Organizing the Past Genealogy

Organizing the Past

Your Website


Everyone always laughs at me when I ask them "Have you organized your web site yet?" They think I'm a nut. Yet compare their neatly kept binders and files to their loosely kept web pages. More importantly, you must manage your research carefully when you decide to publish it.

Publishing some or all of your research on the Internet is a powerful way to expand your research by letting other people find you! But you should be careful as to how much information you actually publish.

Margaret Mannix warns, "While the Internet is a wonderful tool for genealogists (it has revolutionized family research), think again before jeopardizing the privacy of your relatives by putting intimate details up on the Web," in her article for, Home-page snoops.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Never publish the day and month of the birthdate for any living relatives.
  2. Never publish any information on relatives under the age of 18.
  3. Don't publish information you paid for unless you want to give it away.
  4. Avoid publishing maiden names.

Once you have decided to publish information about your family tree, the first step is to put together a list of all the surnames you are seriously researching. I all too often find a web page with one of my surnames, then contact the owner only to learn they don't really follow that name.

There are plenty of software packages that help you publish your database, just be careful to see how much control you have over content and format. Don't let the software bully you into publishing something you don't want to.

Additional Resources

Familia - Web Publishing of Family Tree and Photo Album
Free genealogical software for creating web site with family photo album and family tree;

Transforming Your GEDCOM Files Into Web Pages
An article by Mark Howells

Publishing Your Family History on the Internet
A book by Richard S. Wilson.

Exposing Our Families to the Internet
An article by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, C.G.

Genealogy Web Page/Site Generators
Cyndi's listing of tools for publishing your heritage online.


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