Online Family Trees


  • You want to learn about the benefits of online family trees
  • You want to learn how to supplement your research for hard-to-find ancestors with information from other people’s family trees
  • You want to learn the best sites to build your family tree online and share it with others

In this course, you’ll learn the basics of searching and constructing an online family tree.

Online family tree databases serve as a helpful research shortcut–you can search databases containing millions of ancestor names to find out where your tree intersects, and discover new generations of your family in an instant. Online trees are also a great way to connect with distant cousins and back up your own research. 

 In this course for, you’ll learn the basics of using online family trees, including the best databases, search strategies, tips to use the information you find, and step-by-step guidance for building and maintaining your own online tree.

Sign up today!


$39.99 ($35.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

2 Weeks


Lisa A. Alzo


Chris Staats

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.



  • Instantly uncover new generations of your family tree by tapping into the research others have already done—you could think of online family trees as a shortcut to ancestor answers
  • Connect with fellow family tree researchers who have genealogical details you don’t
  • Discover records relating to your family tree through automated research hints
  • Organize and track your genealogy research
  • Share your family tree so more distant cousins can find you


  • This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, consider taking the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.

Lesson 1

1. Introduction
2. What is an Online Family Tree?
3. Where does the information come from?
4. 15 places to plant your online tree
b. Appletree
c. FamilySearch Family Tree
d. FindMyPast
e. GenCircles
f. GeneaNet
g. GeneaBase
h. GenesReunited
i. Geni
j. MyTrees
k. OneGreatFamily
l. ourFamily·ology
m. TribalPages
n. WeRelate
o. WikiTree
5. Summary of features
6. Do-it-Yourself Exercise
7. Keys to Success
8. Quiz

Lesson 2
1. Introduction
2. Searching 101: The Big Picture
a. Search for your earliest known ancestor
b. Search for variations of your ancestor’s surname
3. Searching 201: Honing In on Details to Find the Right Family
a. Add names, dates and places
b. Add keywords
c. Use the limiters AND, OR and “”
4. Searching 301: Advanced Tree-Searching Options
5. Do-It-Yourself Exercise
6. Evaluating and verifying information
7. Making Contact: Get in touch with submitters
8. Do-It-Yourself Exercise
9. Keys to Success
10. Quiz

Lesson 3
1. Introduction
2. Why have an online tree?
3. Where should I post my family tree?
4. Creating and managing your family tree
a. Working with GEDCOM
5. Creating your tree
a. Manual entry
b. Uploading a GEDCOM file
6. Editing your tree
7. Enhancing your tree
a. Adding photos
b. Adding sources
c. Sharing your tree
8. Do-It-Yourself Exercise
9. Keys to Success
10. Quiz

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