Well I think my one world tree talk was a success, although the web site I used for my presentation – slides.com – went down or was just inaccessible via the internet in the presentation room here at Rootstech. Perhaps it was the Amazon s3 site where the images are stored that was the problem.
Fortunately I had downloaded a PDF version as a backup so I used that. Maybe next time I will try the google presentation software instead.
I think my main point, that the most compelling reason to add your research to a one world tree is to keep it from ending up in the landfill the way my cousin’s did, came across well. My girlfriend Rochelle, who I am staying with, was convinced to add her research to one and even got herself a familysearch id today.
I have uploaded the rough draft of what I expected to say, much more wordy than what I actually said, to my downloads page under presentations. The URL for the slides which go with those words is
The side by side comparisons of the three one world trees start on slide 11
The comparison chart is kept up-to-date in my one world tree blog post.
And I will be doing this talk again for the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego on the third Saturday in May.
While I have many spreadsheets that I use to analyze DNA results, what I also want is a field in my genealogy program where I can put simple DNA information like haplogroups, where the person tested, and the GEDmatch id number.
To my delight, the free online one world tree at WIKItree.com has all those features. Plus you can see whom you might have gotten your X DNA from, as well as your Y and mtDNA ancestral lines. Another feature is that a person’s profile page shows the tests of relatives that are related by DNA. Here is my mother’s page:
I am very excited that WikiTree now lets you tag uploaded photos as sources so that you can separate family photos from source material. This makes it easy to look at just one group or the other. I had asked for this feature and am delighted that my request was granted. This was one of the things that I had felt that GENI did better.
I like to upload sources in order to share them with family. Marriage certificates, death certificates, draft cards, emigration lists, among many. One of the things I particularly like about WikiTree is that my relatives do not have to log in to see public information like these documents and family photos.
There is also a very nice feature where you can scroll through all your photos. The pull down menu under “My WikiTree” has an item called images. Click on that and you can look through all the images you have uploaded, ten at a time. Plus at the bottom of that page you can select different ways to sort them. I just used this feature to go through all my images and mark those that are sources as such.
Updated Chart August 8, 2020
The idea of a one world tree is to collaborate with other genealogists who are researching the same ancestors and so have just one copy of each person on the tree, rather than each of you having your own separate family trees. My plan is to compare the three online sites that I am using in this post.
The advantages of using a one world tree are:
- You are not constantly duplicating research that has already been done.
- It is online and searchable so distant cousins will find you.
- Other descendants of your ancestors may have pictures and documents to share that are already posted.
- You will find distant cousins to collaborate with on some of your family lines who may be able to read records you are having trouble with or otherwise work with you to solve questions you have.
- When you connect your line into the tree you may find new ancestors that you did not know about before.
- You can often figure out immediately how you are related to a new “DNA” cousin.
- It is easy to send family members and distant cousins links to the family tree.
- After you are dead and gone your research will live on.
The disadvantages of a one world tree can be that:
- Other people will change facts and information that you knew were correct.
- How can you be sure that another person’s research is reliable?
- You need to be sure that living people have their privacy protected.
Personally, I have my family tree on three different one world tree web sites: FamilySearch.org, Geni.com, and WikiTree.com and I like and use them all for different reasons.
WikiTree has really pretty online charts, widgets for your website and shows DNA connections. It is the easiest one to use for sending possible new “DNA” cousins your family tree. GENI has the most intuitive user interface and has the best way to add source information. It is the prettiest of them all, plus it matches records with its partner site MyHeritage.com. FamilySearch connects to its own enormous record repository and there is a wonderful third party web site for visualizing your familysearch tree: puzzilla.org.
It is exciting when you find a new DNA cousin who actually has a family tree. However it can take days to wade through it looking for the common ancestor and more often than not, you do not find it. Sometimes that is because the ancestor is too far back in time. Other times it is on a line that is not documented or is just wrong. Also there can be spelling discrepancies or if you have Norwegians, naming differences (father’s name or farm name used for surname).
You would think that there would be good automated tools to do this and you would be right. These are the ones I know of.
Partial results of a GEDmatch compare one GEDcom to all run