How to create an online family tree

by Ross McKillop on May 8, 2008

Using the new service Hellotree.com, you can quickly and easily create a family tree. Now I know what some of you might be thinking – booooooring. Well as it happens I agree. But I have to tell you – my mom, grandmother and aunt absolutely love this service. They’ve created a family tree that goes back 7 generations and includes relatives in 8 different countries. And the very best part is that Hellotree is so easy to use, they don’t constantly bother me to “help”. Keep reading for an overview with screenshots etc. Note: this review/overview was not paid for, sponsored or endorsed by Hellotree. I just thought that if my family gets such a kick out of it, yours might too.

Overview: HelloTree is a free family tree site which is editable by each family member. You can also share/archive photos and send messages to each other. The (very simple to use) interactive flash design allows you to quickly add and invite family members to join the tree. As new members join they can invite more family and your tree grows in new directions across geographies and generations. You can also choose the privacy level you want and receive alerts whenever new members join or new photo albums are created. The default privacy level is “visible only to invited family members”.

Once you’ve created an account (painless) and you sign in, you’ll be presented with a ‘getting started’ wizard.

getting started with hellotree

Adding additional relatives is as easy as clicking an arrow.

adding relatives in hellotree

After 3 minutes I was able to add my immediate family. Note: none of the names in the screenshot are real, other than mine. Our “actual” Hellotree is huge.

mock family tree using hellotree
click to enlarge

From your Profile screen you can create photo albums, add a picture of yourself or leave a message for your family.

profile section of hellotree
click to enlarge

Editing your profile is simple and straight forward.

edit your hellotree profile
click to enlarge

As is creating photo albums, uploading pictures and setting the privacy level.

create photo albums in hellotree

Though the screenshot below was created just for this review/overview, my actual hellotree family tree has dozens of photo albums contributed by 6 or 7 of my relatives.

photo album in hellotree

  • http://mythermos.com Scott

    Looks a lot like Geni which is what we use in our family.

    Even if it sounds boring now, it’s a great idea to get everyone involved in creating this now. It really is cool to see the tree grow as everyone adds their own part to it.

    SB

  • Jason Chen

    Checked it out. Very slick and viral. My family is already joining.

  • http://wouldbegeek.blogspot.com/ Steve

    This looks exactly like itsourtree.com. My mother started a tree on it, and it spread to my wife, cousin, and on and on. Very easy to get into and invite others to add on to. It doesn’t scare users with the deeper details up front. Slick and easy to like.

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  • http://kindo.com/blog/zh henry@kindo.com

    很不错的文章哦!
    不知道有没中文的翻译?

  • Scott

    I don’t get it, why are all of these family tree sites nearly exactly the same? geni, itsourtree, and hellotree all seem to use the same flash software. What gives? Is it all the same company, or just copy cats?

  • http://hellotree.com samantha

    kool…i have to do one up for school… *sigh*