Ancestry Blog » MyCanvas The official blog of Ancestry Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:18:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MyCanvas Finds a New Home in Alexander’s Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:00:24 +0000 Eric Shoup Read more]]> This past June, we announced that we were retiring the MyCanvas website and service in September 2014.

We’ve heard from many people who love MyCanvas and hate the idea of it going away. Well, we have some good news for you: It’s not going away after all! We were successful in finding a new home for the service at Alexander’s.


Founded 35 years ago, Alexander’s is a Utah-based printing production company that has been the long-term printer of MyCanvas products including its genealogy books, calendars, and other printed products. This makes the transition of MyCanvas to Alexander’s a natural fit.

It’s our hope that this agreement will not change the experience for MyCanvas customers. In fact, Alexander’s plans to make some exciting improvements we think you’ll love. Additionally, MyCanvas will continue to be available from the website as we believe in the importance of sharing family history discoveries and see MyCanvas as a way to deliver this ability to our customers.

The transition of MyCanvas will take about six months. But in the meantime, all MyCanvas projects will remain accessible on until it moves over to Alexander’s next year. We will continue to communicate details as the transition moves forward.

We want to thank our loyal MyCanvas customers for all the projects you have built and printed with us over the years. We’re excited about this new owner of MyCanvas—and we think you will be too.


Have more questions? Please check out the FAQs.

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MyCanvas @ RootsTech: Meeting New Cousins and Sharing Your Work Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:04:24 +0000 Pam Velazquez Read more]]> Last week I was working at the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. I was fortunate to be a presenter at the conference on MyCanvas and used my own tree and my own projects to demonstrate how MyCanvas works. At the end of my class, a woman approached me and said that she was related to several of the people in my tree! What a pleasant and unexpected surprise to connect with a “cousin” in my class. As we talked, we realized that we have pictures that the other didn’t, so we exchanged email addresses so we can share these with each other.

Later that day, as I was working in the booth, I repeated this experience two more times, all through different lines in my tree. One of my new “cousins” even wants to order a copy of one of the books I have made and had on display. created a self-publishing program you can use, free of charge, called MyCanvas. MyCanvas provides a way for you to create a beautiful family history book or family tree posters which can make sharing fun and enjoyable for everyone. However, did you also know that you can easily share your project with them online? Simply click on the Share this project link, enter someone’s email address, write a personal message, and send them an invitation to view your project!

The invitee will get an email saying that you have invited them to view your project, and provide a link they can click on to open and view your project. They will not be able to make any changes to your project, but they can view and order it from this link if they choose.

When they receive the invitation, and click on the link to view the project, this is how it looks:

MyCanvas 1

If you click in the lower right or left hand corners of the pages, the page will turn, and you can view this as though you were looking thru a book.

In the upper right corner is the Order button.

To share a project, click on the Share this project link on the My Projects page, found under the name of the project you want to share. Then click on “Email to a friend” in the drop down menu.

MyCanvas 2

Or, you can click on the Share this project link at the top of the page when your project is open.

MyCanvas 3


This is the box that opens where you can enter their email address, and a personal message.

MyCanvas 4

You may also check the box that will allow them to save a copy of the project to their own account. If they save a copy, they will be able to edit their copy, but their edits will not affect the original project in your account.  You may want allow them to save a copy in some circumstances. For example, they might not be interested in everything in the book, and may want to remove some pages that don’t directly relate to their family, and add others that would relate more to their branch of the family.

MyCanvas is a wonderful way to preserve and share your family history, photos, and stories. This Share feature enables you to easily share your work with others, even when they don’t live close by.

Interested in having some of your work printed using MyCanvas? We are offering Free Standard Shipping, 13 Feb – 13 Mar. Use code:  MCFREESHIP2014



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Give Your Research As A Gift Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:14:01 +0000 Pam Velazquez Read more]]> Give your family the gift of genealogy! The holidays are a perfect time for you to consider publishing your family history research. As most genealogists will tell you, your research is never really finished, so consider publishing what you already have. Using MyCanvas, it’s quick and easy to create amazing custom bound books filled with all of your great family history finds.

A MyCanvas book makes for a great gift not only for your loved ones, but for yourself as well. It can be tough, especially during the holidays, to get your family to huddle around your laptop or tablet to take a look at your tree and try to make sense of all of your great work. If your family is genealogically challenged, a MyCanvas book might be your best bet at showing off your research and getting the rest of your family excited about genealogy.

If you’re ready to have your work published, simply go to MyCanvas and start your project – best part of all, there is still time to order your book in time for Christmas delivery!

And don’t forget you can get a 20% discount on ALL MyCanvas orders placed by December 12th by using the code MCHOLIDAY2013 at checkout!

MyCanvas Military page

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When Should You Publish Your Family History Book? Wed, 06 Nov 2013 21:45:34 +0000 Pam Velazquez Read more]]>  

Many of us spend years researching our family history, and want to share our findings with our family members.  Sometimes it’s hard convincing family members to sit down next to us at the computer to look at our family tree and a bunch of digitized records, especially at a large family gathering. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a beautifully published album to show everyone? A family history book is a wonderful way to do this.  However, there is always the question of when to publish it, since the research seems to be never ending and as you dive deeper into your family history we realize you’re never really “done”.

There are several ways to look at this dilemma.  If we waited until our research was where we want it to be, and met all our goals, we would never create the book, and thus never share it with our family.  Therefore, we must decide how to go about doing this.

Family Tree Publishing

One approach is to just get started.  Make a book with what you know.  Give yourself a deadline, and when that comes, just publish what you have at that time.

