Collaborative genealogy websites
February 10, 2020 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Are there any genealogy websites, preferably free to all, that allow people to collaboratively build family trees?

I used for a while and I was impressed with the ability to pull other people's research into your family tree. But is fairly pricey, and it seems to me that you're paying for access to their primary sources to do your own research. I'm not really interested in doing more of my research right now, I just want a place where I can upload what I've found and possibly tie it into work that other people have done. are there any collaborative projects like that? Basically a Wikipedia for genealogy? I'm willing to pay something, just not $25/month, but I would be more interested in projects whose goal is to make the data freely available.
posted by Tehhund to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think what you want is wikitree
posted by pixiecrinkle at 10:31 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]

This is a tangential answer but my family (mostly through tribal initiatives) has seen genealogical advances where the previous few years had been a solid dead end via 23andMe connections. So if you don't mind that and are ok with whatever comes from your involvement it can net some real discoveries.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:23 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]

I just signed up for wikitree and boy is it NOT user friendly. Every link goes back to a definition of something. You're required to volunteer but it's not clear (to me at any rate) what that EXACTLY means.

I guess you get what you pay for. Too bad, since I was looking for something similar to Tehhund.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:13 PM on February 10 [1 favorite] ("a MyHeritage company") is an interesting collaborative family tree tool.

haven't messed with it for a few years. not certain it was "a MyHeritage company" when i was last there, but have managed to... with other family, posit a line back to the homeland in my father's line, and incorporate mother's documented line into more formal genealogies back to the leaping-off point. some of the more-astute participants on mothers side use wikitree, but i haven't found my feet there. my contribution at geni was been plumbing canadian parish birth/death/marriage records, posting pix & translations to substantiate relationships in the paternal line.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:12 PM on February 10 [1 favorite] tries to have a single record for each person, which can then be added to multiple users' family trees. When you add someone new, it will try to catch possible duplicates. I've been able to "tie into" a couple other extensive family trees, but your mileage may vary.
posted by hankscorpio83 at 2:45 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

Wikitree fits best for what you are looking for, I think. As I recall, the volunteering just means saying you will help people but they don't really make you do anything. Most of what you are doing is probably editing an exisiting person or adding a new person. They have pretty detailed formatting and documentation standards (more goals, really) but if you don't get it exactly right, in theory, someone can come along and clean it up.

You can occasionally get Ancestry for $49/6 months (US only) if you watch for sales around holidays.

MyHeritage is more-or-less free. There is some kind of person limit on the free tree but it is in the thousands. You can see other trees (that are public) although I'm not sure how easy it is to copy people to your tree.
posted by tracer at 2:59 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]

A big, enthusiastic, jumping up and down +1 for It is making one single family tree for (hopefully someday) all of humanity.

I tried it and Wikitree last year; never got anywhere with Wikitree and discovered full trees for both my family sides on It’s SO complete and detailed, at least if you are American and descended from Europeans. I found out I’m a distant cousin of at least two close friends! It’s so cool. Light years more interesting and useful than the other genealogy sites...and FREE!

(I am not Mormon or religious and the fact that it was started by Mormons seems irrelevant - if anything I like that it isn’t profiting off our data. And also I like the privacy features excluding living people.)
posted by amaire at 4:59 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

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