Sharing data with specific researchers online

I use GRAMPS for my tree. I removed my online trees for various reasons. However a recent contact brings me back to “how can I share my tree with relevant family researchers?”

Ancestry edited my tree, moving ancestors from London to Missouri - I was worried for other researchers who would be mis-led.
WT - the idea was OK at first, but it’s turned a fun hobby into “see me after school”!
My contact uses Tribalpages - I’d forgotten about them! Their reviews aren’t the best.
My website has bits, but not my entire tree.
FMP and FamilySearch - I use both extensively for research, but not sure about tree storage reviews.

So where’s the best place to store some / part of my tree so others can see it? I’d rather stick to one site, so I can remember what I’ve got online and where it is. I’m torn between invite-only or see-all. I also want it to be easy to upload and edit - possibly a complete GEDCOM upload, overwriting the entire tree each time? And easy to delete entire tree if I’m not happy with the site.
I know this is slightly OT but I’m sure other GRAMPS users have solved this problem.

I use gramps for my research and upload a GEDCOM file to TribalPages where you can give edit rights to specific users, or simply let them view your data and report, via email, social media changes which you then confirm and edit in gramps. Following which you then replace the original GEDCOM with another.

Have you looked at Gramps Web?

I have over 10,000 people in my tree on Ancestry and have allowed access to a couple of people that have asked. I guess it will stay there for the time being. I have an incomplete tree on FMP and nothing on FamilySearch.
Only about 4,000 of those on Ancestry are verified, which is the number I have in GRAMPS.
I also upload from GRAMPS to WT after I tag a person as “sourced”. However I have fine tuned my process in GRAMPS so the gedcom conforms to much of what WT wants. One thing I do not do is write a biography, I just let WT create the data and I do a little formatting by adding
to some lines. This means I only spend about a minute creating a WT profile. Some people have gone in and fix them, but those are very few. I have a thick skin, it doesn’t bother me.

So the general public can see most of my verified tree on WikiTree and invited guests can view verified and not verified on Ancestry. (The tree is Public) I will produce some reports for any family member that asks.
I do warn people that Ancestry has a very high error rate.

I have a private tree on Ancestry, where I can invite relatives in Canada and the U.S., and a public one on Geneanet, which is now also owned by Ancestry. And for Ancestry, I use the free version of RootsMagic for uploads and downloads.

I use RootsMagic for that, because it can deal with pictures, and also because it writes better GEDCOM files than Ancestry itself. And that’s important for me, when I use free hints on Ancestry, like for the 1950 US census, and profiles found on Genealogie Online. And I also like Ancestry, because they have a nice app. I’m using a free account there.

RootsMagic also helps me to sync data with FamilySearch.

I use Geneanet because it’s the best on the continent, what you call Europe, and because it has some other nice features, like a very fast alternative for the Deep Connections Gramplet, and a tree matching feature that is very affordable, or even free, Refreshing my tree via GEDCOM is fast, but I don’t do any editing on-line, because their data model is quite simplistic. Geneanet can’t deal with multiple parent families, and they don’t support the two layer source citation model either, but my sources are visible on the site anyway.

Why won’t you use your own computer?

All you have to do is generate the pages with Narrative Web and set up a server. You can protect it with user-id and password.

You need a public hostname/domain name for DNS servers, though for testing you can use your IP address (not user-friendly but possible).

With all your data on your computer, you control everything, notably your intellectual property rights. Read the terms of service where frequently you transfer your rights to the server in exchange for the (free ?) hosting service.

I’ve done that for my relatives and it works fine. I deliberately chose IPv6 to mitigate unwanted access (scanning IPv4 addresses is easy: any new computer is discovered in less than half an hour and intrusion attempts begin soon). Trying to discover the computer address behind the box in IPv6 is next to impossible: 64 bits are available. Of course, don’t choose 1, 2, 3, …

And since you serve static pages with Narrative Web, you can dedicate an old computer to the task with a basic OS without GUI.

Do you try the GedcomForGeneanet addon?

I just did, and had never heard about it. The export was a bit slower than the normal one, and the upload worked OK.

Thanks for all that info - plenty for me to think about!

You mentioned you had your own website. I would highly suggest a package called Humogen. It’s a really good web front end for GEDCOM files. AND it has very granular security in it. So, you can set up users to only be able to edit certain branches, view others, and not see others at all.

Some practical advice from experience. I spent HOURS setting up a tree for my family to collaborate on with me. We have a big Facebook group full of a few hundred cousins that have reconnected in various parts of the US. I thought the easy thing would be to give them access to go add to the tree. Everyone was excited about it. However, nobody even visited the site. Even the two family historians who have done a lot more work than I have.

Moral of the story - don’t put in more work than the solution requires. Most people just want to see what you have done.

But, if you want to put in the work, I’d say use Humogen. It’s self hosted, can only be collaborated on by people you chose, and you can even add living people to it since you have it locked down


Needs a web hosting site with PHP, MySQL and a web server like Apache.

As usual, some stuff is lost when exporting from Gramps to Gedcom. Obviously more or less important for different cases:


Finally decided to put it on Ancestry UK, but I’ve made it private, invite only. Thanks for all your input.

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