Online Genealogy Programs for Invited Family Members

A newsletter reader asked a question today: “I am wondering if there is an online genealogy program [where the data] can be seen, added to and shared only by family members so that we can all see each other’s descendants.”

I assume my correspondent wants a service that is visible ONLY to invited family members, not to everyone in the world. Indeed, there are many such programs. Actually, they are web sites where such data can be entered and shared, but only visible to people who have been given access to the site.

While I did answer her in email, I thought I would copy my answer to a public article in this newsletter in case anyone else has the same question. Here are a few of the web sites and service I can think of at the moment: at (MyHeritage offers both private and public family trees. Private trees are visible only to invited family members.)

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (usually abbreviated as TNG) at (It will require a bit of work to install the TNG software on a web server. However, one company will and maintain the software ofr $4.95 a month.) at (First read the Privacy for Your Family Tree article at at (See my article about at

Spokt at (See my article about Spokt at

Cluster at (See my article about Cluster at at (See my article about at

MyFamilyOnline at Only invited people can view your information on MyFamilyOnline

WebTrees at

Tribal Pages at

There probably are a few more but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.


I don’t know if I’d call Spokt, Cluster or FamilyLobby genealogy programs.


MyFamilyOnline does that as well. You can put up a database and attach photos,documents, etc. Only invited people can view it.


You forgot WebTrees (WT) and its predecessor, phpGedView (pGV), both of which you’ve reviewed – ISTR glowingly – in the not distant past. While pGV is, for all intents and purposes, defunct, WT is a going concern and has recently released version 1.72. WT is moderately easy to install and set up if one is so inclined and there are a number of companies that will provide hosting services for a modest monthly fee.


AncestralQuest collaboration does this beautifully. Those family members I approve can see our family records and can make additions.

Like is another family tree site for invited family members.


Tribal Pages my favourite – give it a go it’s brilliant

Like used to have a complementary site included called “”. You could put your tree, pictures, stories, history, lots of odds ‘n ends on your site within the sponsorship of Then about 2 years ago they decided to close that feature and you had the option to move your trees to the site. However if you missed their deadline, you were out of luck.


What about a private place to share and discuss photos? I have distant cousins in other countries. We tried 1000memories, but ancestry closed it down. I haven’t convinced these relatives to all use google+ or facebook. I’m not even sure I can get them to create a free account on ancestry.


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