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When regular trees won't do.

Gigatrees is a free web service that you can use to create your own online family tree. Your Gigatree will include separate profile pages for each person, place, and source found in your database. Each profile page is organized by tabs and will include as much information as we can find in your database that is associated with that profile, including all claims, source references, external links, notes, etc. We will also create and include on an appropriate tab, family tree charts, location maps, distribution heatmaps, generation lists, and timelines. For friends of the site, each profile page may also optionally include photos and a tab where your visitors can leave you comments or feedback. To become a friend, please make a donation to this site operating costs.

Your Gigatree will include a number of other separate pages and reports including a master timeline, a statistics page, a page showing the lastest updates to your database, an overall population distribution heatmap, a must-have Census Table Report and Bonkers, our popular data consistency and sanity report. For friends of the site, a page showing all your photos and another for the latest visitor comments is also included.

Gigatrees are public. They are accessible by family, friends, search engines and the general public. Because of this, privacy settings are enforced by default. Placeholders are created for living persons and any data marked as private will be removed. The User Guide explains in more detail the ins-and-outs of privacy and how the settings can be overridden where desired. Links to some recent Gigatrees are provided below. These trees demonstrate many of the features available.

Currently we offer only a limited number of online Gigatrees to the public. Gigatrees that are not being used by their owners will be purged after 30 days. To ensure that your tree does not get deleted, visit or update it regularly. Friends of the site, those users who contribute to this website's operation costs, are also protected from purging. If you've recently built an online Gigatree and have decided not to use it, please remove it from your profile so that others may take your slot. Online Gigatrees are also limited in size, so very large databases will need to use the offline Gigatree feature.

To build your Gigatree, you must first sign in using one of the social media authentication methods provided, or by creating a local account at To sign in, open the menu by clicking the window blinds symbol found in the website header on the left. Once signed in, a 1-Click Gigatree button will also appear in the website header making building your tree a snap. The 1-Click Gigatree wizard will ask you to upload your GEDCOM file after which it will build your Gigatree using the default and most common settings, unless you are rebuilding your tree, in which case it will use your last saved settings. The build process takes just a few minutes and when done you will be redirected to your Gigatree. For quick access, your Gigatree will also appear in your menu when you are logged in.

If you would like more control over how your tree is built, there are some settings that you can modify to suit your needs. You will find all of the settings, separated into categories, listed below.

Recent Gigatrees
Gigatree Title

Give your tree a title. Your title will be used when displaying links to your tree.

It can be changed and saved without rebuilding your tree, however, if you change your title after your tree has been built, your title will mismatch so you probably don't want to do that...but hey, go wild.

Gigatree Folder

Please set your desired Gigatree folder name. Whatever name you choose, we'll ensure it remains SEO compatible by replacing non-ASCII characters with ASCII ones. For instance, "Ĵöħñ Şmıţĥ'ş Family Tree" will become "john-smiths-family-tree". The folder name is not considered part of the config and will not be saved until you build your tree.

Once your folder name has been set, it is not a good idea to change it as search engine results and external links are tied closely to this name...but we'll leave that choice up to you.
Configuration Options

Some of the special report pages are optionally included in your Gigatree. Select which of these you would like included here. Enabling the Photographs page will likely require you to setup your External URLs in the Advanced Configuration Options below.

  • Census Table Report (CENtaR)
  • Photographs Page (friends of the site only)
  • Database Analysis Report (Bonkers)
  • Database Statistics Report
  • Allow Visitor Comments (friends of the site only)
  • Hide Living Persons
  • Privatize Records Marked as Sensitive
  • Use Location Substring Matches
  • Show Certainty Assessments on Profile Tabs
  • Deep Scanning (estimates birth dates)
  • Show Estimated Birth Years in Timelines
  • Show Qualified Dates in Timelines

Allow Visitor Comments Adds a Comments tab to each Person, Place and Source profile page where users can add comments. A Recent Comments Page is also added to the menu so that you can find new comments easily.

Hide Living Persons Hides all living persons by obfuscating their names and stripping all their claims except parental associations. When enabled, Deep Scanning will also be used to automatically determine which persons in your database are likely to be living.

Privatize Records Marked as Sensitive Strips all records that have been marked as sensitive. Private data unmarked will not be touched.

Use Location Substring Matches When no coordinates can be found for a location description with any of the external geo-mapping servers, the description is assumed to be invalid. The location is stripped of its least significant detail, recursively, and the resulting substring is re-checked. For instance, if "Park Place, Denver, Colorado, USA" cannot be found, "Park Place" would be removed and coordinates would be found for "Denver, Colorado, USA". Enabling this option will result in more location matches so that more maps and location markers will be available, but will also result in invalid locations being modified to ones that are valid. If you do not want your invalid locations descriptions modified then this option should be disabled. A better choice would be to fix your location descriptions. You can use the Pin It app found in the menu under Gigatools to obtain accurate descriptions.

Show Certainty Assessments on Profile Tabs Shows the derived certainty assessments alongside every claim. See the User Guide for more information on certainty assessments. Certainty Assessments are derived from the sources referenced for each claim and are important for your visitor to gauge the surety of your claims. Disabling this is discouraged.

Deep Scanning Will estimate birth years for any person found in your database missing one.

Show Estimated Birth Years in Timelines When calculated, estimated birth years will appear alongside other dates in your timelines.

Show Qualified Dates in Timelines Qualified dates, being approximate, data ranges or otherwise, will appear alongside other dates in your timelines.