Often the deadlines are provided for us:  an anniversary, a birthday, the annual family reunion, or even older members of the family with failing health that we want to share it with.  Publishing something is better than nothing at all, and you can always publish a continuation with the second half of your research. has has an online publishing program you can use to start creating your family encyclopedia called MyCanvas. Once you have created the book, there are a couple different options as well – you can continue to add to the current book, and then publish a new one when you have added significant updates.  Or, you can publish a second volume when you have enough information to make that a worthwhile effort.

The great news about getting your family history book created now is that MyCanvas has a 20% off discount on all orders put in before December 12th!

This could be the deadline you need to publish your first family history volume.

Whatever course you decide to take in publishing your family history, remember that it is important to do something, and not necessarily wait until your research is finished.



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Who’s Who In Our Family Tree Fri, 31 May 2013 20:52:30 +0000 lorilee Read more]]> As we enter the summer months, many of us will be attending family reunions. These are wonderful opportunities to reconnect with family members we don’t get to see very often.

At these reunions, it can be challenging to explain how everyone in the family is related. Family Tree Posters from MyCanvas can be a fun, visual way to show the basic family tree at these gatherings. A standard poster will show a person’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents up to nine generations.  A descendant poster will show three to four generations of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. These two posters enable you to show several generations of your family history so everyone in attendance can see where they fit in.

To create your own Family Tree Poster just click on the PUBLISH button on then click on Family Tree Posters on the left.  This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to create these posters.

Six Generation Descendant Poster

Six Generation Standard Poster

I recommend that you start your poster with an ancestor that is common to everyone attending the family reunion. This will make the posters applicable to more family members than they would be if you start with yourself.

If other relatives want copies of the posters, you can simply collect their email addresses, and send them an email invitation to view the project. From this invitation they can place their own orders so you don’t have to be the middle man, collecting money and placing orders for everyone.

This article will show you how to send an email invitation.

Four Generation Descendant Chart

Four Generation Descendant Chart

I hope you enjoy your family reunions this summer, and are able to find a way to share your family history with many of your family members.

P.S. – Click here for a look at how one of our customers customized a descendant chart for her own family reunion.

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What Can I Do With All My Family History Research? Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:16:41 +0000 lorilee Read more]]> Have you ever wondered what to do with all of your family history research?  What is the next step?  How can you put it all together so you can easily share it with your family members?

At the RootsTech genealogy conference in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago, I spent my time in the booth talking with many of our customers face to face.  I helped people with genealogy research challenges, answered questions about Family Tree Maker, and, most importantly, shared information about MyCanvas.

I was amazed at how many of our long time customers have never heard of MyCanvas.  Many of them said this was exactly what they were looking for and were so excited to hear that this program was available to them.  The response was overwhelming!

Due to that great experience, I realized there might be more of you unaware of MyCanvas and the tools available for you to publish and share your family history.  Allow me to share.

Family Tree Publishing

MyCanvas provides a way for you to create beautiful family history books and family tree posters to share with your family.  Using the information from your online tree on, a simple book or poster is created that you can then customize any way you choose.

To access MyCanvas, click the Publish button on

MyCanvas Publishing

Creating books and posters is free, so you can use it even if you don’t have a current subscription.  Start a project by importing information, documents and pictures from your online tree.  You can then add more generations, stories, or pictures.  There are also thousands of backgrounds and embellishments available to enhance your family story and make it truly your own.

Can’t finish your project right away?  Want to do just a little more research before printing?  No problem.  Any projects you start remain in your account until you choose to delete them.

I hope you will take a little time this weekend to try out MyCanvas.  And, if you have any questions along the way, just leave a comment for me here.

Need some help getting started on your family history book?  Check out this article or watch this video.

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Seven Reasons To Share Your Family History Thu, 21 Jun 2012 23:56:21 +0000 Crista Cowan Read more]]> In the Barefoot Genealogist broadcast this morning, I shared a few ideas for publishing your family history. The two most important things I shared had nothing at all to do with the actual process of creating the chart or book.

Don’t wait until you are finished!

If you wait until you are “finished” with your genealogy, you will never have anything to share. Your genealogy will never be “done.” I inherited a lot of my family history and have been actively working on it for at least a couple of decades. After all that time, I’ve only identified 328 of the 1022 people responsible for my existence in the last 9 generations. (Here’s how that math works.)

My advice to you?  Pick one grandparent or great-grandparent and focus on learning everything you can about them and two or three generations of their ancestors. Then share what you’ve learned with the rest of your family. The sooner, the better!

Less is best!

When you do share, do so in “bite-sized pieces.” Don’t overwhelm non-genealogists with too many charts and forms. Take the time to write a story or two about each ancestor based on what you’ve learned about their lives. Add pictures. Keep it to just four or five generations.

In the live chat afterwards and in my email box this afternoon there were lots of really great ideas shared about WHY you might want to create a family history chart or book. (And we all know that if we have a reason and a deadline we are more likely to get it done.) Here are just a few of those great reasons:

  • Create a giant wall chart for a family reunion so everyone knows where they fit into the family.
  • One book about a grandparents ancestors makes an easy Christmas gift for all the siblings and cousins.
  • When there is a new baby born into the family create a chart to show their lineage.
  • A chart showing three or four generations of the new couple makes a great wedding present.
  • A military focused book honoring all those in the family who have served would make a great memorial.
  • Having a goal to create a book is going to force me to focus on making one section of my family tree as complete and as well documented as possible.
  • We should share more and more often. You never know when you are going to create another genealogist in the family.

What’s your reason?

Until next time – Have fun climbing your family tree!

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