Ancestry Blog » Mobile The official blog of Ancestry Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:53:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ancestry Mobile iOS 6.0 Release Now Available Sat, 30 Aug 2014 15:27:53 +0000 Finn Larson Read more]]> We are happy to announce the release of the Ancestry Mobile version 6.0 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. If you have used the Ancestry App in the past you will likely notice some changes right away. Here Are a few of the major changes to look for with this new release.

Prioritized Hints View
We’ve added a new section to the application which allows you to view all the hints for a given tree from a single place. We’ve added a prioritized sort order to the hints in this section so that your very best hints automatically bubble up into view. In addition to a priority sort, we’ve made it possible to view hints based on recency, with the newest hints at the top of the list. Near the top of the new hints view you will find sort order controls titled “best” and “latest” which allow you to toggle between these two sort orders to meet your needs. We’ve also included some filtering capabilities for the hints in this section which will allow you to filter hints by the last name of the person the hint is for, or to filter hints by type (photo, story or record). When you see a hint that you’d like to learn more about, simply tap; the details of the hint will come into view and you will be able to accept or ignore the hint from right there.

US iPad Hint Detail

Every day thousands of photos and stories are added to Ancestry by users of the website and the Ancestry App. When one of these pieces of great content might be associated with a  relative of yours you will get a photo or story hint and you get to share this content and benefit from the work of other Ancestry users. Now you will have the ability to comment on these shared pieces of content directly from the mobile app – just like you can on the website. When viewing a photo or story you will notice a new comment area within the mobile app, here you will see comments from others and be able to leave comments of your own.

US iPad Comments

Comments View
The new comments section provides a running history of the new comments that have been left on photos and stories I your tree,  making it easy for you to keep up to date on the latest comments. When you see a comment that you would like to see in full context or respond to, silly tap; you will be taken to the photo or story that the comment was made on and be able to review the entire comment thread associated with the content.

You may notice a new red badge with a number in it that shows up on the Ancestry app icon. This lets you know that you have new hints or comments to review. We have also included badges on the icons representing the hint and comment sections which allow you to know exactly where the new content can be found.

If you have enabled the Ancestry App to send you push notifications you will now be notified when the very best new hints or comments are available. When you are ready to view the new hint or comment, simply tap; the app will open and you will be taken dirtily to the hint or comment.

Tree Viewer Enhancements
In addition to family and pedigree views, you can now view your family tree in a list view. From this view you can filter the list of tree persons by name or using a number of useful filters (Direct Ancestors, End of Line, Living Relatives, People with Hints, and People with Recent Hints). We’ve also added a dedicated person search within the pedigree and family views. Tapping on the search icon In the top left corner of the tree viewer will allow you to enter the name of the person you are looking for. When you see the person you are looking for, simply tap; the tree will be refocused on this person and you will be taken directly to his or her profile details.

We’ve simplified and updated the navigation within app. You will notice prominent tabs along the bottom of the app for Hints, Comments, Tree, DNA, and Settings. Getting around the app will now be quicker and easier than ever.

US iPad Timeline

In addition to the major updates highlighted above we have worked on smaller touches within the app that enhance the overall experience. As you use the app in more depth you will likely notice other changes like: quick links to web content, side-by-side comparisons between tree and record data, quick access to profile information from hints, and updated colors and styling.

We hope that the new version 6.0 app experience will be a good one, and that the Ancestry Mobile App will become an ever more integral part of your Ancestry experience. If you have ideas, thought s or questions please feel free to submit feedback by tapping on the “Feedback” tab within the Settings section of the app.


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Ancestry Mobile App Wins Appy Award Second Year in a Row Fri, 06 Jun 2014 21:06:40 +0000 Read more]]> AppyAwardsWinner



The winners of the 2014 APPY Awards were named recently, and we are pleased to announce that the Ancestry mobile app has won the award for the best “Reference App” a second year in a row. The APPY Awards, part of Internet Week New York, honor applications on all platforms and is dedicated to acknowledging creativity and excellence in app design.



Our mobile app features a detailed timeline with narratives, historical context, and media, automatically generated from an ancestor’s life events.


You can also build a family tree through Facebook connections, providing a new way to get started quickly and make discoveries about family genealogy. Underpinning this activity are more than 200-million user-contributed photo and documents, along with 12 million birth, death, military and other records. The Ancestry app puts your family history at your fingertips.

Have you downloaded our mobile app yet? If not, you can do so here and take your family history with you, wherever you go.

