Geneweb Secrets
Jean Vaucher (sept 2010)


Geneweb is a very efficient genealogy software which uses Internet browsers for its interface. It is multi-lingual: two dozen languages for the interface and 5 languages for the documentation. It draws very elegant family trees. The version I use (5.0) is available from INRIA for Unix, Windows and Mac (OS X). Recently, a new group - associated with Geneanet - has taken over development; its version (6.0) is available here.

Geneweb is showcased in the Roglo database which contains over 3 million individuals and is maintained by 200 wizards. I will use ROGLO as a source of examples to illustrate naming conventions. Geneweb is also used by the popular GeneaNet site.

The system is easy to install and use "out of the box." Falko Trojahn posted a video showing installation under Mac OS X. Unfortunately, when it comes to customizing the interface or adding links to other documents, things quickly become complicated. The solution may be simple because Geneweb was designed to be extremely customizable; but the problem is discovering that solution because the documentation is not on a par with the features. The problem is compounded due to the two modes of operation (Stand-Alone or on a web server) and three platforms (Unix, PC, MAC). Conventions are slightly different in each case.

There is an active Geneweb user group on Yahoo where I have found some answers. The rest I have learned by trial and error. Here I summarize and explain useful solutions to common problems.

I am a Geneweb user, not an expert.
I have written here all I know.
So, don't ask me about other aspects of Geneweb.


My environment:

My main interest in genealogy concerns the Vaucher families of Switzerland. Initially, my software was Reunion on MAC and I obtained data (GEDCOM format) from the Mormon's Family Search site. Finding this data to contain many inconsistencies and duplications, I developped several programs to integrate and validate GEDCOM files. With these tools, I distilled 6,700 apparent individuals to 2200 distinct ones. I also started using Geneweb. My Swiss database which now contains ~3000 individuals can be accessed HERE.
PS: I find the new updated FamilySearch interface impossible to use !

I use Geneweb (5.00) in two modes on two platforms:

Note: I also use the UNIX version to edit individual data or add photos.

Updated: dec 2011

Creative Commons License
GeneWeb Secrets by Jean Vaucher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at