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Contenido en inglés : Geneanet, still a company unlike any other!

Publicado por Sean Daly el 7 ene. 2022
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We often hear questions and remarks about the Geneanet model, whether to contribute or to choose a Premium subscription.

As the new year begins, we want to take the opportunity – as we usually do – to recall the principles which guide our work at Geneanet with its special model, particularly after last year’s announcement of our rapprochement with Ancestry.


How does Geneanet work?

Geneanet is based on three founding principles: contributive, collaborative and freemium.

Geneanet is the largest community of genealogists involved in mutual aid and sharing in Continental Europe. It’s a website with more than 7 billion data points provided by members, collaborative projects and partners.

The contributive aspect is about family trees and attached documents (family pictures, archival records, etc.). We host 1.5 million family trees with over 1.6 billion individuals.

The collaborative aspect is about the many projects supported by Geneanet, for example pictures of graves and cemeteries (“Save our Graves”), indexes and registers (vital records, censuses, parish registers, Napoléon military muster rolls, notarial documents, and other archives), and collaborative trees (the Filles du Roy, the General Slocum disaster). It’s also original projects like “Now and Then”, comparing historical and modern views of a place. Our Year in Review post will give you an idea of the diversity and enthusiasm of these projects.

Today, there are 4.4 million pictures of graves, 48 million images of archival registers, and more than 142 million individuals in the collaborative indexes.

The site supports heavy loads with more than 100 million requests per day, 8.5 million visitors per month, 380 terabytes of redundant storage on 60 high capacity servers located at different sites.

All of these services are developed and maintained by a team of about thirty enthusiastic people based in Paris, France.


Geneanet is a “freemium” website

Geneanet is based on a “freemium” model which combines a free website and a Premium subscription.

Every member has access to a free offer with comprehensive features. This offer allows you to build a family tree with an unlimited number of individuals, available online (with privacy controls), ad-free, and with a number of tools for customization, printing and alerts, as well as a basic search engine by last name, first name and place. Unlike some other websites, you don’t have to pay to view the family tree of other members or contact them.

The free offer also provides access to all content shared by our members. All contributive data is available for free for all Geneanet members.

Geneanet also offers a Premium subscription which includes, among other options and services, advanced search with additional criteria: spouse, parents, name variants, nearby places, the automatic matching of your entire family tree with the Geneanet database, e-mail alerts which allow you to receive a weekly email summary of the latest entries, access to the Genealogy Library with millions of books and newspapers with more than 3.8 billion indexed individuals, access to genealogy society indexes provided by Geneanet partners, and personalised website support.


Geneanet: a company, a website, or a community?

Geneanet is simultaneously a company, a website, or a community!

Geneanet is a company with paid employees and clients. Geneanet is also an Internet site. But above all, Geneanet is a very active community with its members and its volunteers.

Geneanet is at the service of all of its members, Premium or not. An important part of Geneanet’s activities consist of developing and promoting projects which benefit the entire genealogy community.


Geneanet, a free collaborative website thanks to Premium subscriptions

Sharing, mutual help and collaborative projects are fundamental to Geneanet. This is a large part of its attractiveness.

When you subscribe to Geneanet Premium, you’re not just getting services and partner data reserved for Premium members; your subscription also supports the development of the free sections of the site.

It is quite a paradox: Premium members are paying so that Geneanet can remain an open and free website.

Subscribing to Geneanet Premium is not only a way to access additional options and services, but to allow our special model described above to exist.

The Premium subscription was formerly called “Club Privilege”. Our first subscribers had little benefit and subscribed to preserve the free options and services.

We feel that it is important to remember our roots. For over 25 years, we are proud that we have succeeded in preserving this balance, in an ever stronger spirit of mutual collaboration.

In conclusion, you are all part of a singular community of mutual help and sharing. Whatever your level of Geneanet use, you are welcome! If you subscribe to or renew a Geneanet Premium subscription, keep in mind that you are not only purchasing a product, you are sharing a certain idea of genealogy.

Update January 28, 2022

Many members reacted to our blog post, thank you very much for your feedback.

Please note that if you have questions, it’s best to ask them in Geneanet’s forums (menu Community > Forums), you will have a much faster and more efficient response.

Some of your comments have encouraged us to share more information.


The equilibrium between the free and Premium parts of the site

We have members who use the site for free and feel there is too much Premium content compared to free.

For every feature and data collection, we have to arbitrate between offering them to all, or only to Premium members.

Concerning site features, the choice is permanent. However, we do sometimes make Premium features free. In the past, for example, we eliminated advertising on Geneanet which was a regular source of revenue for us. In 2021, we decided to a improve a popular feature and make it available to all: the consistency checker.

For content, our rule is simple: all content contributed by Geneanet members is available for free.

We would also like to thank all those who share their family trees, their photos, their documents, or who participate in collaborative indexing. We should also thank the Geneanet team, who develop and manage these projects with dedication.

All this free content is possible thanks to your participation and its smooth operation is assured with the support of Premium subscribers.


Premium subscription and contribution

Some members think that they should have a free access to Geneanet Premium when they contribute to the site.

This is a good idea only at first sight. First of all, the majority of Premium members are also contributors. If there were no Premium members, there would be no Geneanet.

Moreover, a member who just copies an existing family tree or register would be considered a contributor. This would happen at the expense of data quality, and the spirit of mutual help and sharing so important at Geneanet.


Geneanet without Premium, or Geneanet paid subscription only?

A member told us that he would prefer Geneanet to be a site with advertising, fewer options and services, but totally free…

With such a model, the free part of the site would probably be smaller, and tiresome to use with ads everywhere and a limited technical infrastructure. Our existing model gives us the liberty to first and foremost best serve our members as we see fit, without depending on advertisers who are unpredictable by nature.

Others suggest that we should require all members pay an inexpensive subscription.

This would go against the model of a free and open site.

We take our “Freemium” model seriously and we are proud of all our members, whether they are Premium, contributors, or just users. We are proud to welcome our whole community in its diversity and to share a certain concept of genealogy.

Geneanet is not only a company with paid employees managing a website with “customers”. It is above all an extraordinary community which every day practices mutual help and sharing, and participates in a number of collaborative projects.

148 comentarios

Geneanet Has provided most of the information for my Ancestry. Started with but quickly converted to your site. Found it very good, at least in my case.( French Ancestry)

If I already have a premium account at Ancestry do we still need to pay for premium accounts here too or do we use our Ancestry Account to log into this one since Ancestry and you are joining each other?

Answer from Geneanet: At this time, Geneanet continues to operate as before; there is no linking of accounts, however this could change in future. Ancestry has provided its largest French datasets to Geneanet, already available to Premium members.

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