Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WikiTree Becomes Invitation Only Family Tree Database

Elyse Doerflinger, the WikiTree Evangelist, sent this notice about WikiTree, a shared family tree database in a wiki format.


WikiTree becomes Invitation-Only has closed new user registration. New members must now be invited by current WikiTree members.

WikiTree is committed to being 100% free. Rather than limiting what members can do or charging them for access, we’ve decided to slow down the addition of new members.

This does not affect the accessibility of public profiles. Our mission is to create a single family tree that will make genealogy free and easy for everyone. However, the ability to create profiles and limit them with Privacy Levels and Trusted Lists is something that only members can do.

Current members can invite an unlimited number of family members and fellow genealogists. They can also continue to import and export GEDCOMs, add unlimited photos, and enjoy all the other free services for members.

Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiTree, explains the policy change like this: “We’re devoted to growing a single family tree that will make genealogy free and easy for everyone. Charging for access to the tree, let alone charging community members who are creating the tree, is anathema to our vision.

“The problem is that we’ve had users abusing our wide range of free services and treating the site like their personal back-up service. Not only does this drain our limited resources, it hurts other community members and what we’re trying to accomplish. By making membership strictly invitation-only, we can give our community some breathing room to clean up the genealogical messes that irresponsible users have left behind, and we can be more careful about making sure that future members embrace our vision and understand our Wiki Genealogist Honor Code.”


I am a member of WikiTree and enjoy the ease of use and the collaboration aspects of the shared family tree. If you want to add your family tree information to WikiTree, I will be happy to recommend you as long as you will abide by the Honor code on the site.

For more information about WikiTree invitations to family or unrelated persons, see

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

1 comment:

Chris Whitten said...

Thanks for posting this, Randy. I'm looking forward to seeing you at RootsTech. (And to all your readers: If you'll be at RootsTech, please introduce yourself to me. Elyse and I will be at our little WikiTree booth.)

And thanks, Randy, for the offer to invite people. I appreciate that.