Twile Partners with Findmypast

We are delighted to reveal that Twile has secured an investment  and partnership deal with leading family history site Findmypast, which is set to open up huge opportunities for us.

The agreement will offer Twile’s customers access to Findmypast’s rich bank of eight billion records, helping them to expand their family trees and timelines from within Twile.  We’ll also be working closely with Findmypast to allow their customers to display their family tree data on a rich, visual Twile timeline.

From our earliest conversations with Findmypast, it’s been clear that they share our mission of making family history more engaging for the wider family, especially the younger generations. This relationship makes Twile better in every sense, while also allowing a whole set of features that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

In a statement to the press, Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said “We believe that our partnership offers great value to both companies’ customers. The recent RootsTech awards speak to the creativity of Twile and to win the People’s Choice award shows clearly that this is a product that the public wants”

What does this mean for Twile customers?
The investment from Findmypast – along with funding from some of Twile’s existing investors – means we have all of the resources we need to develop new features for Twile more quickly and create a truly global product.

Our customers should expect to see a lot of exciting new features and more integrations with third party services (including Findmypast).  We have a long list of ideas (mostly requested by our customers) and we’re working through them as quickly as we can – this investment means we can now move even quicker!

We love our customers and are hugely appreciative of the support they’ve given us since we started.  Today’s news marks the start of a relationship that will help us build Twile into the family history tool you’ve always wanted!

Twile Wins Two Awards in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016

Our first RootsTech has come to a close and we are delighted to have won two awards in the Innovator Showdown, including People’s Choice!

Chosen from 46 overall applicants, Twile was one of 6 companies who presented in Friday’s final.  The viewers (4,000 audience members and an estimated 100,000 online) voted during the live show to select their favourite innovation – choosing Twile as their #1 People’s Choice.

This means so much to us – we develop our product to suit the needs and requirements of you, our end users and this is our priority. Thanks to everyone in the audience at RootsTech and those watching via live stream who voted for us!

We are coming home with two cheques totalling $16,000 (plus a further $10,000 of in-kind prizes) for winning the people’s vote and third place as voted for by the judges. We have been overwhelmed at the warmth and support we have encountered during our time in Salt Lake City and the organisation of the event has been amazing.

We will be back next year for RootsTech 2017!  Please visit our Facebook page to keep up with our news.

See you soon!

RootsTech Innovator Showdown – Are we your people’s choice?

We are delighted that we have been selected as one of six finalists in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech. The finals will be streamed live, meaning that all of our customers and friends around the world have the opportunity to watch us online. The finals are held at 10.30am (local time) and if you love Twile be sure to tune in and give us your support.  If you think we are a worthy winner of the people’s choice award, you can even give us your vote!

See the live streaming via the RootsTech homepage at www.rootstech.org.

Thanks for your support!

 

 

RootsTech 2016: The Best and Worst Week of Our Lives?

As tech entrepreneurs with a mission to make family history more engaging for the wider family, we are counting the days until RootsTech 2016!

With a 15-hour flight from the UK – taking in the sights of Atlanta (airport) on the way – we’re looking forward to arriving in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. We can’t wait to be immersed in the family history community, catch up with Facebook and Twitter friends and meet some of our ‘biggest fans’.

The final preparations are being made, exhibition equipment is booked for our stand on Innovation Alley and everything is packed. However the realisation that we are leaving our biggest ‘little’ fans behind has set in.

As parents of small children, the excitement of travelling to the world’s biggest family history event is dwarfed at times by apprehension: none of us have been away from our children for this long since they were born.

We will miss them and their smiles and their cuddles. We will be wondering what they’ve been up to, what they have eaten, did they sleep well, are they missing us?

Thankfully our little ones remind us everyday why we created Twile.  We have used it to record their lives since they were born and we know that we won’t miss a moment whilst we’re away.  Grandma and Grandad are looking after them for the next week and they’ll be adding photos and stories to our Twile timelines. We’ll see that they are safe and having fun.

We also know they’ll see what we are doing: our photos from RootsTech –  including our time on stage at the Innovator Showdown – will be added to our Twile timelines for them to see.

They are very excited for us and have just one request – bring back jelly beans!

Twile Wins a Semi-Final Place in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016

We’re absolutely delighted to say that we’ve made it to the final 12 in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016!

RootsTech is the largest family history event in the world, held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Combining a huge exhibition with talks and classes on family history, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors, from seasoned genealogy experts to absolute beginners.

As part of RootsTech, the Innovator Showdown competition aims to highlight innovative technology products that service the family history market.  We’ll be attending the conference and battling it out to win part of the total $100,000 cash and in-kind prizes.

It’s so important to us to have been recognised as innovators in our industry, by one of its leading players – RootsTech is run by FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organisation in the world.

This year the conference runs from 3-6 February, during which we’ll be pitching to secure a place as one of the 6 finalists and to present Twile on stage to thousands of attendees.

We had an amazing 2015 after launching our family history timeline in April and have worked closely with our customers to build Twile into a tool they love.  It looks like 2016 could be even more exciting!

We want to thank everyone who uses Twile, everyone that has helped us spread the word and all of the people that have given us advice and support since we started.

If you’re going to RootsTech this year, please come along to our booth and say ‘hello’ – we’d love to thank you in person!

You can read more about the Innovator Showdown on the RootsTech website.

