Create a genealogy web page

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You can create a family history home page Internet site to display your own personal genealogical information—your ancestors and their families. Even if your Internet experience is limited, you can break this into do-able chunks and make it happen more easily than you may think.

Also see: Blogs

Why put up a web page

Sharing your genealogy on the Internet is relatively easy and inexpensive compared to publishing a book. Thanks to the nature of the Internet, people from around the world will be able to view your work and contact you with queries or further information. It could lead to collaboration on some lines that may help extend your pedigree several generations.

Value of sharing

Sharing lets the world know what you have accomplished. Sharing is the friendly and decent thing to do—it sets a good example and could lead to further discoveries. It gives your peers a chance to evaluate your work and give constructive suggestions for improvement. Your well-documented research lays a foundation on which the next generation of researchers can build. Sharing sometimes helps unite otherwise fragmented extended families. If you know others will see your work, you will tend to do higher quality work. It gives authors you cite in your sources further recognition and credit for what they did.

Genealogy software that generates web pages

The Personal Ancestral File (PAF) computer program helps organize genealogical information in several formats. The program generates family group records, pedigrees, descendency charts, and many other reports from the genealogical data you have entered. To generate a web page, open the PAF program, click Tools on the menu bar, click Create Web Page . . . and continue selecting the features you want on the new web page.

The Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program for use on Windows PCs is free and can be downloaded at  FamilySearch Products

Cyndi’s List has a Home Page Construction Kit that lists other Windows or MacIntosh genealogy software programs that can also generate web pages. To view the list, click here and scroll down to the Content section.

What to share, when, and where to put up your web page

What to put on a web page. You can put all or part of your genealogy on a web page. Good source footnotes enhance the value of your genealogy to yourself and others. Whatever you choose to share, be sure your contact information is readily available. This contact information will allow the researchers who find your site to collaborate with you in order to fill in details, or to extend the pedigree.

What NOT to put on a web page. Protect the privacy and feelings of living people. Before putting any information on the Internet about a living person, first obtain their permission. If they ask you not to use it, don’t. Most genealogy software allows you to suppress information about some or all living relatives.

When to put up your web page. Make it a goal to share at least part of your genealogy on a web page sooner rather than later. The sooner it is available to the world, the sooner you will be contacted by relatives who may want to collaborate with you. Genealogy research is never completely finished or perfect. You can always update it later when you find more or better information.

Where to put up your web page (finding a web server). You can put your newly generated web page on either a free, or a for-a-fee web server. Cyndi’s List has a list of both kinds of web servers.

How to make your site easy-to-find

It is important to take steps to make your web page as visible as possible to potential readers. The Cyndi’s List "Genealogy Web Site Creation" has links to articles, and lists that explain how to do the following to help advertise your web page:

Before putting up your genealogy web page

  • choose a good web page title
  • add appropriate “meta tags”

After putting up your genealogy web page advertise it with

  • mailing lists
  • internet news groups
  • web indexes
  • search engines
  • genealogy surname Internet registration sites

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