share your family tree?
We recommend you share your family tree for all the following reasons:
To make your family tree accessible to friends and other family members.
To facilitate exchanging information with other individuals around
the world doing research on common ancestors.
To avoid duplication of effort and take advantage of research and
information gathered by other family members and other researchers.
NEVER PUBLISH INFORMATION ON LIVING INDIVIDUALS
ON THE WEB
Information that commonly appears
in family trees, such as a person's mother's maiden name, date of birth.
and Social Security Number are often used by banks, credit cards and
other financial institutions to verify identity. Publishing such information
on living individuals can lead to identity theft and is very dangerous.
Always make sure that information on living individuals is not published
in any form available to the general public, including the WorldWide
Web, e-mail lists, electronic bulletin boards, etc.
share your family tree on the WorldWideWeb?
We recommend sharing your family tree on the Web for the following reasons:
To avoid the high costs of publishing and distributing the information
in book form and the need to republish as new information becomes
To allow updating the information as new individuals join the family
through birth or marriage and as individuals die.
To allow updating the information as new data is discovered in your
To make the information easily available to family members, friends
and other researchers throughout the world.
To make it easy for others to review and make it easy for them to
supply you with corrections and new information.
To increase the probability that another researcher will find a connection
between their research and your family tree, leading to exchange of
information and mutual benefit.
publish your family tree on the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project?
We recommend that you publish your family tree on Rootsweb's World
Connect Project for the following reasons:
Rootsweb and the WorldConnect
Project are non-profit groups started and run mostly by volunteers.
The WorldConnect Project has a policy not to sell
or make a profit from publishing
your family tree. They will not publish and sell any CD-ROMs with
your family tree data.
The WorldConnect Project software allows protecting
or completely withholding of information on living individuals in
your family tree, thus protecting their privacy.
Family trees published on the WorldConnect Project remain the property of the author and can be easily updated or removed
by the author at any time.
The WorldConnect setup menu allows you to completely
remove data on specific individuals or types of data (GEDCOM tags) from your entire family tree. This facilitates your compliance
with specific requests.
The WorldConnect Project is one of the largest repositories
of family trees in the world, thus a central point attracting researchers
throughout the world. This increases the probability that someone
may find a connection between their research and your family tree.
The WorldConnect Project allows other researchers
to add comments to individual entries by means of electronic "post-em"
notes. These notes are automatically e-mailed to the author if desired.
The author can restrict the download of the data in electronic GEDCOM format to either allow the entire data base to be downloaded (stripped
of information on living individuals), allow only a given number of
generations or not allow downloads at all. This protects the author's
intellectual rights to the data.
The WorldConnect Project is free of charge to all.
to publish your family tree on the Rootsweb WorldConnect Project
Publishing your family tree on the WorldConnect Project is easy:
Use your genealogy program to generate a GEDCOM file in your computer.
If available, select the latest version GEDCOM 5.5 output and the ANSEL character set (to preserve
the special Spanish language characters such as ñ).
DO NOT strip off information on living individuals
at this step. The software at WorldConnect that
will process you data needs all the birth dates to make sure that
information on living individuals is either "cleaned"
or not published as per your selection.
Go to the WorldConnect Project home page at www.worldconnect.rootsweb.com and click on the "Start Here" link. This
will take you to a screen where you should enter a name for your database
and a password which will allow you to upload, modify and remove your
After registration, go back to the WorldConnect home page and click on the "FAQs" (Frequently
Asked Questions) link. This will take you to a large menu where they
try to answer all the usual questions. Be sure to review the section
on "Submitting your file", particularly
the sections on "Using the standard setup form"
and "Using the Advanced setup form". These
sections will allow you to examine the setup forms and the available
choices to upload your file. You can then consult the FAQs if you have any further questions before doing the actual upload.
When you are ready to upload your file, return to the WorldConnect home page and again click on the "Start Here"
link. This will take you to a screen where you enter your data base
name and password that you selected in the first step. You can then
select either the "Standard" or "Advanced"
setup options by clicking on the appropriate button. WorldConnect suggests that you use "Standard" the first
time you upload your file (keep in mind that you can upload the file
with different setup options as many times as you require).
After reviewing the setup form and selecting your processing options,
you select the name and location of the GEDCOM file
in our computer that you want to upload.
The WorldConnect processing software either "cleans"
or removes information on living individuals based
on your selection. When you select "clean",
living individuals appear as "living <surname>",
without a given name. The birth and marriage dates and all information
in notes pertaining to that individual are also removed. When you
select the "remove" option, no information
on living individuals is published. The
choice is up to you.
Note that WorldConnect uses the individuals birth
date to determine whether the individual is alive when no death date
is present. The birth date is estimated from the parent's or ancestor's
birth dates if no birth date is present for the individual. The determination
whether an individual is alive if no death date is present is made
on the basis of the "cutoff date" which
you select. To avoid problems, we strongly
recommend that you select a date 100 years in the past (1903) and
not use the current default date of 1932.
