Where Should I Contribute My Genealogical Data?
© copyright 2001-2008
updated 28 Sep 2008
Deciding if and where to contribute your valuable family history
data can be challenging. We will look at different databases which invite you to
contribute your data and look at how they handle that information and how likely it
will be that others will find your information. Criteria for determining which ones
to choose will be discussed. It is assumed that the participants know how to create
a GEDCOM file.
Searchable Databases of Contributed GEDCOMs
- Why contribute your family history data?
- Publish it for others to see.
- Allow others with common ancestry to find you, instead of your doing all the
- Safe backup of your data, if its fully retrievable to you.
- Which are the most prominent databases?
- Ancestry Archive Index at Kindred Konnections
Only the index can be viewed and searched for free. The My Trees feature
matches the names you submitted against all other names in their databases, for a fee.
- AncestralFile at FamilySearch
Started with 4 generation program submissions in the 1960s.
All contributions merged into one great tree.
Can no longer be added to or modified.
- GenServ by Cliff Manis
Matches your data against all others in its database, for a fee.
- Member Trees Ancestry
Trees may be set for public private access
Invite others as guests, contributors, or editors
- My Heritage (formerly Global Tree at GenCircles)
Smart Matching provides a report of matches between the indivuals you added and
other contributed names.
- One Great Family
See potential matches and conflicts of your data with that contributed by others.
A fee is required to see the data of others.
Provides online editing of your own data.
- Pedigree Resource File at FamilySearch
User contributed information with sources and notes, if included in submission.
Search the index for free online.
- World Connect Project at RootsWeb
Largest collection of contributed online databases on the Internet
Contributor has control of downloadability by others.
- World Family Tree at Genealogy.com
Full information only available for a fee.
- As you view each of the above collections look for answers to the following questions
- Will they allow me to change, edit, modify, replace my data as
- Will they allow me to remove or delete my information?
- Will they publish it on CDs?
- Will they charge a fee for others to access my data?
- Will they allow me to retain copyright so I can publish it myself?
- Can I retrieve the information (GEDCOM file) that I submitted?
- Can others easily retrieve all or parts of what I submitted?
- Can I update my contact information?
- Are my notes and sources displayed?
- Will they remove designated information on living individuals for you?
- Eliminating data on living individuals
- Get written permission to include living individuals identifying
information or leave it out.
- Use programs to remove the unwanted information.
- Most GEDCOM generating genealogy programs allow you to remove living
information in the process.
will remove it from an existing GEDCOM file.
- You may want to leave in the names and their family links - be
careful. Some financial institutions still require maiden name
- After you have submitted your information
- Keep a list of where, when and what file you submitted.
- Also note the filenames, account names, and passwords for each submission in a safe
- Update the site if your email, snail mail, web site or other contact
- Some precautions for when you search
- Remember that undocumented information is only hearsay.
- Even documented information needs to be verified to evaluate its
- Examples of uploading to some of these databases.
Using WorldConnect as an example
Using Pedigree Resource File as an example
*RootsWeb downloads are controlled by the submitter. (yes, no, partial)
|size of database
||as of (date)
|fees to search
||sale of your information
Ancestry Archive Index|
||Subscription req'd for pedigree & submitter info
||since Jan 1970
||since Oct 1991
One Great Family
||online edit update delete
Pedigree Resource File|
|200 million (140 CD/DVDs)
||DVDs for sale $13/DVD
World Connect Project|
||since Oct 1999
World Family Tree|
||CDs for sale $20 each
updated 28 September 2008 (Copyright© Gerhard Ruf, 2001-2008)
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