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Virtual Cemeteries, Rotating Photos, User Profiles, and More in the Updated Find A Grave iOS App Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:01:17 +0000 Michael Lawless Read more]]>

Last month we released the iOS App for Find A Grave, and the feedback has been fantastic. It’s motivating to hear how Find A Grave affects people’s lives, and our team has been happy with the response.

Today we’re releasing the first new features update for the app. We have a lot more we’re going to do, but these first features were the most requested and are ready to release, so we hope you like them!

  1. Find A Grave ProfileProfile Pages: Now you can view and edit your profile, you can also easily take a selfie for your profile photo, and decide whether to display your email address publicly or not. Your photo and profile are always displayed to everyone, and you can see other members profiles by clicking their names in the attribution for memorials and photos.
  2. Your Memorials and Photos: With this update you can see your memorials added and managed, all the photos you’ve taken, your outstanding photo requests and claims, and the photo requests you’ve fulfilled.
  3. Virtual Cemeteries: Save your favorite memorials to your virtual cemeteries from right inside the app! Keep your relatives close at hand, save interesting epitaphs, or collect famous grave sites visited.

Additionally, we’ve worked to make the app better in some small ways based directly on your feedback. We hope these updates make things easier for you.

  1. Cemetery Search: We’ve made two updates that should prevent the dreaded ‘cemetery not found’ responses you’ve been getting. First, the default location is now Any Location. This makes a huge difference when searching for cemeteries by name, since we search our whole database, not just the cemeteries near your current location. Second, if you enter a location, you’re going to have to select from our auto-complete drop down. This will ensure, especially globally, that the location you’re looking for is in our database.
  2. Rotate Photo: After taking a photo, you’ll be able to rotate it before uploading. This can be a problem especially on those overhead shots, and a few of you have brought this to our attention.
  3. GPS Locations: The GPS locations being gathered from your grave photos or when you use the GPS button are now displayed on memorials near the Plot information. Clicking on the GPS coordinates will take you to the map. We’re going to keep working on this, but it’s a start that I think you’ll appreciate.
  4. Memorial Managers: In the 1.0 release we omitted attribution to managers on the memorial page, instead just showing contributors. In hindsight, it’s obvious that we want to make sure you can reach the current manager, so now we’re displaying both if they’re different. If the manager is the same person as the contributor, we just list the contributor, but if the manager is different than the contributor, we’ll list them both. These are now linked to the profiles.
  5. Add New Memorial: It may not have been altogether obvious that you needed to add a memorial from within the memorial list of a cemetery. To make things easier to find, there’s a button on the cemetery details called “Add new memorial” which should be pretty self-explanatory.

We hope these updates make the Find A Grave app even more useful, and our dedicated programmers are working on the next update even as we speak. Coming soon, you’ll be able to do your secure account edits (change email address, change password), we’ll solve the pesky slow photo upload problem with a wifi-only delayed upload capability, and a couple of awesome secret features are in the works as well. We also know we need to get landscape mode working, especially for you iPad users, and we’re going to make it easier to suggest corrections.

Finally, we’ve heard you loud and clear about an Android version, but there’s nothing I can share about that today. Please keep your feature requests coming to

After you get your update, we would love to get your reviews in the iTunes store. Good reviews help everyone, they make us feel good of course, but more importantly they make Find A Grave more visible to new users who just don’t know what they’re missing out on. Please show your support for our free app!

Thanks again, and I look forward to sharing our next big thing.

App Store

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Ancestry iOS App Gets a Whole New Look and Feel With Some Great New Features Wed, 18 Sep 2013 20:10:05 +0000 Pam Velazquez Read more]]> We are excited to announce our latest update to the Ancestry iOS app. This update brings a bright new look that feels right at home on Apple’s new iOS 7 operating system. Now you can easily add your living relatives to your tree using Facebook, read through your ancestors’ life events in story-like narratives, and dive into historical events that your ancestors lived through. Other new features include the ability to correct relationships in your tree and attach photos to life events.


Building your tree with Facebook

First of all, let’s put some concerns to rest—if you connect to Facebook using the app, we never post to Facebook on your behalf, and information from your family tree is never shared on Facebook. That said, this feature is a convenient and fun way to add living relatives to your tree or photos for living people already in your tree.

After you connect to Facebook we look for matches between the people in your tree and your friends on Facebook. If we find a match, you’ll see a screen like this pop up where you can confirm your matches.


We also look for people who are not in your tree. If we find relatives on Facebook who are not in your tree we show them as suggestions. Tap on them to either add them to your tree (Keep) or remove them (Ignore).


Historical facts

We insert historical facts into your ancestors’ timeline to shed some light on what was going on in the world when they were alive. You can tap on these to view other historical events from a decade.


