One topic sure to generate a heated argument in a group of genealogists is whether or not to publish your family tree. I happen to belong to the ‘publish’ camp and have my tree available on RootsWeb. But that may change…

I just got back from a session on WeRelate, billed as ‘The Worlds Largest Genealogy Wiki’, and I was really impressed. Their philosophy is to establish a single, publicly available (and publicly changeable) page for every person on the site. Let the argument begin anew…

Yes, the idea of allowing somebody else to change my data seems very un-natural. But I like the idea of somebody else correcting something I have wrong (or adding to what I know) a lot, and that is what is possible on WeRelate.

One of the things I really like is that this idea focuses differences of opinion into a place where they can be discussed (there is Talk tool associated with every page) and either resolved or left to co-exist (it is possible to have multiple dates and/or locations for any given event). All previous versions are maintained for each page, and the identity of the person who makes each change is recorded.

Another of the many things I like about this tool is that just about anything can be a hyper-link to another area of the Wiki or to another site altogether. In addition to pages for people, you can also create a page for a place, a source, a family and for yourself. Actually, a page for yourself is required: it is the only page that cannot be changed by somebody else.

The URL is http://www.werelate.org

Tony Hanson

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2 Responses to WeRelate.org

  1. Marie Navarro says:

    Yikes! A website where someone can change your information? I think NOT! I’ve seen too many trees with information that is TOTALLY wrong. Yes, I want to correct anything on my tree that is not right. But, I want to examine the evidence, and determine for myself if the person submitting the information is correct. This sounds a lot like the “One World Tree” idea. I totally support a public tree. I don’t mind sharing my information, and appreciate getting information from other people. But, I research, and document my facts, and I don’t want someone having the ability to add erroneous information to MY tree. Just my humble opinion.

  2. Carolyn Davis says:

    Wow-this brings so many questions and comments to mind, I don’t know where to begin. My first inclination is to shout NO, but you make some interesting points.

    I think that this would make a very interesting and informative panel discussion at one of our monthly meetings. Present members from both sides of the argument to discuss their experiences with werelate.org, ancestry.com or other similar sites that publish public family trees.

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