Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interesting Genealogy Site

Elisabeth Katharina Friederike
von Benckendorff 1843-1888
my great-great grandmother
I stumbled across GENi two days ago and it is the sort of combination of social media and family tree site that I have wished for some time.  I took part in the WorldConnect Project, created by Rootsweb and now hosted by, but it never really worked well as a collaborative tool.  It did allow me to effectively back up my own data off site but did not do much else.

I was also part of various listservs in the past related to all manner of genealogical issues but they never were as good as I would have liked and have since disappeared.

I like the fact that GENi tries to make sure all the profiles of ancestors on the site are not repeated and that they connect the people creating the profiles.    This means I do not need to repeat my whole ancestor tree.  Being from the Baltic German nobility I have a very full ancestor tree and when my data in a program was lost a few years ago, I was not very interested in re-entering the several thousand entries.

The entries not only are on the site, someone in Estonia has been going to the trouble finding old archive pictures and connecting them to profiles.

Dorothea Helene Margarethe Elisabeth
von Rehbinder 1788-1856
my great-great-great-great granmother
Sophie Julie Agnes
Clapier de Colongue 1835-1911
My great-great grandmother
It also allows you to quickly and easily collaborate with others on your family tree.   I asked close family members to join so that we can share all the ancestral information especially pictures, at a minimum they can view the tree epecially the pictures of some of our ancestors.

Through the various trees being connected it is possible to find connections to other people.  I finally know that I that Benjamin is Prince William's 15th cousin.  I find it interested that I am distantly related to people in Estonia, which I had not expected at all given that the Baltic Germans and Estonians were such completely separate societies.

The site is initially free, but you can only add 100 profiles and 1GB of photos, videos and documents.  To do more you need to pay with the lowest starting cost being $75 the mid range package and $119.40 for the top of the line for a year.

By working with Sheila, Ben and Daniel, I can have them add a bunch of profiles so I do not need to really upgrade.  I can get my brother, sister and cousins to do the same

This is what a tree layout looks like on the site, it is also my tree back to my great-great grandparents

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