Posted by Ancestry Team on October 4, 2007 in Website

I’m happy to report that we have some very talented designers working on creating additional templates on a variety of themes. We’ll be adding those as they become available over the next couple of months. Pat, your timing is perfect. When I read your first post I had just come out of a meeting with my boss — whose dad served in the Korean War — and we were talking about asking for more military templates focused on specific wars and time periods.

Regarding flags and other images, I was working on my own family history book last night and I found a lot of great stuff on Google. I just did a regular Google search and then clicked on the “Images” link at the top of the search results page. NOTE: My friends in the legal department would like me to remind you to please use images that you find on the web responsibly. While some of the images that you find on Google are in the public domain, many do have copyright restrictions.

I also found a couple of gorgeous photochrome prints of Dresden, Germany (my mom’s hometown) on, which is a good place to start if you’re looking for historical photos, postcards and maps — plus you don’t have to worry about copyright issue if you’re using content from Ancestry. Once you’ve downloaded images from Ancestry, you can upload several of them at once to AncestryPress (as long as they’re all in the same folder).

We’ll be adding more fonts and embellishments, but you can also create your own embellishments if you’re looking for something specific. For example, I have an old postcard with the word “Dresden” in a thick Gothic font. I cropped out the rest of the postcard and just used the “Dresden” part on a page with some historical photos of the city (we actually do have a Gothic font on AncestryPress, but I liked the effect of my homemade embellishment). Eventually we’re going to have a concept gallery where people can post pages that they’re particularly proud of, so you’ll be able to see what other folks in the community have come up with and share your own design ideas with them.

The collaboration tools that A. Gilmour asked about are coming soon, but I want to confirm the timing before I put something in writing — I’ll get back to you on that. I love the DVD with music idea. I’ll add it to the wish list. Thanks for all the suggestions…please keep them coming!

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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 For current information about products and features, please see my more recent blog posts.


  1. Angela Gilmour

    Thanks for all the infomation! I’m a scrapbooker so its good to know I can add my own embellishments! I also wanted to know how you highlight sections of the census? Oh, and you mentioned there are maps on How do I find those? (did I mention I’m new:)

  2. Pat Blanchard

    So glad to hear about all the plans for future goodies! One teeny complaint … I put in a request to “Feedback” with regard to Adobe Flash. It’s been making my life miserable for two days now with freezing up the project and causing problems on photo download and dragging the photos onto project pages. This sort of thing happened early on with the Beta version, so I guess it will have to be fixed again. Thought I’d let you know, as well as the “Feedback” folks. Thanks for all your hard work. Am looking forward to the Web “class” on November 1st.

  3. Pat Blanchard

    I had forgotten that I have Passage Express with a Simply Vintage add-on. I am experimenting with altering photos with different frames,embellishments and backgrounds,then bringing those into my project. It’s producing some really interesting results. I haven’t used Passage Express in a long time, so it’s slow going right now; but I just wanted to let you know that this might be an additional avenue for creative additions to our Ancestry Press projects.

  4. Lawrence

    With respect to the DVD idea—which is a good one, I think—you might consider a DVD label and insert routine, too, that can be downloaded and printed on a user’s printer. Many programs provide this capability, but you could contribute things like background images related to genealogy.

  5. Laurie Gilliard

    Here is an idea! It would be absolutely INCREDIBLE if we could make a book dedicated to a particular individual in our family tree. For instance, if I click on my granddaughters name and then click on “Make Personalized Book” (or whatever you want to call it) it would create a book that would go something like this. “My name is ‘Jane Doe’ and I was born on ‘preferred date’ in ‘preferred state/country’ to ‘said parents’. My grandparents are/were ‘John & Jill Doe’ and they are/were from ‘said/preferred state/country etc.” It could generate the information using preferred facts with options to add/remove facts, individuals, generations and photos/media. I’d like to have the option to either use the notes we already have entered on individuals OR be able to enter new notes for that particular page/person. Add in a graphical family tree, cool scrapbook embellishments, nifty heritage type design and fonts for Surnames and you got yourself a masterpiece! Also have a dedication/author page, index at the end of the book with each individuals name, maybe even with or by generation #. Include spell check, of course, and date of print/creation. Preview Book, Upload, Order! How cool would that be? Damn, I should have been a software designer… but, since I’m not, I KNOW you guys can do this! Looking forward to it!
    ~Laurie Gilliard

  6. Joan Hanlon

    Are there any plans to have something similar to a family group sheet? They are pretty helpful in grouping people with the family, so you get a good all around summary of a person. I tried to play around with creating one in the custom report but couldn’t quite pull it off.
    p.s. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! Already created a couple of books and it has made me go back and add a lot of stuff to my member tree that I want to include in the “final” book. Thank you!

  7. Jeff Jahn

    One thing I started working on was a project using blank pages. Basicly its a family year in review photo book that i can send to family and friends. Of coarse their is many other companies you can do it with out their right now, but with the special price ancestrypress has them beat.

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