Press Room - Press Release

 June 7, 2000 - Dick Eastman Online

Heard and Seen at NGS Conference has announced a very ambitious project: to place data about every identifiable person who ever lived on the face of the earth into one huge, searchable database. This sounds a bit utopian, but I had a chance to look at their project and can report that these folks are serious!'s CEO Alan Eaton, the former technical lead of, received assistance in a formal introduction at the National Genealogical Society's conference from Donnie Osmond. Yes, that is THE Donnie Osmond. The NGS introduction was staged a few hours after Donnie and Marie Osmond had introduced the product to their nationwide television audience. Donnie Osmond has been a very active beta tester of this new product. says, "As part of the human family, we are all related; we are all connected. The circle of life includes all of us and is always expanding. We are all members of OneGreatFamily." The company maintains a large online database that is available to all members. Access to this database is via a Web browser. An Active-X component called Genealogy BrowserTM is downloaded and automatically attached to the Web browser, providing one of the nicest user interfaces I have ever seen. You can easily see 25 or 50 or even more generations at once on the screen. You can quickly and easily zoom in to see details and then zoom back out to see the bigger picture. is a commercial venture, supported primarily by paid subscriptions. However, the company says that there will always be a Free Track membership to the site. The Free Track will see advertising that is not visible to those with paid memberships. I expect that Free Track members will also have less access, but the company has not yet announced the details.


Dick Eastman is the forum manager of the Genealogy Forum on CompuServe (GO ROOTS) and is the author of YOUR ROOTS: Total Genealogy Planning On Your Computer published by Ziff-Davis Press. He has contributed an article in the CD Information Center about using CD-Recordable for the first time. Dick writes and publishes a free email newsletter, "Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter" every week or so. Back issues can be seen [here]. To subscribe to this influential and informative publication about family history and genealogy research resources, visit