Collecting Previous Research by Others Part Two: Online Family Tree Collections

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This article focuses on Online Family Tree Collections. See also:

Checking for previous research on your pedigree is an important step. It can save time, provide clues you might not otherwise find, help avoid duplication of effort, and help cooperation between families on research. Now, with the literal explosion of online sources, you can effectively survey online databases of what we call compiled genealogy, where the researcher has compiled original sources to present an opinion of how family groups and pedigree connections probably are most truthfully represented.

Evaluating Evidence to Determine Quality or Resolve Discrepancies

Keep in mind that every compiled genealogy you find is another researcher's opinion or interpretation of the documents he found about the family. Depending on the expertise of the researcher and the quality of available records, compiled research is subject to error. Indeed, you will frequently find disagreements between different versions of the family records you discover. You should carefully evaluate everything you find with both an open mind and a little skepticism. Here are some articles to train you to effectively evaluate the compiled research you will gather:


FamilySearch Genealogies

Over the years, FamilySearch has asked for and collected pedigree and family group information filed in several collections. These are now combined in one search, which includes: Guild of One-Name Studies, Community Trees, Oral Genealogies, Pedigree Resource File, Ancestral File, and the International Genealogical Index (IGI).

To access this collection, click on "Search" at the top of this page and select "Genealogies" from the drop-down menu.

Or click on the illustration.

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FamilySearch Family Tree

This collection is similar to FamilySearch Genealogies, but is currently in use. It has an even larger database, more recent additions, is continually being added to. You can add information to it also.

To access this collection, click on "Search" at the top of this page and select "Family Tree" from the drop-down menu.

Or click on the illustration.

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FamilySearch Partners

FamilySearch has a partnership with several subscription genealogy websites making it possible to view their collections without charge from a Family History Center computer. Each of these websites has a section devoted specifically to compiled genealogies, usually called "Family Trees". Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and Geneanet can be searched free of charge at a Family History Center near you.

Ancestry.com

1. Click to search Ancestry.com by index: Itty bitty arrow.png Ancestry name search.png

2. Fill out the fields in the "Search" box.
3. After you click "Search", choose "Family Trees" from the left sidebar menu: Select Family Trees.png

MyHeritage

Click to search MyHeritage Family Trees: Itty bitty arrow.png Family Trees

Geneanet

Click to search Geneanet by index: Itty bitty arrow.png {{{link}}}

A Few Other Family Tree Websites

RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project Global Search

Click to search RootsWeb by index: Itty bitty arrow.png {{{link}}}

WikiTree

Click to search WikTree by index: Itty bitty arrow.png {{{link}}}

Geni.com

Click to search Geni.com by index: Itty bitty arrow.png {{{link}}}

TribalPages

Click to search Tribal Pages by index: Itty bitty arrow.png {{{link}}}

Google

There are many other smaller collections of family trees and start-up family tree websites not listed above. In addition, researchers frequently post their compiled genealogies on their personal pages. You should try Googling for these postings by using your ancestors' names and the keywords genealogy, family history, and family tree. You could find several other records this way. Also, records on the above websites will show up in Google, and you might prefer searching for them that way to receive all the "hits" in one list.