Create a Family History Website

You have spent a good deal of time gathering photos and vital records on your family tree. The compiled information is now quite extensive. It is saved on a computer, an external hard drive and copies shared with other family members, so now what?

First, you never finish, there is always several relatives you never located much information on and many of those can be direct ancestors, not counting the great aunts and uncles still be done. One method which can give your family history research a shot in the arm is by sharing the information with people you have never met.

Yes, you could have numerous cousins across the country or in other nations you do not know. You and these unknown cousins can share the same great grandparents or a gr gr grand aunt. They could be holding photos and documents relating to those commonly shared ancestors. In turn you may have information they do not have. So sharing the information can benefit many other people besides yourself.

One good way is to create a website of your family lineage. There are several different free online site to help you create a family history web site. This web site complete with photos, digital documents, and sources can be as simple or as creativity as you make it.

The scope of the site can be whatever you want it to be. Have it focus on just one branch, one individual family or just one person. It can be one homepage in length or numerous pages along with additional tab or links to other pages.

Once you narrow what portion of the family tree you want to share, decide what style. You can make it just a straight lineage providing names, locations, dates, marriages and children. Add photo if you want or the scanned vital records. You could write a compete family history, as if you were telling a story. Here you weaver in the different family members, providing about their own basic information.

You will need a web hosting site that will provide the space. There are several free web hosting sites. The best part is to use one that provides use of a drop and drag template format. Besides the photos and documents, collecting some interesting clip art using Google and a topic with the phrase clip art. For example if many of the family members were farmers, you would want some clip art of farms and ranches. If an ancestor was in the American Civil War, there are many clip art items to be added to the web site. Unless you already know the HTML coding system (writing in computer language) you will want to use the simple ‘drop and drag’.

Freepages on Rootsweb offers (operated by free unlimited Web space for family history sites. The options are basic and are not password protected, but they are entirely free. For scanned documents, records or photos use ones in JPEG format. It will walk you through the steps.

Lucidchart has a free plan as well as a subscription plan with more features. The free plan allows 25 mg storage of material for the site, web support and 60 documents or objects can be placed free. With a paid subscription the number is unlimited. It is simple to use with the drag and drop format.

Two additional free web sites for creating are Webs and Weebly. Both also use the drag and drop format. For any of the sites you do need to sign-in because this will be your own site to return to whenever you want to add or make changes.

The benefits of a family history web site include the ability to share your findings with more family members and to connect with unknown related individuals who do a similar search. Remember to create a new separate email address just to place on this web site. That way anyone looking up your ancestral names will be able to contact you.

Photo: An example of a portion from my family web site on the Kershaw branch (a blend of family history, story and photos). Done on Freepages at Rootsweb.

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