For up-to-date information on family history books, please read my blog post from February 24, 2009. The post below, which was published on February 12, 2008, contains some obsolete information.
Several people have asked whether it’s possible to include more than four generations in an AncestryPress book. The answer is yes, you can include as many ancestors as you’d like, although they won’t all appear on the same page.
When you create a book from templates, AncestryPress automatically generates a certain number of pages based on the data in your online family tree. The chart on the first page includes four generations if you choose the standard or combination tree format or three generations if you choose the descendant list format. AncestryPress creates timelines and family group sheets for all of the people in those generations. If you have records attached to those people, it also creates a page for each record including a title, an index and the record’s source.
To add more people from your online tree, click the Pages icon in the top menu and select “New page.” If you choose Family Tree Layout, Timeline, Record Layout or Family Group Sheets, you’ll be asked to select an online tree (if you have more than one) and a person from that tree. You don’t have to select the same tree you used to auto-generate your book — if you wish, you can include data from several trees in the same book.
Add new page:
Choose tree and person:
When I created a book for my mom, I chose the combination tree format with my mom as the starting person, so the chart at the front of the book includes my parents and their children, parents and grandparents. AncestryPress automatically created family group sheets for each couple and timelines for each individual (I deleted some of the timelines because the books currently have a 100-page limit and I wanted to use that space for other types of information). I added photos and embellishments to the auto-generated pages and created lots of new pages with stories and photos about my mom’s life.
Then, at the back of the book, I added an appendix with family trees and family group sheets for my mom’s ancestors beyond those first few generations. I created four standard family tree charts with my mom’s grandparents as the starting people, which added three more generations of direct ancestors. I also created family group sheets for my mom’s four sets of great-grandparents, which added some collateral relatives (if you had a great-uncle named “Hilarius Speth,” you’d want him in the book, too).
I know that a lot of people would like to include more ancestors in a single chart. That’s difficult to do in a book format, but we’re exploring some possible ways of doing it, perhaps through a two-page chart or a longer page that folds out. We will offer a slightly larger book with five generation charts in the next month or two. In the meantime, the process I’ve described above is super easy and gives you quite a bit of flexibility. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
On a separate topic, we’ve just added a nifty feature to the preview function: a magnifier that makes it easier to proof your book before you print. Just hit the Preview/Print button in the top right corner and then click “Magnifying glass.”
The magnifier will appear in the middle of the book. Drag it to the area you want to preview. When you’re done, just click the “x” in the top right corner to close the magnifier.
Some people who print pages at home prefer not to preview them first, so we’ve made it possible to bypass that step. When you click the little arrow next to the Preview/Print button, you’ll see a menu that lets you print the page without going into preview mode. You can either print the page as is or without the background (to save ink).
We’ve also addressed some customer feedback about the page numbering feature. You can now start the page numbers on any page you choose with any number you choose.
We appreciate your feedback. As a reminder, we don’t typically respond to messages sent through the Feedback link, so if you have a technical issue or a comment that requires a response, please submit it through the Contact Us link.
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NOTE: AncestryPress is now MyCanvas
In October 2008, AncestryPress was relaunched under the name MyCanvas. It is still a free, online software program provided by Ancestry.com. For current information about products and features, please see my more recent blog posts.