5 Great Ways to Share Your Family History

As I painstakingly trace my way back through the generations of my family, I can't help but wonder if someone has previously traced these steps before me. Is there a relative who has already found and assembled some of my family history? Or one who placed their research in a drawer, where it remains hidden and unavailable? 

Like any treasure, family history doesn't deserve to remain buried. Try these simple suggestions for sharing your discoveries so others can benefit from what you have found. 

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Reach Out to Others

Share your family history research via cloud storage to ensure it survives for future generations.
Getty / Jeffrey Coolidge

The easiest way to make sure other people know about your family history research is to give it to them. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - just make copies of your research in progress and send it to them, in either hard copy or digital format. Copying your family files to CD or DVD is an easy and inexpensive way to send large amounts of data, including photos, document images and even videos. If you have relatives who are comfortable working with computers, then sharing via cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive, is another good option.

Reach out to parents, grandparents, even distant cousins, and include your name and contact information on your work! 

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Submit Your Family Tree to Databases

FamilySearch Family Tree is one one many online options for uploading and sharing family tree research.

Even if you send out copies of your family history research to every relative you know, there are probably others who would also be interested in it. One of the most public ways to distribute your information is by submitting it to one or more online genealogy databases. This guarantees that the information will be easily accessible to anyone who may be searching for the same family. Don't forget to keep contact information up-to-date as you change email addresses, etc., so others can easily reach you when they find your family tree.

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Create a Family Web Page

Create your own genealogy website to share your family tree research.
Getty / Charlie Abad

If you'd prefer not to submit your family history to someone else's database, then you can still make it available online by creating a genealogy Web page. Alternatively, you can write about your family history research experience in a genealogy blog. If you want to restrict access to your genealogy data to family members only, then you can publish your information online at a password-protected genealogy site.

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Print Beautiful Family Trees

Family ChartMasters

If you've got the time, you can share your family tree in a beautiful or creative manner. A number of fancy family tree charts can be purchased or printed. Full-size genealogy wall charts make more room for big families, and great conversation starters at family reunions. You can also design and create your own family tree. Alternatively, you can put together a family history scrapbook or even a cookbook. The point is to have fun and be creative when sharing your family's heritage.

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Publish Short Family Histories

Turning your family history research into a book can be rewarding for both you and your relatives.
Getty / Siri Berting

Many of your relatives really aren't going to be interested in family tree printouts from your genealogy software program. Instead, you may want to try something that will draw them into the story. While writing a family history may seem too daunting to be fun, it really doesn't have to be. Keep it simple, with short family histories. Pick a family and write a few pages, including the facts as well as entertaining details. Include your name and contact information, of course!