I was always interested in the GENDEX Database project. Imagine all of the genealogy/family tree websites having a central index of names that you could search against, and then could easily locate the originating website. I’ve never been comfortable with how similar projects are handled by certain commercial websites – more like something was missing rather than comfortable, but anyways, the GENDEX Database was going to change all that. Around a year and a half ago (early/middle of 2004) the original GENDEX Databse, gendex.com went offline. Very recently, Darrin Lythgoes has revived the project (for those of you unaware of it, Lythgoes is behind “The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding“, which is, in my very humble opinion, the best of the online genealogy applications).
It’s built on The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding software, TNG for short, and allows TNG sites (that want to participate) to feed select genealogy data into a central database, which can then be easily searched. Clicking on the results takes you to the originating TNG website. Unlike some of the commercial projects, you don’t simply access a name and some generic information with just an email address – you get to see the original information, and you see it in a better context.
You can access the database here (tngnetwork.lythgoes.net) and so far there are 88 sites indexed, with over 1 million names.
There is a good writeup over at Eastman’s that provides more background on this project.