Search Help

Tree Owners Questions

What is a Gendex file?

A Gendex file is a text file with an excerpt from a genealogy file. From the persons in the family tree it contains only the following data:

  • Person URL (only the for each person unique part)
  • First name
  • Surname
  • Birth date
  • Place of birth
  • Death date
  • Place of death

A Gendex file contains no data about the relations between persons, it is much smaller than a Gedcom file and it contains information about the address of the page where each person can be found. Therefore it is ultimately suited to submit your family tree to

A Gendex file looks like this:

person URL|SURNAME|First Name /SURNAME/|Birth date|Place of birth|Death date|Place of death|


page.htm#001|JOHNSON|John /JOHNSON/|30 JAN 1830|London|14 DEC 1899|New York|
page.htm#002|JOHNSON|Peter /JOHNSON/|21 APR 1831|New York|09 AUG 1861|New York|

How do I get a Gendex file?

Some software that export static HTML pages, at the same time export a Gendex file that is placed then in the same folder as the HTML files. Some of these programs do so always, others only when this option is activated by the user. Consult the documentation of you software for more information.

The PHP script TNG also can export Gendex files. Go to the admin area, then to 'Secondary Processes' and click on 'Create GENDEX'. If you want to submit a Gendex file to, you can create one Gendex file for each family tree. But you can also create and submit 1 Gendex file for all trees in your database.

Why is it not possible to submit my tree with a Gedcom file? is unique because it sends visitors directly from the search resultes to the right page on another website. To do so, needs to know the address of that page. This can't be taken from a Gedcom file.

I use the software package X. Can I submit my family tree?

You can submit your family tree if you have a Gendex file.

At least you can use the following software or scripts:

If you use another, please contact us first.

I protect my family tree with a password. So visitors will first see a login form when they ask for a persons page. Can I still submit my family tree?

Yes, you can. But there are two conditions:

  • After logging in the person must be redirected automatically to the persons page asked for.
  • After logging in it must be possible to click from to your site without logging in again for some time.

I don't fully understand the submitting procedure. Can you help me?

If you don't succeed with the standard submit form, you can fill out the contact form. At least give the root address of your website. The webmaster of will contact you and if necessary fill out the submit form for you. You will get an email with your login information and with that you can edit your data yourself. However, this procedure can take some days.

How do I make an empty Gendex file?

Start Windows Notepad. Now you have an empty file. Save it with the extention .txt (ex. gendex.txt).

My family tree data are for the first time indexed by, but the links to my website in the search results are broken. How is that?

Probably you don't have filled in the correct person URL when submitting your family tree. You can edit it via the edit form.

I have updated the family tree on my website and now the links in the search results on are broken. How is that?

This problem occurs when after the update persons have gotten different IDs (on dynamic websites) or are on different pages (on static websites). The problem will be solved automatically when indexes your Gendex file again, but that can take a while. You can speed up this process by logging in and clicking on the button 'Index now' for this family tree. Your Gendex file will then be indexed as soon as possible.

I did not submit my family tree to, but nevertheless it is searchable at How is that? also indexes Gendex files which are not submitted, but which can be easily found on the internet. assumes that these files are explicitly meant to be indexed. But then always the most strict privacy filter is used. Persons born after 1916 without a death date and persons without a birth date and a death date are not indexed.

All this can be seen as the same thing conventional search engines do. They also index websites without asking for permission. Who doesn't want them to do so, has to tell them himself.

If I don't want my website to be indexed by, what can I do about it?

You can delete your Gendex file from your server, or rename it to another, more difficult to find name.

An other possibility is to submit your Gendex file to yourself and then log in and click on the 'Block' button. Your Gendex-file will then be put on a black list where it will remain untill you submit it again yourself.

Can I let my visitors search via, without them leaving my website?

Yes, you can. You can show search results from at your own website. This is especially useful when you use static HTML-pages on your website, for example exported from Legacy, Ged2html, Ged2www, Ged4web or an other program.. Then your visitors don't have to browse through alfabetical indexes anymore.

The search results are automaticly shown in the layout of your site. At the bottom a link will be shown to And visitors who want to see more than 250 search results will from result 251 be linked to Only the first 250 search results are shown on your website, but in most cases that is more than enough.

For an example, see here:

If you want to use this function, then go to the page Edit your data and klik on the button 'Create a search function for your website'.

If you haven't done so yet, then first submit you family tree wesbite at

How do I start a family tree website?

Follow the following steps:

  • Choose a hosting provider who offers PHP and MySql.
  • Register a domain name.
  • Choose a PHP script. advises to use Family Tree PHP or TNG. TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) is simple, fast an easy. It is not for free, but very cheap and you will get very good support. Family Tree PHP is for free. It is relatively new and therefore has less options, but that makes it also a lot simplier to use. You can find examples in the sites linked to from the search results on
  • Download and install the script following the instructions. It is easier than you might think and your hosting provider can help you (if it is a good one).
  • Upload your family tree via a Gedcom file to the database on your website.
© 2006-2024 Gerrit Veldman