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FamNet, formerly known as "NZ Genealogy Databases", is a largely free-to-use website, which initially expressed the hope "that eventually the system will contain a record of every ancestor of every New Zealander, and these records will contain the best information available about their subject". Quoting from its front page as updated in October 2008: "With 10,059,313 people in family trees, many with attached documents and pictures, NZGDB is already the largest collection of New Zealand Family Trees available on the web."
Renamed since the New Zealand focus reduced in proportional significance, the site claims to offer "rich facilities to create and publish your information, link it to other records, and communicate with other people with a common interest".
The March 2013 newsletter claims "there’s already a lot of function in FamNet, much of it unique. Did you know that: -
- "FamNet is the ONLY genealogy site around (as far as we know) with record-level privacy. In other sites you can control access to your family tree, but if you give anybody access then they get access to all of it, so you either have one copy of your tree for family that includes living people, and another copy that strips the living people out. In FamNet you can publish your entire tree, including living people, but initially only you will see the living people within it. You can then give selected people, like your family, access to the full tree while continuing to limit general users to public records (= dead people) only. FamNet does privacy properly: your data is better protected if you share it through FamNet than if you keep it on you PC and email copies to your relatives.
- "In FamNet you can create a tree by uploading a GEDCOM, or you can create it on line – you don’t have to have a program like Legacy or Family Tree Maker. You can edit the records that you uploaded. Some users, like children in our FamNet in Schools program, have built family trees in cooperation with relatives on the other side of the world.
- "With its different views – Page View, Tree View, Timeline View, and Charts – FamNet provides more ways of looking at your data than any other genealogy web site, and only desktop programs provide more chart options. Timeline View is unique: no other site can take your genealogy data and display it in historical context like this.
- "Facilities for general file management are also unique – where else can you create tables of data such as burial lists, lists of shipping passengers, and so on, and have them managed by SQL so that they can be quickly searched, presented in various ways, and liked to your family tree records? For free!
"So for the time being there isn’t much more development that is needed, rather the challenge is to get more people to use what’s already there."
There is no charge for registering, for searching, or for storing and retrieving one's own records, but a small subscription is needed to see the detail of somebody else's records.