Many genealogy organizations embrace the notion of a single, collaborative family tree that embraces the entire human population over the years. WikiTree, highlighted on this site early on, is one such organization. As they put it,

Genealogists have traditionally grown their own family trees. First on paper, and starting in the 1980s, on desktop computers. These trees could be shared, especially with close family members and cousins, but broad-based collaboration wasn’t possible until the birth of the Internet. The Internet made it possible to change how we think about family trees. Instead of growing separate trees, we can now work together in a fully collaborative environment. We can all work together on one tree that we all share. Collaboratively growing an accurate, free, single family tree is the mission of WikiTree.

Help:Collaborative Family Tree (

Another site, FamilySearch, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is another such organization:

Those who start a Family Tree on FamilySearch aren’t just piecing together their family story—they’re contributing to the creation of a global, unified family tree for mankind. The FamilySearch shared tree uniquely strives to have just one public profile for every deceased person who has ever lived. Descendants contribute what they know about a person to a single, shared profile, rather than scattering their knowledge across multiple profiles on several trees, some of which may have privacy barriers.

Everyone acknowledges, however, the need for smaller family units, if for no other reason than for organizational purposes in an era of rapidly-expanding sources of data, but also because of the need for individuals to find their home in the universe. And so, the bulk of the material on this site is organized by surname: the four from my family — Hile, Penrose, Bousman, and Korhonen/Johnson — that branch out from my grandparents, and the two from my wife Lynne’s family — Baugh and Dudymott, all of which can be found at The Story of Us.

On this page, however, we seek to honor the goal of the single, collaborative family tree by combining all of the images in one collection, organized randomly.

Over time, more photos will be added and captions that tell the story behind the photos will come, as well. Click on the images below to launch a larger, full-size image and caption, and be sure to come back as new images are being added on a regular basis. You are also invited to post your comments below.