One Tree

One World

By Kitty Cooper, blogger

image courtesy of

Instead of everyone duplicating the work of others, why not use a tree with only one copy of each individual?

The 3 collaborative trees I use and recommend are FamilySearch, GENI, and Wikitree

Many of your ancestors may already be in the tree

Your cousins may have uploaded photos and documents that you have never seen before. 

Do you want your research to be lost forever?

My cousin's wife shredded all his papers after he was gone ...

The best way to share your research with your descendants is to publish it.

Consider your objectives in doing genealogy.

Make a book and/or even better - add your data to one of the one world trees

Objections I hear are ...

But I spent lots of money getting those records and doing that research!

Wasn't your purpose  to share with your descendants?

But what if people change details I know are right?

  • You can freeze profiles on WikiTree

  • A curator can make a "master profile" on GENI.

  • Contact your collaborators on all those sites and

  • Add as many sources and documents as you can to prove your research

Tree Displays

FamilySearch has a dynamic tree for the pedigree view, use the arrows to go up and down the tree

The Menu at the top left under Tree

has display options

Clicking a name pops up a box of information

Portrait view is a chart with boxes

The red exclamation icon means something needs fixing

The blue icons in the boxes indicate record matches

All the trees have fan charts, FamilySearch can color it by country among many other options

GENI tree pedigree view

The tree view with boxes includes a print option. Click the pedigree icon to go to that view

Click a blue circle to see what information is available over on MyHeritage

Click on any person box once for a side panel summary, twice goes to their profile page

To get a fan chart from GENI requires a third party app called HistoryLink

The WikiTree family tree has many options, initally it is

a basic pedigree view

Click on "Genealogy Research" to see many other display options

Clicking on Research gives you many other options for looking at your tree, some with DNA!

The compact tree at WikiTree is great for sharing with relatives and possible relatives since there is no login needed and it is indeed quite compact

To let others see it, you need to set your privacy to Private with Public Family Tree


give them the view from the dead ancestor they are related to

WikiTree fan chart colored by country

What about the profile pages?

Relationship Finders?

Only WikiTree can easily find multiple relationships

Revision history?

Can you upload a GEDCOM?

Yes but ... best to do one small branch at a time

Each tree has its own way to try and prevent duplicates

How to upload a GEDCOM is documented here


How to download a GEDCOM:

GENI only from profiles you manage

FamilySearch, the RootsMagic desktop program can connect your trees

WikiTree only if you are on the trusted list

Which Tree Should You Use?

  • If DNA and GEDmatch are important to your research then you need to be on WikiTree


  • If you have Norwegian or Jewish ancestry then GENI may already have most of your ancestors. If you have many Europeans, it connects to MyHeritage records
  • FamilySearch belongs to the LDS church so is the safest bet for preserving your research

Join me in the chat room if you have questions

photo credits:   screen shots from the 3 trees,

cover of me by  Anne House

family photos and letters, my own photos, plus

purchased images from

(garbage dump, money, and shredded paper)



One World, One Tree - Rootstech Connect 2021

By Kitty Cooper

One World, One Tree - Rootstech Connect 2021

The concept of a one world tree is to have a database where genealogists collaborate with just one copy of each ancestor. Which of the three major one tree websites is best for this: FamilySearch, Geni, or WikiTree?

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