Family Tree Algorithm Automatically Searches for Child’s Parents

A new algorithm called AncestrylAI automatically searches for a child’s most probable parents and generates family trees. Developed by an Aalto University doctoral student Eric Malmi, AncestrylAI can help you investigate your family roots, but only if you know about your own ancestors, or rather their baptisms.

The newly developed algorithm works using data from parish registers. It searches for links between 5 million baptisms from the end of 17th to the mid 19th century, and partly to the beginning of the 20th century. The only problem is, you need to know about your ancestors’ baptisms, as baptism information is no longer public.

“The data is derived from parish registers. In the HisKi project, organized by the Genealogical Society of Finland, volunteer genealogists are entering information from registers into a database. Besides baptisms, the data includes marriages, burials and moves, although the algorithm is not yet taking advantage of this information. There are gaps in the material, for example because of churches burning down, but nevertheless, it is unusually comprehensive on an international level, including information for several centuries,” said Malmi.

Using this data, the family tree algorithm can not only search for a child’s most probable parents and generate a family tree, but also find out whether two people are related to each other.


Aalto University via (


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