101 Best Websites 2010: Social Networking Sites

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Genealogists have discovered social networking, and the internet may never be the same. With a boost from family history apps, you can use Facebook to exchange family tree info and images. 


Like Facebook, this photo-sharing site wasn’t designed specifically for genealogy or history, but that hasn’t stopped us from using it for everything from tombstone images to old family photos. If it’s good enough for the Library of Congress <> and the Smithsonian Institution <>, it’s good enough for us.


Though its parent site,, is moribund, GenForum’s vast collection of free message boards—organized by surname, place and research interest (such as immigration or wars)—remains vital and busy. Researchers post hundreds of messages daily; they’re searchable back to the turn of the millennium.


With more than 80 million profiles, Geni is one of the most popular places to share your family tree, photos and even videos. It’s been honored by experts from Time magazine to PC Magazine to, well, us.

Shared Tree

Adhering to open-source principles, this pioneer in online genealogy software has no size limits for trees and is GEDCOM compatible. You can create your own forums, debate tree changes with distant kin, and create charts when the discussion is done.

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation

You don’t have to purchase a DNA test to search the databases here. The Y-Chromosome database contains results for more than 36,000 samples, linked to test-takers’ pedigree charts; because only males have Y-DNA, this database is ideal for surname research. The mitochondrial database adds another 70,000-plus searchable test results and genealogies.  

Tribal Pages

Home to more than 350,000 family websites with 50 million names, Tribal Pages offers GEDCOM import, charts and reports, mapping and free newsletters customized to your family.
Another unique way to share and preserve your genealogical discoveries is by creating a family history book. For step-by-step instruction and one-on-one help, try Family Tree University’s course Creating a Family History Book: Start-to-Finish Guidance for Assembling and Printing a Family Keepsake

From the September 2010 Family Tree Magazine