How To Create A GEDCOM File

If you have your family tree in an online service (such as Ancestry) or a software package on your computer, you can now import your tree into Twile to automatically create an amazing timeline of your family history.

All of the people and events that are hidden away in your family tree will be brought to life on a timeline that you can share with your whole family.

We thought it would be helpful to add links to the step-by-step guides for exporting a GEDCOM file for some of the more popular genealogy tools…

Ancestry
http://ancestryuk.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/472/~/uploading-and-downloading-gedcom-files-on-ancestry#res2

MyHeritage
http://helpcenter.myheritage.com/Family-Site/Family-Tree/634030922501488452/Can-I-export-a-GEDCOM-file-of-my-family-tree-on-my-family-site.htm

FamilySearch
Unfortunately, you can’t currently export a GEDCOM file from FamilySearch.

RootsMagic
http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/FAQ/wcgedcom4RM.html

Family Tree Maker
http://ancestryuk.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4376/~/exporting-a-file-in-family-tree-maker

Ready to import your GEDCOM file?
If you’re new to Twile, you can register for free here: https://twile.com
Otherwise, visit your family tree on Twile and click ‘Import GEDCOM’ at the top of the screen.

If you need any help creating your GEDCOM file or importing it into Twile, please get in touch and we’ll do all we can to help.

Privacy and Security on Twile

Your privacy and security is top of our priority list.

Everyone involved in Twile is a parent with a young family and we completely understand how important it is to keep personal information safe online. We use Twile to share our family history, photos and memories with our family and have worked hard to ensure it is kept safe – for us and for our customers.

Your Timeline
You have complete control over who sees the content you add to your timeline. By default, anyone on your family tree that is registered with Twile can see the stories, photos and milestones you create.

However, if you want to stop sharing with individual people on your tree, you can do so in a few simple steps:

  1. Visit your family tree
  2. Find the person you want to stop sharing with
  3. Click/tap on them to open their profile
  4. Untick the ‘Share photos and stories with them‘ option
  5. That’s it – you will no longer be able to see each other’s content

Your Family Tree
Your family tree is private to your family – nothing is ever made public.

Anyone in your family can add to the tree to help keep it accurate and up-to-date. However, only the people you share with on your tree can view the content you’ve added to your timeline (see above).

Security
We use Microsoft’s secure infrastructure to store your content, so it will always be available and safe.

We will also never sell or rent your contact information, nor will we ever share any of your content with anyone outside of the family or friends you add. You always remain in control of your content.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please get in touch: help@twile.com

Will Your Family Preserve Your Genealogy Legacy?

Here’s a summary of a guest post I wrote recently for Thomas MacEntee’s GeneaBloggers site…


A few months ago, Twile carried out a survey of 200 people who actively research their family history. We were interested in finding out why they were doing it and what they were planning to do with their findings when the work was ‘finished’.

Most said they had started their research looking for an answer to a specific question (e.g. who was my grandfather, where did my ancestors originate from) or it was triggered by an event (typically the death of a loved one).

What we found most interesting was that very few had given any consideration to what would happen to their research when they were no longer around.

Read the full GeneaBloggers article: “Will Your Family Preserve Your Genealogy Legacy?

Pink For Girls, Blue For Boys

We’ve just made a change to the Twile family tree to colour-code men and women, so that it’s easier to see at-a-glance what the make-up of a family is.

In deciding what colours to use for each, the only obvious choice was pink for girls and blue for boys. We were worried some people might not be too keen – especially as there is often heated debate around the stereotypical association of these colours in toys or clothes – but you’re still more likely to associate blue with boys and pink for girls, despite your opinion on it. So from a usability point of view, we think it makes sense.

But how did blue and pink get associated with boys and girls in the first place? I found an interesting article that summarises the history: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/pink-used-common-color-boys-blue-girls/

It seems that prior to the 20th century, pink and blue didn’t hold any gender-specific connotations and – even more surprising – until the 1940s it was more common for boys to wear pink and girls to wear blue. Pink was considered stronger and blue a more dainty colour.

By the way, if you’re not keen on our choice of colours, you can switch this feature off:

  1. Visit your family tree at https://twile.com/people
  2. Click/tap on yourself on the tree to open your profile
  3. Click/tap the ‘Preferences’ option
  4. Untick the ‘Use different colours for genders’ option
  5. Click/tap ‘Save’

What do you think of our use of pink and blue on the family tree?

Family Story: “Grandad’s New Bike”

by Kelly Marsden

In 1948, Grandad Ted treated himself to this BSA M21 Bike and Side Car.

Ted Howarth lived in Halifax, West Yorkshire, but his brother lived in Oldham, Lancashire (about an hour’s travel).  After visiting his brother, the weather conditions changed and snowfall was thick and heavy. He drove back home over the moors.

When he pulled up outside his home, his hands were frozen and stuck to the handles (he had gloves on) and his eyes frozen open. He managed to call for assistance and alert Grandma Josephine. After plenty of warm soap and water, they eventually managed to release him and take him indoors to defrost!

This photo was taken on the day he purchased the bike and took it to show his brother. The girl in the photo is Ted’s niece, Marie – she enjoyed having her photo taken on-board, but when she watched her dad go off for a ride in the sidecar she cried and screamed until he returned.


Do you have a photo you’d like to share?
Email a photo and your short story to paul.brooks@twile.com and we’ll include it here on our blog.