Earlier this week, the Dutch website GenealogieOnline [Genealogy Online] won a Gold Award for genealogy software from GenSoftReview. With a rating of 4.87 out of 5, it scored fourth place. Congratulations!
Ancestry subscribers may be familiar with GenealogieOnline from the hints they receive to this website. Several readers have asked me about GenealogieOnline, so I thought I would answer some of the frequently asked questions.
What is GenealogieOnline?
GenealogieOnline is a website where genealogists publish their trees. It’s a product of Bob Coret, a genealogy entrepreneur in the Netherlands. The website is very popular in the Netherlands and some Dutch genealogy software programs have integrated support for GenealogieOnline publication. If you’re researching a Dutch family, checking whether anything has been published at GenealogieOnline should be part of your literature search.
The website is available in Dutch, English, German and French. Most of the current content is from the Netherlands.
What type of information is available on GenealogieOnline?
GenealogieOnline publishes genealogical databases (family trees). Each tree has an owner who is responsible for the contents of the database. On the start page of every database, you can find the name of the owner and a link to a contact form.
GenealogieOnline also provides context information. It will show the weather on a given day, and will show suggested records on other websites, including SmartMatches at the MyHeritage website. This information is added automatically by the website and is not edited by the owners of the tree.
How reliable is GenealogieOnline?
As with any online tree, the information is as reliable as the underlying research. Some genealogists are very meticulous: they do research in high-quality sources and document their research and reasoning. Others just copy what they find somewhere else and don’t write down where they found information. So the quality of the databases on GenealogieOnline is mixed.
If the compiler of the database cited his sources, you will find them in the footnotes on the page. That will allow you to assess the quality of the underlying research and verify the information by consulting the original records yourself.
If you don’t see any sources, that casts doubt on the thoroughness and experience of the researcher. You could contact the researcher and inquire about the sources they used. In my experience, the answer is usually that they “found it online somewhere.” Even those undocumented databases can be helpful, since they may give you a hint for places and dates to search for in more reliable sources.
Can I publish my information on GenealogieOnline?
Anybody can publish their database on GenealogieOnline. You will need to export a GEDCOM from your current genealogy software program. You can upload your GEDCOM for free. GenealogieOnline is not a genealogy program that allows you to edit and add information, it is strictly for publishing so you use it alongside your existing genealogy software.
The trial version allows you to upload up to 500 images. The paid versions allow you to upload unlimited images and also provide premium services like reporting and sharing information with your family.
Publishing your database at GenealogieOnline has the following advantages:
- Unlike Ancestry, you don’t have to be a member of the site to see the trees. This makes it easy to share information with others.
- It is great “cousin bait”: anybody can find your database in a search engine and hopefully contact you to exchange information.
- You will get hints to original records in other websites which you may not have been aware of. This will help your research.
If you have any questions about GenealogieOnline, you can contact the owner of the tree (if your question is about information you find there) or Bob Coret (if your question is about the platform and its features).