I would like to use Webtrees but the issue is that the idea of 'Family trees' is so separated that it doesn't seem like a person can be shared between two trees.

Basically, what I would like to do is have a tree for my dads last name and my moms maiden last name. For simplicity, I will call them John Smith and Jane Doe.

The thought was that the family trees would be 'Smith Tree' and 'Doe Tree'. (later, more trees would be added, for instance, one for my wifes maiden name). Now the issue seems to be that family trees are distinct and separate. (they would be imported as separate GEDCOMs).

So I haven't been able to figure out a way to link myself in my dads tree to myself in my moms tree. That way if I edit myself, it would edit it in both trees.

Basically, what is the standard when it comes to handling this? Is there a way to link that maybe I am missing? Ideally, the link would be set up to link any children I have and automatically add it to the other tree.

As a last solution, I could just have one huge tree that just includes everyone. So far, this has seemed the only way not to have to deal with duplicate records.

1 Answer 1


Webtrees has separate databases for each GEDCOM. You can't simply link from one tree to the other, as that's essentially a no-go.

I'd suggest that you merge the two trees, as it's trivial to export sub-trees if you ever need it. Unfortunately, the following text from their wiki still applies:

To merge entire family trees (GEDCOMs), you must use other available utilities outside of webtrees. To be frank, trying to successfully merge two different data sets is very difficult. webtrees does not currently have this ability, nor is it planned as a module for addition later. The algorithms necessary to compare each data set and attempt to make intelligent decisions about the duplicity of the information are quite complex and subject to interpretation. This is especially true when considering the possibility that each family tree may vary widely in the formatting of the original data (different conventions) as well as the quality and quantity of information available on each person, family, place, event and source listed within each family tree. The output may require much more work to confirm that the important data was transferred to the resultant family tree and in cleaning up the formatting thereof (names capitalized, places incomplete, etc.).

There are utilities available on the PC platform, with GENMERGE being one of the most recognized, and on the MAC platform, GEDITCOM, which do an excellent job of combining family trees. However, combining trees is much easier (and perhaps still a bad idea due to formatting differences) than is a true match and merge process. As a result of the factors noted above, webtrees does not recommend merging family trees.

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