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# Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Family Tree- and Photo-Sharing Web Sites
Posted by Diane

Q We received this question via our MySpace page: I’ve heard about Web sites that will host pictures to give my family its own sharing place of current pictures of our kids (considering we're all over the United States). Do any of these also have a genealogical chart you can fill in?

A It sounds like you could use a family-oriented social networking Web site. Many of these sites let you upload photos, build a family tree online (you may even be able to upload a GEDOCM to cut down on data entry), create profile pages for family members and even add important dates to calendars.

Usually, you can opt to keep your family’s pages private by giving everyone a password, and you can also grant certain people editing privileges.

You’re in luck! The January 2008 Family Tree Magazine (now on newsstands and at FamilyTreeMagazine.com) has an overview of genealogy social networking sites. Here are some family-photo sharing sites that also let you create a genealogy chart:

Amiglia offers basic tree-building (when our reviewer checked, you couldn’t enter places or events besides birth and death), photo- and video-sharing. There’s a free trial period; after that, the site costs $49.95 per year.

Geni is a graphically cool site where you can upload photos and add a calendar and a family tree (with dates and places of birth and death, but not baptisms and burials). Our reviewer found navigation easy, and the site is free.

Ancestry.com Member Trees is also free, but after you add a tree, you’ll see “shaky leaves” that indicate Ancestry.com’s subscription-only databases may have records on your ancestors. Member Trees lets you add photos and video clips with searchable descriptions, and create a book using Ancestry Press.

MyHeritage offers an easy way to type information into a tree, or a more-elaborate, downloadable Family Tree Builder. You also can upload photos. The free Basic plan limits storage space; you also can choose a paid plan for $2.95 to $9.95 per month.

If your family’s on Facebook, relatives can upload a program called Family Tree to their profiles and use it to create a pedigree chart. See the Genealogy Insider blog for more information.

With the capabilities of Web 2.0, these sites are updated frequently and new social networking sites are popping up all the time. If the whole family will be using the site, let other people weigh in on which you choose.

Readers: Which family social networking sites would you recommend? Any tips for families that use a site? Click Comment to post here, or add your two cents to our Web Watch Forum.


Preserving Heirlooms and Photos | Web tips
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 4:59:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [7]
# Thursday, November 08, 2007
Spanish Lessons
Posted by Allison

Q Both of my grandfathers were born in Spain and left in the late 1800s or early 1900s. I know where and when they were born, but would like to find a ship’s manifest of their journey from Spain to Cuba, and information on earlier generations. I visited a Web site you recommended in the September 2007 issue (“Record Highs and Lows”), but it’s in Spanish—with no English version—so I couldn’t use it. Is there another way to research Spanish immigrant relatives? A Web site that’s helpful to us Americanos?

A You’ve run into one of the key challenges of research in the old country: the language barrier. Although some countries have Web sites with information in English, most of their resources—and more important, their records—naturally are going to be in the native tongue.

That doesn’t mean you have to become fluent in Spanish to trace your overseas roots. But you will want to brush up on some basics, especially family history-related terms. Many foreign genealogical records are formulaic enough that you usually can decipher them with knowledge of key words such as birth, marriage, death, mother, father, etc., and a translation dictionary. For starters, try the Family History Library’s (FHL) helpful Spanish Genealogical Word List.

And of course, the Internet isn’t the only place to look for records of your Spanish ancestors. The FHL has microfilmed numerous Spanish documents. Find ones relevant to your family tree by searching the online catalog for the town, municipality or province where your ancestors lived and the port they emigrated from. Knowing where your grandfathers were born gives you a head start on tracing earlier generations—you already know where to focus your search.

You also can write to archives and record offices in Spain for records. See our how-to guide to researching in Spain and Portugal (in the June 2004 Family Tree Magazine) for guidance on where to write, and consult the FHL’s Spanish Letter-Writing Guide for help composing your correspondence in Spanish (you’re more likely to get a response that way).

Some other resources you might find helpful: GenForum’s Spain message board, where you can pick the brains of other genealogists researching there, and books and lectures by Hispanic genealogy expert George R. Ryskamp. The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research has a good list of Web links to explore. Consider joining a Hispanic genealogical society in your area to take advantage of its resources and members’ knowledge.


Hispanic roots | immigration | international research
Thursday, November 08, 2007 5:59:47 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #  Comments [13]