Type-ahead menu

The type-ahead menu is handy when adding living people to your tree or if you need to correct a relationship.

  • Adding living people: When adding someone to your tree, if that person is a friend on Facebook or saved in your contacts list, a type-ahead menu will appear so you can easily add their info. The icon next to the name in the menu indicates where the info is coming from.
  • Correcting a relationship: If the person you are adding is already in your tree, you will see their name in the type-ahead menu with a little “family tree/pedigree” icon. To correct a relationship, start adding a new person where the relationship should be and select the person with the wrong relationship from the type-ahead menu. This will break the old relationship and define a new one.


Attach photos to life events

It’s easy to attach photos to life events. Tap on the event in a person’s timeline to view the details. From here, you can tap the “Add Media and Sources” button to view the event gallery. Then tap “Add Photo” to take a new photo, choose from photos saved on your camera roll, or pick from photos already saved to that person in your tree. Photos attached to events will appear on the timeline.



Layout changes

We moved a few things around to improve the layout of the app. Tap on the menu button to get to your list of trees, tree view, tree settings, people lists, and account info.


We hope you enjoy the new update. If you haven’t installed or updated to the latest version, you can get it in the iTunes App Store.


We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about the update or the app in general. Please feel free to comment below.


-The Ancestry Mobile Apps Team


Don’t have an Apple iOS device?  We have an Android app as well!



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Take Your Tree with You This Summer Mon, 01 Jul 2013 16:46:16 +0000 Juliana Szucs Read more]]> Summer is prime time for research trips, cemetery visits, and family reunions. For family historians, these trips used to take extra planning. Along with the sunscreen, bug spray, and potato salad, family reunions required choosing which books, papers, and photos to bring along for research or sharing—and the inevitability of forgetting something important. With the App and an Android, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch mobile device, you don’t have to leave anything behind. Your research is always with you and as current as your online tree.

Here are five ways you can take advantage of the App this summer.

1. Cemetery visits.
Use your mobile device to take photographs of ancestral gravesites and tombstones. To add the photo to your tree, select a person, click Gallery at the bottom of the panel, select Add Photo at the top, and then choose the photo from your photo albums. You can also edit that person’s information and add any new details you found on the spot.

2. Family reunions.
Not only can you show off all of the records and stories you’ve uncovered, you can also update the details for your living family right there on the spot. That story Uncle Fred’s sharing with you? Type it in the notes as he’s telling it. No more trying to remember the details after the fact.

3. Taking pictures of family heirlooms.
Even if Aunt Edna won’t give you her grandmother’s Bible, she’d probably let you take a picture of it and the pages documenting the family history.  Same with the gallery of ancestral photographs that line her walls. Digital photos of them in their frames will do until you can convince her to have copies made.

4. Trips to courthouses, libraries, and archives.
When precious onsite research time is of the essence, the camera on your mobile device can save the day. Take a picture of records that you can attach to your tree right then.

5. Researching in the great outdoors.
If you’ve got Internet access, you can be researching. Take your device to a park or the beach.  A nice day to sit in the yard is also a nice day to research in the yard.

If that’s not enough inspiration to load the app and start updating your online tree, how’s this? Your online tree (and Family Tree Maker 2012 as well, if you have it), will auto-sync with your mobile tree so your new details will be waiting for you at home when you get there. No more having to catch up on data entry after the trip. The App lets you enjoy your family history vacation even after you get home.

Learn more about the App

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Ancestry iOS App Gets Pedigree View and Photo Hints Mon, 06 May 2013 14:00:32 +0000 Aaron Orr Read more]]> More discoveries can happen with our mobile app with the new Pedigree View and Photo Hints. Our Ancestry App is great wherever you go or wherever you are in today’s busy world.  Whether at the train station, your couch, or at Aunt Edna’s house, take those moments to quickly view or add something to your tree or make a completely new discovery with the Ancestry Mobile App.

Recently, we added some functionality to the app including a Pedigree View and Photo Hints.

Pedigree View

There are two ways to view your tree on the iOS app.  The Pedigree view shows direct ancestors.  The Family view shows all relationships including siblings, spouses, and children. Toggle between these views with the buttons at the top of your screen.

Photo Hints

For the past year or so, the iOS app has provided you with hints to records about your ancestors.  With the new Photo Hints you can now find pictures of your ancestors, too. Plus you can easily share your discoveries with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, or email.

Download or Update Your Ancestry App Today

Haven’t tried the Ancestry app out yet? iPhone or iPad users can download it here:  iTunesAndroid users will find the app at Google Play or Amazon Appstore. (The Android app doesn’t have photo hints yet, but stay tuned.)  If you have already downloaded the Ancestry app, check your updates to be sure you have the latest version.  


