Frequently Asked Questions



General


  1. What is FamiLinx?
    FamiLinx is a database of crowd-sourced genealogy. It contains pedigrees, demographic data, and simple phenotypic information.
  2. Who is behind FamiLinx?
    The original data was created by millions of active genealogists that publicly shared the information on Geni.com, a MyHeritage company. With permission from MyHeritage, we collected the public data from Geni.com in a process that took more then 3 months and then we spent nearly a year cleaning and organizing the data in this resource.
  3. How should I cite FamiLinx?
    To be determined :-)
  4. I have more questions. How can I get in contact?
    qYaniv at wi dot mit dot edu (remove q)

  5. Privacy


  6. Can you elaborate more about your privacy policies?
    The privacy of the individuals is highly important to us and we took several steps to respect it. First, we collected only public profiles of genealogists that decided to share their family trees. In other words, these profiles were accessible to anyone in the world with an Internet connection, not just us. Second, we removed any explicit identifiers from data such as first names, surnames, exact date of birth or date of death, or free text. Third, the resource Terms of Use prohibit any attempt to re-identify individuals in the data.
  7. Do you have any DNA information?
    FamiLinx does not contain any DNA information.
  8. Did you get any private or privileged information from Geni.com/MyHeritage?
    No! Our program operated from the Whitehead Institute/MIT and observed only public profiles. We could only access the same information that any other web user or search engine can observe.

  9. Download


  10. What type of data can I find in FamiLinx?
    You will find an SQL dumpfile that contains the FamiLinx database and scripts to query the database and analyze the pedigree structure.
  11. Are there any restrictions in using the data?
    See the Terms of Use. Together with MyHeritage, our aim was to maximize the utility of the resource for scientific investigations while respecting the privacy of the individuals and the commercial value of Geni.com.
  12. Why do you ask for my details prior to downloading the data?
    This is just a safeguard mechanism as part of our commitment to respect the privacy of individuals in the dataset. Keep in mind that we do not share this information with third parties or send you any spam emails.