3.0?  What is that?  You can find discussions about microformats and full fledged ontologies, but not much applied to genealogy in 2009.

9.  Genealogists are puzzle solvers when it comes to researching their family history, but do they play games?  I expect to see a genealogy-related game released in 2009.  It could be a casual game for Facebook or something more interactive for the Wii.  How about a Mii Familii Trii?  The game might teach research-related concepts (citation, transcription, etc) or (via GEDCOM import) put your ancestors in the game.

There is still so much opportunity in this area without much action.  I did find a casual game called Family Mystery: The Story of Amy where genealogy is used as the theme for the game but not much else.


So out of 9 predictions, I give myself a score of 3.5 which is about as often as I was correct when as a teenager I operated the “guess your age or weight” game at an amusement park.  After a few days, I was moved to the skee ball games which fit my talents much better.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2010 full of genealogy innovation and hopefully some surprises!


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by thinkgenealogy and MarkTucker, Lowcountry Africana. Lowcountry Africana said: RT @marktucker: 9 Genealogy Predictions for 2009 Reviewed: #genealogy [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention 9 Genealogy Predictions for 2009 Reviewed | ThinkGenealogy -- — 29 Dec 2009 @ 12:55 am

  2. Mark, your reported 286 “genealogical society | genealogy society” Groups on Facebook is correct, but you don’t mention the 71 Facebook “Pages” that also come up in the results. I have set up both for the California Genealogical Society but Pages have many advantages over Groups for gen societies. 1.) They can be viewed by anyone on the web – Groups require FB membership; 2.) Pages are indexed by search engines; 3.) Pages include “Insights” – usage stats for administratiors; and 4.) Pages allow applications – the CGS FB page has tabs for Twitter, our blog and “Join Our Mailing List.” Most gen societies are non-profits and a Facebook Page is the way to go. See our page at:

    Comment by Kathryn Doyle — 29 Dec 2009 @ 10:17 am

  3. Mark, thanks, this is good stuff to know. Will you be making predictions for 2010? Or have you found the genealogical equivalent of skee-ball?

    Comment by Harold Henderson — 29 Dec 2009 @ 10:49 am

  4. Kathryn, thanks for the insight into Facebook Pages over Groups. It will be interesting to see at the end of 2010 how both numbers change.

    Harold, I won’t be making any 2010 predictions, but I do hope that by the end of 2010 that all 9 of the 2009 predictions will have been realized. Still looking for my genealogy “skee-ball”.


    Comment by Mark Tucker — 29 Dec 2009 @ 11:40 am

  5. Hello Mark
    It’s great to see you review your 2009 predictions, will you be making similar predictions for 2010, would love to read about it.

    Comment by Sanjay Maharaj — 29 Dec 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  6. You missed my app The Genealogy Gems Podcast App which launched 12/18/09. Streams podcast and video, Bonus Content (pdf books, customized wallpaper, video, music, and more to come) The app delivers genealogy information that can help users make the most out of their research time. I believe this means your prediction on apps was accurate!

    Comment by Lisa Louise Cooke — 30 Dec 2009 @ 10:53 am

  7. Lisa,
    So sorry for the oversight of The Genealogy Gems Podcast App. Thanks for adding it to the list. See you in Mesa!


    Comment by Mark Tucker — 30 Dec 2009 @ 11:09 am

  8. Hey Mark!

    Two more apps for the iPhone are CousinCalc and Genealogy Dictionary.

    Hope to see you at NGS in 2010!


    Comment by Stephen J. Danko — 30 Dec 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  9. Mark,
    thanks for the mention.

    For Lisa…just downloaded your iphone app for Genealogy Gems. Looks great. Will explore it in greater detail soon.

    It will be great to meet you both in Mesa.


    Comment by Joan Miller — 2 Jan 2010 @ 12:14 am

  10. I agree. I set up a group for the Society of Australian Genealogists and then I realised a page was more appropriate, so we have both. Obviously I'll have to look at Kathryn's page to get inspiration for applications to use!

    Comment by @CaroleRiley — 11 Jan 2010 @ 8:23 am

  11. Hi Mark,

    Have you seen the work at ?

    I think we’re getting closer!

    Happy Dae·

    Comment by Dae Powell — 2 Mar 2010 @ 12:47 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck

Copyright 2010 Mark Tucker. All rights reserved.