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Ancestry App for Windows 8 Fri, 21 Dec 2012 21:40:39 +0000 Duff Wilson Read more]]> Have you ever wanted a quick and easy way to view and share your family tree right from your desktop?  Announcing Ancestry for Windows 8 which was released into the new Windows Store on November 30th and was subsequently updated on December 12th.

The Ancestry app provides an attractive and innovative way to experience and show off your tree.  Editing in the app is not supported yet, so to edit or build your tree, there are launch points that take you to on the web.  Any changes you make to your online tree on will show up back in the desktop Ancestry application.

The Ancestry App for Window 8 consists of four main areas:

1.     The Hub is the home base for the Ancestry app and provides access to several aspects of your tree and information about


  • People—Some of the most recently updated people in your tree are displayed in a collage in the “People” section of the hub.  You can tap or click one of the people displayed to see more information about that person or tap or click the “People” heading to access a list of all the people in your tree.
  • Top Hints—A list of hints associated with the people displayed in the collage.  Just tap or click a hint to see more information about it and view the associated historical record, if any.
  • Photos—A collage of recently accessed photos is displayed after the list of hints.  Tap or click any photo to see it in more detail or tap or click the “Photos” heading to see a collage of all photos in your tree.
  • Ancestry Info—After your tree information, the Hub also presents lists of posts from Facebook and Twitter, information about your message board favorites, links to Ancestry videos, new collections, and other Ancestry properties.


You can use the swipe up or swipe down gestures (or right-click) from the Hub to access other trees or to open the current tree on

2.     The People List gives you access to all of the people in your tree.

 3.     The Person Page—Tapping or clicking on a person in the Hub or the Person List will display that person’s details on the Person page.



The person page displays a picture and the vital facts of the person’s life along with his or her immediate relationships (fathers, mothers, spouses, children), followed by a list of Ancestry hints, a map and other photos associated with the person.

4.     The Photo List shows all of the photos in your tree as a collage.  Just tap or click on any of them to see a larger view

In its current form, the Ancestry app for Windows 8 does not support in-app editing.

Rather it is intended to provide an interesting and attractive way to experience, view, and show your family tree.  But this is just the beginning for Ancestry on Windows 8.  There will be more improvements to come.  In the meantime, you can easily access and edit your tree by using the swipe up or swipe down gestures (or right-click) and then choosing the option to “Open on Ancestry”.

Remember that building your tree on Ancestry is completely free.  Many people have the misunderstanding that you must have a paid subscription in order to use this app or to build your family tree on Ancestry.  A subscription is only required if you want to search and view results from Ancestry’s vast database of historical records and family trees.  But there is no charge for building your tree with your own information.

We hope this new app will be a valuable ongoing asset to your Ancestry experience.


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Android gets Hints! See what’s new in our Android app. Tue, 20 Nov 2012 23:39:34 +0000 Aaron Orr Read more]]> Ever wish you could make new family history discoveries from your Android phone or tablet? We’re excited to announce that we’ve added Hints for historical records to our Android app.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s new…

Record Hints

“Shaky leaves” on people in your tree indicate that we may have found a record for this person. You can view the records right from the app anywhere you are with an internet connection. Tap on the person to view their profile, and then tap on “Hints”.

If the record is a good match, you can easily save the information from the record to your tree. Many records contain information about other family members—you can just as easily save the record to them as well.


The “3 bar” icon in the top left of the screen opens a list of all the people in your family tree. If you begin typing in the search bar, the list below automatically updates based on what you’re typing. This is very helpful if you are looking for someone specific in a large tree.

In addition, by tapping “All people in tree,” you have access to a variety of useful filters. For example, Direct Ancestors will update the list of people to show only people directly related to the tree’s home person, and the End of Line filter helps you find areas of your tree that need more research. The bottom two options will show a list of people in your tree that have hints or only those that have received new hints in the last 7 days.


We hope you like this update. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think or what other features you would like to see.

Download the Ancestry app for Android. Don’t have an Android device? Download our iOS app.



