Is Wikitree my answer?

I found GRAMPS only recently, when looking for a way to store and manage information about people and relations from 450+ years of my village history - and very good it seems too.

However, I just remembered how when I’d used a web site to post information about my own family tree, I’d get occasional notices of possible matches, implying there was some bot scanning my data along with other peoples’. Now researching my village history, it might be helpful if the data I am putting together could be put somewhere for similar bots to match, and so lead me to other people who will have at least a passing interest in my village history.

Is there such a location? I ask about Wikitree just because I see it mentioned in another topic here. Is is recommended? Can it be used for what I have in mind?

WikiTree has a special project area for “One Place Studies” in case that helps. If there are already some of your village’s historical inhabitants on WikiTree, I think you can edit their pages to link to the new project that you create.

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Thanks. Hopefully I’ll find time to explore this.

I assume Wikitree will scan whatever I put up and identify matches for me?

Another thought on these lines - is there any sort of (informal) relationship between GRAMPS and Wikitree, or any other site which might to the same thing? By this I mean no more than there being a correlation between people using Wikitree and GRAMPS.

Behind this is wondering about where IT in genealogy is going. I have an email from the chair of my county Family History Society expressing scepticism about GRAMPS and steering me to an example Excel spreadsheet with a whole lot of VBA. Noooooo! Ok, I used to get paid for being able to do stuff in VBA, and make spreadsheets and Access databases do way more than was safe, but eventually I retired, and now think Python. But there is always resistance to technological change, and I can imaging this is a bigger problem with genealogy, with lots of boomers who aren’t quite up to learning new skills,or moving on line

Yes, you can upload a GEDCOM file but it won’t automatically import all of the people; instead, it helps you to compare them to existing profiles. Here is the doc.

It would be interesting to get a show of hands from people on this forum to find out how many use WikiTree, and to what extent. Personally, I have used it only a little bit so far, just to publish my known ancestors and link them to existing profiles in order to connect myself to the tree. (You are probably already aware that WikiTree is a collaboratively-managed single family tree, not a collection of individually managed trees.)

You can alleviate his fears with a bit of history.

VisiCalc, the 1st spreadsheet program, dates to 1979. The 1st GEDCOM data format was 1984… only 5 years later. That’s 38 years of stability. You cannot get more dependability without going to paper.

Gramps has supported that format from the beginning. And virtually every other genealogy program and cloud service supports importing that format too. So… core data will always be transferrable.

Gramps has been in existence for more than 20 years. It has a history of continuous evolution. with orderly turnover long-term volunteers.

Moreover, being open source in code & format, Gramps data that goes beyond GEDCOM’s capability can never be orphaned.

This forum has mostly people pushing the limits of Gramps and newbies… both extremes of the spectrum. But there are only a few hundred active members on here and on Facebook. Out of millions of downloads.

So any survey results will be badly skewed.

It can, but I don’t recommend it, for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s way too American, with an English only user interface, although it has users from all over the world,
  2. Its technology is quite backwards, especially GEDCOM wise,
  3. Alternatives like FamilySearch and Geni are much bigger, and have multi-lingual user interfaces, and especially Geni has strong user communities.

FamilySearch, Geni, and WikiTree are all have collaborative trees, with different ways of interaction, and although official numbers are not given, I think that FamilySearch is the largest. Geni gives figures, with 172,433,671 connected people at this very moment, which is more than 5 times as large as WikiTree.

I use RootsMagic to exchange data with FamilySearch, and although that is a commercial program, is has a free version that is almost perfect for this purpose. It also runs on Linux, MacOS, and Windows, so I think it’s your best option, if you know how to deal with keeping track of changes in GEDCOM files.

If you just want to share your efforts, but don’t want anyone else to mess with those, I recommend Geneanet, which is the biggest site on the European continent. You’re in full control of your own work there, and the site has very affordable premium features if you want those.

Geneanet is owned by Ancestry, and Geni by My Heritage.

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I like the theory of WikiTree but the present implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

I am very leery of the other collaborative trees because they are owned by profit-oriented companies. I would want to read the terms of service VERY carefully. I believe that each of them claims some rights to the data that you enter and share. I don’t think anything is stopping them from holding your data hostage and charging every-increasing fees to access the information. Let alone charging fees to others.

WikiTree is very explicit that they are NOT profit oriented and that their organization is set up to promote sharing without charge.


As far as I can tell, that is only true for Geni, since it is owned by My Heritage. The other ones are all not for profit, like FamilySearch, Rodovid, and

I know, and although a lot has been done to improve the content, the implementation hasn’t changed in years, and I assume that such change is also quite difficult.

There is an advantage in this though, and that is, that because the site requires quite a bit of effort from its users, especially discipline, it is easier to aim for quality.

I’m a WikiTree user. I’m also on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast.
Of the four, I find WT to be the most accurate, and I’m contributing to it as I can. Yes it is US based and English but most of my line are English so it works for me.
I find so many errors on the other sites. I think it is because you just have to activate a check box without actually reading the information.
There are a few on Ancestry and FindMyPast that seem to automatically add a death date a 100 years after the birth date. I think they just like all the boxes filled.
It does take effort to add to WT, so you have to be a dedicated user to take on the task. I have added about 4,000 records and I have been at it for two years. The GRAMPS gedcom does most of the work, however I have had to modify my process a few times to get the optimal result.

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