Quick Guide: Collaborative Family Memory Websites

By Thomas MacEntee Premium

Family historians face several challenges when it comes to sharing their work: What do you do with all the documents, photos and other items you’ve gathered in your research? And how do you present them in a way that gets your relatives interested, or even excited about their family history? These seven websites offer features and tools to help you overcome both hurdles—and allow your relatives to participate in building your online family history repository. Before uploading to any site, read the terms of service to be sure you understand (and are comfortable with) how the company will use your content. And check to see that you can download all your content if you ever need to move it to another site.
 Website Description  Unique Features  Tips
1000memories Collect memories and post them online to share with your family. Privacy and collaboration options are available. The free Shoebox app lets you use your smartphone’s camera to upload document images and photographs to your 1000memories page. Adjust your privacy settings if you want only family members to access your page.
 Create online family trees with documents and photos. Privacy options are available. Member Connect allows subscribers to message other researchers without revealing direct contact information. Consider creating a private member tree if you want to control access to the information you post.
 Use Fold3 documents as well as your own uploaded images to produce online memorials. Privacy options are available. Make a Memorial Page focused on a person, event, place, organization or topic. Upload images and stories, and add facts to a timeline. Search the site first to find out if another user has already started a page you can add to. Creating a page is free, but you must be a Fold3 subscriber to add premium records to a page.
MyFamily.com  Create a dynamic website for sharing photos, stories and more. The cost is $29.95 per year per Family Group. You can set up separate family groups with multiple members. SiteSafe backs up everything on your Family Group.  Ancestry.com owns this service, so you can integrate your Ancestry.com member trees into your Family Groups.
SaveEveryStep Capture family stories in chronological order and share them on a timeline. Build a Lifeline—an engaging timeline using photos, stories and videos uploaded to your “Lifevault.” You even can track the lives of your pets. Free storage is limited to 100MB. Additional storage space starts at $12 per year for 100 to 300MB.
Storytree Develop a shareable library of family stories using photos, audio and video. Record stories using your webcam and post to your page. You also can invite family members to create stories. The site is in beta testing; request an invite to use it.
The Storytree iPhone app
lets you access your pages
on the go.
Tpstry Build a family tree and web page by providing information about each ancestor. The site “interviews” you about your ancestors. For each answer you provide, you’ll receive another interesting question—addictive, to say the least. Invite family members to answer questions—the genealogy equivalent of “phone a friend.” You can add your own questions, too.
From the May/June 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine