Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Online Genealogy Software Programs

Online genealogy software programs have come into being in the last few years. With these programs, you can upload a GEDCOM database of a previously defined database or input the data directly into the online program. The benefits are several - the data is not stored on your computer (thereby making it safe from a disaster at your home), you can access it anywhere online, the data entry can be shared with other researchers (if you choose to do this - like a family site), and the online format is dynamic - you can choose the type of data you want to see (e.g., vitals, facts, notes, documents, photos, etc.).

I won't discuss the details of each program, but I want to briefly summarize the ones I've seen or heard about, and provide links to them for you to access if you wish. If this sort of thing excites you, then I hope you will visit the web sites and evaluate the product before you choose one or the other. I have no favorites here.

1) PhpGedView -- Dick Eastman has an article on his blog today about the PhpGedView online genealogy software program here. If you are interested in using PhpGedView, you should read the full article. Information about PhpGedView, and the free download of the program, can be found at While the program itself is free to download, you need a host site to put the data on, and these are, in the main, not free.

2) The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) -- Darrin Lythgoes developed TNG, which is well described and supported by terstimonials at Visit some of the user sites at and see how others have used the software. TNG costs $29 to download, and also requires a web site to host it.

3) PedigreeSoft -- This online genealogy program provides the means to input your data and a web site to maintain it online. View the online demonstration. Depending on the size of your database and the number of individuals who can input data, it costs up to a $69.95 per year subscription.

4) GENi- Everyone's Related -- This relatively new entry permits users to input data online (but not from a GEDCOM), and permits users to add email addresses of other family members, who then become part of the network and are permitted to add information. The database can be kept private to only the family network. More information is at This appears to be a free web site.

5) Family Tree -- You can enter family data into an Ancestry Family Tree for free online at You cannot upload a GEDCOM here, unless you are already an Ancestry subscriber. You will have to register for a free account in order to save the data. You can choose to make your database public or private, and invite others to view it. You can search the Ancestry databases for information about your ancestors (but you need a subscription to see the data, I think). You can add notes, documents and photos for each person in the database.

If you have positive or negative experiences with these sites, please tell us!
There may be other online genealogy software applications either now available or available soon. If you know of any, please let me know.

The above reviews are solely my opinion based on my own experience reading and testing the sites and demonstrations. I will edit the above if necessary for improved accuracy.

My purpose in doing this was to familiarize myself with the different programs so that I can make my own decision as to the best way to display my genealogy research.


15 Feb 2007:
Jasia posted a review of her PhpGedView experience at

Taneya posted a review of her TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Software) experience, plus her reviews of the other programs, at

1 comment:

Taneya said...

Randy - I made a post :-)