The internet is inundated with genealogy websites. There are good ones, decent ones,
poor ones, and terrible ones. Whether you are seeking a website for research or simply organization, finding a website that fits your needs takes a little bit of research and patience. One that I personally find useful is Tribalpages.com
. I have been using that website for the past ten years with great success for my specific needs. My favorite feature of the website is the capability to access it in any location via the internet while still having it remain private and password protected. I use Tribalpages
as my hub for all of my family tree information. I have multiple family trees on other websites but I control how much information is available through them. Because the information is password protected, Tribalpages
is the only website on which I will enter living family member names and information.
There are many key features of Tribalpages
that make it worthwhile. The first is that it is free. While there is a paid version of the website and Tribalpages
encourages you to purchase it, the free version is more than adequate for most people and the paid version is not necessary in order to conduct your genealogy research and organization. While Tribalpages
is useful, it has faced some criticism by users that believe Tribalpages
is not quick to respond to customer service complaints.
After ten years of use, I personally have never needed to contact customer service and I have never upgraded to the paid version of the website. I regularly update my exported GEDCOM file from the site so I would never lose information if the site does go down or end its free service. A GEDCOM file is a plain text version of a genealogy tree that can be used to import into another website or software. As with any technology, you need to back-up or copy your information in multiple ways to prevent loss. I am a huge fan of the website and promote it when I can, but I would not be devastated if it went down because I have saved all of the information. Always have your information backed-up and realize that failure or corruption of a particular site or copy is a possibility with every technology.
My family would take the website’s loss harder than I would. I have given many of them an access password so they can check birthdays and anniversaries. Another feature of the website is a calendar with all the living family members’ birthdays and anniversaries. It is nice for me as the family historian/genealogist to have family members just go to the website instead of always asking me when birthdays or anniversaries are.
While I love my family and trust them with my life, I do not trust them with my family tree. On top of Tribalpages
being a password protected website, it is also password protected to edit. With one password for access and another for editing, I can freely allow others to view my family trees without worrying someone might feel the need to change my family history to fit their preferences. Unfortunately, you can’t change history and I make sure my family tree remains factually accurate. This division between the passwords is a great feature since it still allows your family access to the tree without giving them edit access. Tribalpages
also offers charts and reports, although most of these are only available through the paid version. It has not affected my research or information on the site at all. I view charts and reports to be “icing on the cake.” I do not like to have paper copies of my genealogy research or tree. If family members want information, they can look at the family tree online. If I need a report or chart for any reason, I can print off the free versions, which are limited but usually contain all the information required. Save a real tree and utilize online family trees instead!
All of this being said, you need to research and find the right organization website or software for your needs. The Genealogy Center
does not recommend one website or type of software over another. This is just the personal experiences of one librarian. Here are several websites on comparisons or reviews on Tribalpages
in particular: http://compare.easycounter.com/tribalpages.com-vs-ancestry.com
, and http://www.gensoftreviews.com/index.php?sel=1&new=&lic=sub&pla=onli&type=full&sort=