You can select whether visitors will be allowed to download a GEDCOM of your entire database, a partial download or no download at all. If
you permit downloads, the information on living people is either "cleaned"
or removed as per your setup choice. We strongly
recommend that you do not allow download of the full GEDCOM of your
database to avoid possible theft of your intelectual property. We believe that allowing download of a few generations of ancestors
or descendants of an individual (7 generations is the default) is a
After all the setup selections are made, click on the "upload"
button. This will upload your file to WorldConnect . This will take a few minutes depending on the speed of your Internet
connection (you will see a progress bar at the bottom of your screen).
After waiting a few minutes, you can go back to the WorldConnect home page and enter the name of your data base in the box labeled
"Database". Clicking on the "GO"
button will then take you to your data base where you can review the
results. Check a few living individuals so you can be sure that the
entries were made to your satisfaction. If this is not the case, you
can repeat the upload process using the same database name but with
different setup choices until you obtain the desired results. Keep
in mind that you can always remove your entire database from WorldConnect if you are not satisfied.
Usually you can review your published information within minutes after
uploading by entering the name of your database in the WorldConnect home page as described above. The names of individuals in your database
will not, however, appear in the master name index until about 24 hours
Our family tree has now been published in WorldConnect.
You can view it by visiting the WorldConnect home page and entering "ed_elizondo" (with
no quotes and using the undercore character between the two parts of the
name) in the box labeled "Database", then clicking
the "GO" button. Please note that this is still
a work in progress.
electronic publishing choices... and why we don't recommend them
Several other major systems have been implemented to share family trees
in electronic format. Here are three of the most popular ones:
1. LDS Church Pedigree Resource Files
The LDS Church family tree library contains family tree
data compiled by church members or donated by researchers. These submitted
files are called Pedigree Resource Files. These files
can be searched using the search engine at the LDS site Familysearch.org.
Originally these files were submitted in floppy disks and compiled into
CD-ROMs which were only available for consultation at LDS Family History
Centers. Currently the files are submitted as GEDCOM files via the Internet.
Because of the submission and publishing process, these files are nearly
impossible to update or correct and are reputed to often have significant
inaccuracies. To compund the problem, there is no means provided to contact
the submitter in order to correct erroneous information. Also I have been informed
that the LDS Church does not permit changes to the submitted information
after the family records have been "sealed".
As an example of such errors, I have found one of my distant relatives
listed as born in 1864, married in 1884 and died in 1932 whereas she was
really born on 11 Sep 1890, married on 16 May 1929 and died sometime after
1961. I have been unable to contact the submitter to inform him/her of
The Pedigree Resource Files are also still published
in CD-ROMs which can be reviewed at LDS Family History Centers and purchased
individually or as sets. As an example of the latter, Volume 1 contains
Disks 1-25 and is currently available (July 2003) for $63 while individual
CD-ROMs are available for $8). The files in the CD-ROMs, once published,
cannot be updated or changed.
The biggest disadvantage of the CD-ROM method is the cost. A complete
collection of all the published Pedigree File CD-ROMs
would cost many thousands of dollars, even though the LDS Church publishes
them nearly at cost. We no longer consider publication on CD-ROMs as a
viable or cost effective option due to the availability of the data on
2. Family Tree Maker's World Family Tree
The popular Family Tree Maker genealogy computer
program encourages its users to contribute their family tree files to
the World Family Tree collection. These files are then
published in CD-ROM format and currently (July 2003) sold for $19.95 each.
The files are also made available on-line, on a subscription basis, at
the Genealogy.com web site. Subscription
rates are currently (July 2003) $49.99/year or $9.99/month.
The CD-ROMs, once published, cannot be changed. Thus the only means of
updating or correcting information is to re-submit your family file so
that it can be published on a new CD-ROM. The biggest disadvantage of
this method is the cost. A complete collection of all the published World
Family Tree CD-ROMs would cost several thousand dollars, even
though all the information was essentially donated free of charge by the
We are opposed in principle to commercial entities making a profit on
the information you have gathered over years of research and essentially
donated free of charge. Before the WorldWideWeb was available,
electronic publishing on CD-ROMs and a small fee to offset the production
and distribution costs was justifiable. We do not think this is any longer
3. Publishing on your own web site
Another means of sharing your family tree on the web is to publish it
on your own web site. Many of the popular genealogy computer programs
can generate a family tree formatted as a collection of linked web pages
that can be uploaded to your own web site. Software, such as GED2HTML is also available to convert any standard GEDCOM file
to web page format. This publishing method has the advantage of giving
you complete control of what is published, but has the disadvantage of
the additional effort and cost of maintaining a web site.
Publishing a family tree on your own web site can be likened to putting
a book in a library on a remote island. Personal web sites can be publicized
within your family and circle of friends, but usually lack the traffic
necessary to make the site web address appear with high visibility in
the major search engines. This could make your family tree difficult to
find by other researchers. Of course, if your objective is to make the
family tree available only to family and friends, obscurity may be a desirable
feature. One advantage of this method (depending on the features available
from your web hosting service) can be the ability to password protect
the data and thus be able to restrict access to only to those individuals
that you provide with a password (remember, however, that passwords, in
time, can be compromised when individuals provide them to friends and
other 3rd parties so absolute privacy can never be guaranteed).