been collecting data on your family for years, and
want to share what you've found. Or maybe you've just
started researching your family and hope to find new
cousins by putting your names on line. But where do you
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of
programs and help for beginning web authors.
Unfortunately, there is so much to choose from, it can be
confusing. This brief guide will get you started. It is
impossible for me to be familiar with all of the many
programs available and I don't claim that the ones listed
here are the only ones you should consider. My
criterion is simply that they are user friendly for
beginners and preferably (as of this writing), are
freeware or shareware.
You need the same three things for a genealogy
website as you do for any website:
to host your webpages.
A way to convert your genealogy data and/or other
(Hyper Text Markup Language).
A program to upload (copy) your files from your computer to your
If you're reading this, you may have already reserved
your web space. If not, you can
FreePages account at RootsWeb.
However, the following suggestions and
software will work with most servers and websites.
the easiest, hassle-free, and most effective way to put your
genealogy data on line is to submit your GEDCOM to
RootsWeb WorldConnect Project.
You don't have to learn HTML
or File Transfer Protocols. Your data can be viewed as a variety of
Pedigree, Descendant, Register, etc., and is fully searchable. You can
add a search box to your Freepages site so your visitors can search
database directly from there. You can choose what information
you want to display using the wonderfully flexible WorldConnect
but you can retrieve your unfiltered GEDCOM, should your own
database be lost or corrupted. You can change it as often as
like, or even remove it completely. It is easy to do, and reaches a
large, and genealogy-focused audience. The
only thing you need is a genealogy program that will export a
GEDCOM file. It's as easy as
Export a GEDCOM from your genealogy program.
Create your free account at WorldConnect User
Follow the instructions
to upload your GEDCOM.
You will need to login to your RootsWeb
creating a WorldConnect treename for your GEDCOM ( Step 2 ).
You may link
multiple treenames to a single username and manage them all
with a single login..
Your WorldConnect database can be linked to your
where you can be as creative as you like in uploading additional
family stories, photographs, documentation, etc. Here are some
Genealogy by Pat Asher
Family Genealogy - Geary or Gary Family Genealogy - by Pat Geary
Genealogy Page by David Hedley
Williamsons by Anita Palmer
If you like this approach, you can go directly to
how you can easily create your supporting pages.
Instructions for the search box shown above are here
Instructions for the search box on the Ambrose Genealogy
If you want to create your own
web pages from your database,
you'll need to convert your genealogy data to HTML, so it
can be read by a browser. The right software can simplify
this. But you might as well hear the bad news now.
Each type of conversion program has its quirks. Most
write less than perfect HTML and you'll probably have to
tinker a bit to make the output work on the server. Translation: you
probably have to learn
There are several programs which will convert a GEDCOM to HTML pages
that can be uploaded to your website. Their output is
similar to the display at WorldConnect and is usually based
on a Family Group Sheet. Most allow you to use your own
page background and/or graphics. Some include pedigrees
or descendent trees. They vary in their ability to handle
notes and sources.
- Shareware for Windows and Unix. Individual data pages and an
index for quickly locating an individual by name. A program called Sparrowhawk, based on Ged2HTML v2.5a is still available for older versions of Mac; but it has some serious limitations.
Freeware or registered version for Windows 95 through XP, Vista, and Windows7.
Ancestor trees and family group sheets with notes and
sources. Optional thumbnail photos. Will privatize
data for living persons. Some additional reports in
- Inexpensive software for Windows.. Based on Family Group
Sheet. Options for Pedigree Charts and photos.
for Windows and Mac. A multi-function utility for browsing,
manipulating, and extracting, as well as converting gedcom files to
create a web site
Many genealogy programs say they will create a website
for you. While this may sound like the easiest way of all
to put your genealogy on line, it
most difficult, depending on how well your program writes
HTML. A genealogy program is, after all, designed to
organize your data, and creating web pages is often
an afterthought. Before you upload pages generated by a
genealogy program, check them
out on your own computer. Here are some things to look for:
To work correctly at FreePages, your entry page
should be named
If your program uses a different file name for
the entry page, you will have to rename
it, which will require changing all the links
back to it from any other page.
Here is a trick that can save you some work. Make a
the program generated entry page and
Upload this page to your site too. This page will
be delivered when your URL is called. When your
visitor follows a link to another page, the "Home" link on that page
will send him back to the program generated entry
page. He'll probably never notice the difference, and none
of your links will have to be changed.
In your browser, open two or three different
pages that your program has created. View the source code for the page
to be sure the links are
written to files on your C:\ drive. These
links will not work once you upload to the
server. If your program writes these kind of
links, you will have to change each and every one manually.
Some programs have trouble
with consistency of capitalization between links
and file names. The link must match the file name eXacTLy
for the browser to be able to find the file online.
Naming Web Page
Some genealogy programs are designed
so their output can only be uploaded to the
manufacturer's proprietary server. To create your
own genealogy website, the program must save the
files it creates to your hard drive so you can
upload to the server of your choice.
Uploading your files