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Just launched: Version 4 of the app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch! Tue, 28 Aug 2012 17:31:56 +0000 Read more]]> We’re really excited about the new version of our iPhone and iPad app. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Let’s take a closer look…

First you’ll probably notice that we have a new look to the entire app. Hopefully you think it’s as warm and inviting as we do :)

The new family tree viewer

Below you can see a new family tree viewer. The idea is to make interacting with your family tree more like interacting with a map or a photo. Pinching zooms in and out. Swiping moves the entire tree. We also wanted to show more relatives. The old viewer only showed direct lines, but this new viewer includes an option to show grandchildren, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Some users miss the old version of the tree viewer and have expressed concern about it being no longer available. We’re listening to this feedback and are working on improvements they are requesting (for example, we plan to remove grandchildren from the Pedigree View in the next update to make it easier to see your whole tree). But we hope that your experience is the same as ours has been – the new viewer requires some time to get used to, but once you’ve spent some real time with it, we think you’ll fall in love with the additional functionality and intuitive navigation. Play with it for a while and let us know what you think.

Working with the new family tree viewer

The top arrow in the image below is pointing to a “new person node” that can be tapped to add a new person to your tree. The green node at the bottom is the person who is currently selected – the relationships shown in the tree are built around this “focus person.” If you tap on someone else in the tree, their node will turn green and the tree will redraw with them as the new focus person. If you tap on the focus person again, a panel slides out with their personal information. This panel includes hints, life events, family members, photos, and evidence (records).

The viewer shows 2 generations below the focus person (grandchildren) and 3 generations above the focus person (great grandparents). To see more generations above or below the current focus person, simply tap on a person near the top or bottom of the tree.

See the green shaky leaves below? These are hints that may lead to valuable records for that person. If you tap on the leaf itself, you’ll be taken directly to a list of record hints for that person.

Toggling between the Family View and the Pedigree View

The icons in the green rectangle below allow you to toggle between two modes in the tree viewer.

The icon on the left is the Family View that shows siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The icon on the right is the Pedigree View that shows direct ancestors only.

Using filters to sort through people in your family tree

The “3 bar” icon in the top left of the screen opens a list of all the people in your family tree. If you begin typing in the search bar, the list below automatically updates based on what you’re typing. This is very helpful if you are looking for someone specific in a large tree.

In addition, by tapping “All People,” you have access to a variety of useful filters. For example, Direct Ancestors will update the list of people to show only people directly related to the tree’s home person, and the End of Line filter helps you find areas of your tree that need more research.

The bottom two options will show a list of people in your tree that have hints or only those that have received new hints in the last 7 days.

Where was I? Getting back to where you started.

Imagine that you’ve been randomly tapping on people in a very large tree and have gotten lost. We have a couple options for you… One is to hit the back icon. This will take you back in time (by changing the focus person) until you recognize where you are. Additionally, because you’ve read this far into this long blog post, here’s a little secret: tap on the back button and hold your finger down for a couple of seconds. A history menu will pop up that shows you a list of people you’ve looked at, starting with the most recent.

In addition to the back icon, tapping the home icon will take you back to the home person.

Trees, settings, and support

By tapping on the tree name at the top of the screen, you’ll get a menu with 3 options: Family Trees, Account Settings, and Support.

Family Trees shows you a complete list of trees that you have access to based on the username you signed in with. The tree currently displayed in the app is noted with a checkmark. Trees that have been downloaded to the app have an arrow in a green circle next to them. Tapping this circle allows you to change settings for that specific tree, including privacy, notifications, home person, and the ability to designate who you are in the tree so that the app can show you how you’re related to anyone in the tree. If you want to see a tree that hasn’t been downloaded, just tap it. We’ve worked hard to speed up the tree download, so unless you have a super giant tree, it shouldn’t take too long.

Account Settings allows you to see your membership information, displays your user name, and allows you to log out. If you do not have a membership, you can access membership options via the app by tapping here.

Support allows you to send us a suggestion, email our support personnel, or call our amazing folks in Member Services.

Well that about covers it. We really hope you enjoy the new app. We’ve worked hard to provide a great family history experience for the ever-growing number of customers with mobile devices.

Spend some time getting familiar with the new version and then let us know what you think…  What do you like about the new app? What new features would you like to see next?

Thanks for your support!

-The Ancestry Mobile Team

Don’t have an Apple iOS device?  Don’t worry, we have an Android app as well.

For more information, or to download either the iOS or Android app, visit

]]> 47 App Featured on Apple’s App Store Wed, 28 Dec 2011 20:18:07 +0000 Nick Cifuentes Read more]]> The app was just showcased on Apple’s App Store Facebook page! We are excited and honored to receive such recognition from Apple. The latest version of the app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has been extensively updated. It now features Ancestry Hints – clues that make finding genealogy records for your ancestors quick and easy.

The app has been extremely well received. Since our first version, we’ve had over 2 million downloads, and our current version carries a very high customer rating (just shy of 5 stars) in the App Store. Download the app here to build your family tree and take it with your wherever you go!

Thanks to our great customers, to Apple, and to the hard-working folks here at that made this possible!

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