  • Show Impossibilities Only (hides improbabilities)
  • Match Alternate Given Names For Duplicate Children
  • Ignore Non-overlapping Timelines For Duplicate Children

Show Impossibilities Only The Database Analysis Report categorizes claims as impossible, improbable, or otherwise. Impossible claims are those that could not possibly happen, such as a person who has a birth date after their baptism date. Improbable claims are those that are possible but unlikely, such as a person who had children before the age of 15. Enabling this option will limit the types of claims listed in the report to impossible claims only. This can be useful when you want to focus your research in just those areas that are most problematic.

Match Alternate Given Names For Duplicate Children The Datatbase Analysis Report lists, among other things, duplicate children, that is, families who have two children with the same name. maintains a database of common alternate names. Enabling this option will use this database to find children with matching alternate names. For instance, if a family has three children, William, Bill, and Guillaume, these would all be detected as duplicates.

Ignore Non-overlapping Timelines For Duplicate Children It is not uncommon to find families who have lost a child young and then to have given the same name to a sibling who was born after the first child died. When matching duplicate children, enabling this option will not consider those siblings duplicates as long as their timelines do not overlap.

Set the age thresholds for the following items to best match your GEDCOM data. By default, the most common ages are defined.

Maximum Child Baptism Age is the maximum age at which a person was baptized or christened as a child. Adult christenings are not considered in this context.

Minimum Marriage Age is the minimum age that a person could have been married. Betrothals and Contracts are not considered in this context.

Maximum Wife's Marriage Age is the maximum age at which a woman could have been married.

Maximum Age Between Spouses is the maximum number of years of age between spouses.

Minimum Child Bearing Age and Maximum Child Bearing Age are the range of ages within which a woman could bear children.

Minimum Flourishing Age and Maximum Flourishing Age are the range of ages that a person is considered to be an adult and would be found containing adult attributes and events such as nobility titles or occupations.

Maximum Age (Life Span) is the maximum age at death of a person.

Maximum Event Age Error is the maximum error expected between an event and a person's recorded age. A common phenomenon in genealogical records results in persons being listed at the time of an event with an age that is not accurate. Making this value too narrow may prevent birth years from being estimated accurately.

Set the date thresholds for the following items to best match your GEDCOM data.

Dead if Born Before Year is the earliest year a living person could have been born, before which is considered improbable.

Dead if Married Before Year is the earliest year a living person could have been married, before which is considered improbable.

Check this box if you want to include all qualifying persons in your Census Table Report. If unchecked, you must manually enter the ID of the person found in your database whose ancestors are the only persons you wish to be included. This person is referred to as the Root person, and their ID can be found in your GEDCOM file at the start of that person's data record in the form of 0 INDI @ID@.

  • Include All Qualifying Persons

Check this box if you want to us to automatically determine the census years when we scan your database. Otherwise, uncheck the box and manually enter just those years you are interested in. By default the years are set here for U.S. Federal Census years, but you can change these to any years you want and clear out the others.

  • Autodetect Census Years

Advanced Configuration Options

GEDCOM files use multimedia link records (OBJE.FILE) to link to photos and images. Some servers, like Dropbox, Facebook, and Flickr as well as most website hosting services, allow hotlinking to publically shared images and photos. If your GEDCOM file's multimedia link records are already setup using external links to one of these services (i.e. or if your database includes relative paths in the form of /folder/photo.jpg, folder/photo.jpg or simply photo.jpg, then Gigatrees can link to these images and embed them on profile pages. Local photos (i.e. c:/folder/photo.jpg) cannot be linked to when your tree is hosted online, but can be when viewed offline. Relative paths will require setting up separate external URLs for photos, photo thumbnails and source images below. Source images are defined as any image found or referenced in your database not directly under an individual, i.e. sources, notes, claims, etc. and their thumbnails are expected to use the same path as do they.

  • Link Photos (Local Paths)
  • Link Photos (Relative Paths)
  • Treat Relative Paths As Local
  • Force Thumbnails

Link Photos (Local Paths) Source images are linked to by default using the multimedia link record path and external URLs as defined below. Photo images, however are not. Enabling this option will link local photos for use offline. If you plan to upload this tree to an online server you should disable this option because the photos cannot be accessed.

Link Photos (Relative Paths) Enabling this option will link photos with relative paths for both online and offline use.

Treat Relative Paths as Local You must let us know whether you want your relative paths to be considered relative to your local tree (for use offline) or not.

Force Thumbnails By default, default generic images are used for all thumbnails. When forcing thumbnails is checked, mutimedia link records that have image extensions (i.e. jpg, png, and gif) will use the original image as its own thumbnail instead. This is done by loading the image, scaling it down proportionally so that it is not distorted and then cropping the bottom, if necessary, to fit within a fixed-sized, square bounding box. When a large number of photos are being loaded like this, especially if they are high resolution images, it can take a long time for your page to load. Disabling this option eliminates that problem, but then you don't have representative thumbnails. To get around this problem Gigatrees supports an additional GEDCOM extension. The OBJE._PIC field can be used to set external or relative paths for your thumbnail images.

The following diagram shows how this new field might be used with relative paths.

  2 FILE c:/folder/pics/walt.png
  2 _PIC walt-thumb.png

If your multimedia link records use relative paths you must configure these external URLs in order for Gigatrees to link to and embed them. When configured these URLs will be prepended to any records found using relative paths.

The Widgets URL should point to the location of the images that were downloaded as part of this build. It only needs to be set if the images are moved to a folder other than where your Gigatree resides.

The chart below shows the various ways you might configure your External URLs.

External URL                FILE                               _PIC
N/A                         photos/walt.jpg                    thumbs/walt-thumb.png   walt.jpg                                                        walt-thumb.png  src.jpg                            src-thumb.png
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