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Geneanet, a company unlike any other

Posted by Jean-Yves on Dec 18, 2020

We are still receiving feedback about the Geneanet model which combines a free website with a Premium subscription

As this very particular year ends, it’s an opportunity to recall the basics of the Geneanet model and to answer some frequently asked questions.

How Geneanet works?

Geneanet is based on three cornerstones: 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 almost 7 billion of data provided by members, collaborative projects and partners.

The contributive side is about family trees and attached documents (family pictures, archival records, etc.). These are 1.3 million family trees and almost 1.4 billion individuals.

The collaborative side is about projects supported by Geneanet like pictures of graves and cemeteries all around the world (“Save our Graves”), indexes and registers (parish, notarial, military and other archives). It’s also original projects like “Now and Then”.

As of today, there are 3.3 million pictures of graves, 37 million images of archival registers, and more than 114 million individuals in the collaborative indexes.

The site supports heavy loads with more than 100 million requests per day, 5.5 million visitors per day, 380 terabytes of redundant storage on 60 high capacity servers located into different sites.

All these services are developped and maintened by a team of about thirty enthusiast 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 comprehensive offer. This offer allows to create a family tree with an unlimited number of individuals, with an unrestricted use, without any ads, and with a number of customization, printing and alert tools. This offer includes a 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 and to contact them.

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

Geneanet also proposes a Premium subscription which includes, among other options and services, the advanced search with additional criteria: spouse, parents, name variants, nearby places, the automatic matching of your entire family tree with the Geneanet database, the email alerts wich allow you to receive a weekly email summary of the latest entries, the access to the Genealogy Library with millions of books and newspapers, and more than 3.6 billion indexed individuals, the access to genealogy society indexes provided by Geneanet partners, and a personalised assistance.

Geneanet, a free website with a Premium subscription

Sharing, mutual help and free access are among the basics of Geneanet. This is a large part of its attractiveness.

When you subscribe to Geneanet Premium, it’s not only for the services and the data reserved for Premium members. When you subscribe, you also make possible to develop the free section of the website.

It is indeed a paradox: Premium members are paying so that Geneanet can still be an open and free website.

Subscribing to Geneanet Premium is not only a way to access additional options and services, but also to allow the original model, as described above, to exist.

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

We feel that it is important to recall this basics. For more than 24 years, we are proud that we succeeded in preserving this balance, in a strong spirit of collaboration.

In conclusion, you are part of a community of mutual help and sharing. You are welcome whatever your level of experience in the use of Geneanet! If you subscribe to Geneanet Premium or if you renew your subscription, keep in mind that it’s not only purchasing a product but sharing a certain idea of genealogy.

Note: Do not hesitate to post your testimonial in the comments below!


I have found some good information on Geneanet and would recommend this site when looking for ancestors in Mauritius in the 17th to 18th Century, although not all names are present under “Records of the Actes”.
I translate from French to English (automatically) to help me with my search (but the surnames change to the Angalised form and sometimes it looks a bit odd (e.g. de Laine translates to ‘Wool’ & LeMeme translates to ‘The Same’). I try to put the French name in as it is more accurate. Overall a good site and vastly improved from when I first started using it several years ago.
One thing I find hard to do is when I get a ‘Smart Match or Simple Match’ how do I link that match with MY tree? It is not very clear and there is no Confirmation button that I can see. Can Geneanet tell me what I can do?
Thank you very much.
Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy 2021. Look after each other and know that there are many people around the world praying for Europe and the UK as you face this terrible virus. Bon Chance!

Are there any databases for England?

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