Sharing your family history just got easier with these Web sites that let you create a family tree, store pictures and more.
Join the genealogy research movement by starting a member tree on Ancestry.com. With features that can help connect long-lost family together, billions of genealogy records and a huge user network, it's no wonder that Ancestry is one of the most popular websites for storing and sharing genealogy information and research.
No, this wildly popular social-networking site isn't just for teens with way too much time on their hands—not anymore. Genealogy groups and different pages like Ancestry
turn your Facebook page into a powerful tool for exchanging family tree information. It's an ideal place to network with like-minded genealogists (and become a fan of Family Tree Magazine
Family Pursuit $
Create a free collaborative online family tree, or upgrade ($59.95 a year) to upload photos and documents, and manage privacy features. Research coordination tools let you create and assign tasks, log research progress and share your findings. Unique to Family Pursuit is a global database of sources contributed by all users.
Here's another site not specifically for genealogy that clever family historians are using—in this case, to post photos of ancestors, gravestones and more. See, for example, the Kansas Civil War veterans graves
. The Smithsonian
and Library of Congress
have collections on Flickr, too. Public content is free to browse; share images with a free account or pay $24.95 a year for unlimited storage and extra features.
A standout among family tree sharing sites with 45 million profiles, Geni was singled out by Time magazine as one of the 50 best Web sites in 2008 and honored on PC Magazine's list of Best Free Software. Who are we to argue? Geni is free, although a new $5 monthly Pro plan enhances relationship pathways, enables GEDCOM export of your tree and all connected trees, and offers priority tech support.
A descendant, if you will, of the old GenCircles pedigree Web site, My Heritage hosts more than 6.4 million family sites. Besides free sites, it offers Family Tree Builder software, a fun celebrity look-alike photo search, and a recently upgraded genealogy metasearch tool that looks for results in up to 1,350 sites and databases. It's all free, but if your online tree tops 500 individuals, you'll need to upgrade to a premium plan at $3.95 or $9.95 a month.
Pinterest is a photo uploading and sharing website usually used for fashion or recipes. But smart genealogists are using it to make free family trees and to organize their genealogy research. Upload photos of your family (boards can be made private) or use Pinterest to keep different family recipes and research material in easy, separate boards.
One of the first sites to make the leap from plain pedigree files to online family trees, TribalPages has grown to more than 350,000 family sites with 50 million names. When you outgrow your free site, you can pay $23.40 to $47.40 a year for more space and advanced features.
Combining genealogy research with DNA, WikiTree allows you to participate in a global family tree. Add your own family to the 12 million profiles already edited by over 300,000 genealogists. The WikiTree Honor Code
makes for a safe and easy-to-use website for all.
"Part encyclopedia, part social network," this free wiki is sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy in partnership with the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library
. In addition to pages for more than 2 million people and families, WeRelate searches nearly 1 million sources, including microfilms and Web sites.