Share and Store Alike

By David A. Fryxell Premium

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Ages-Online $
In a case of you get what you pay for—$39.95 per year—this online family tree site gives you complete control over your shared tree, including user-specific permissions and time stamps that track who changed what when.

Originally focused on family photos (more than 53,000 at last count), this sharing site has broadened to include family stories, favorite recipes and Family Spaces web pages. 
Never again worry about losing your family tree data with this free online backup service just for genealogy. It automatically finds and uploads files on your PC and even keeps previous versions in case you accidentally delete Great-Aunt Sally. The site works with most Windows programs, including Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Legends, Family Tree Builder and GenoPro.

Here the sharing is of photos—specifically, orphaned pictures in need of reuniting with their families. To date, DeadFred has helped more than 1,800 people find ancestral photos among its 103,000 items, which represent more than 17,400 surnames. With a $19.95 premium membership, you get enhanced photo posting and customization options.

When Facebook’s founder is Time’s Person of the Year and the subject of an Oscar-winning film, it should be no surprise that this internet earthquake also causes reverberations in the genealogy world. Whether you use an app such as We’re Related or Familybuilder or just DIY, Facebook is the place to show your family finds.

Family Pursuit
Collaborative research, not just tree sharing, is the focus here, with tools to create and assign tasks, log research progress and share your findings. A $59.95-per-year upgrade allows users to upload photos and documents, and manage privacy features.

What Facebook is to social networking, Flickr is to photos. If both the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian use it, maybe this is the place to share your ancestral photos and gravestone images.

Now topping 100 million profiles, this site is billed as “the world’s largest free family tree.” PC Magazine has honored Geni in its Best Free Software roundup three straight years—and we like it, too.

My Heritage
Recently updated with cool charting tools and an upgraded SmartMatching system, this site not only hosts your family tree, but constantly scours its 17 million trees for people who might match your ancestors. Basic trees are free, but you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan if your tree grows too large.

Shared Tree
Offering unlimited online family trees, this site boasts family forums, charting and a way to debate family facts with distant kin. Did we mention it’s all free?

Tribal Pages
Upload your GEDCOM file and add your ancestors to the 80 million names on this free site. Don’t forget the photos—some 2 million already posted and counting.

Designed to share data as well as family trees, this wiki-style project from the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy and the Allen County Public Library combines data with social networking. It’s home to pages for 2 million people and families, while also offering a search of nearly 1 million sources.

Another wiki, launched in 2008, this tree-sharing site has over 1 million profiles. Designed to be user-friendly, it lets you share pages, keep them private or make them public. And WikiTree’s new embeddable family tree widget displays a family tree or pedigree chart into a blog post or web page.

Browse Family Tree Magazine‘s 2011 Best Websites for genealogy research:

 From the September 2011 Family Tree Magazine