Posted by Ancestry Team on February 12, 2008 in Website

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:

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Select layout:

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Choose tree and person:

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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.”

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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.

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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).

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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.

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


  1. Rob

    It would be much easier to do this way:

    One page chart for 5 generations of ancestors. At each fifth generation ancestor at the end of the one page chart, that every 5th gen. ancestor would have an icon that would generate another one-page chart of 4 generations of his or her ancestors. And so onward…

  2. Anja

    I would like to know whether there is a plan on when the 100-page limit for the books will be taken off. I would love to include all my information in the book and it looks like it will be tough to do on 100 pages. I love ancestrypress, it is great to create a book and you guys are doing an outstanding job on this!

    All the best!


  3. Bruce

    I love what I have been able to do with Ancestry and my family, but my tree is so huge and have so many pictures already downloaded, I need more than 100 pages, also we need to see siblings of parents to go to the next Level. Still you guys are great!

  4. Phil

    I found myself coming up to 92 pages, so I made some blank pages to see if it would let me make some more pages. I got to 101, so I assume the limit is no more!

  5. Stefanie Condie

    Phil, you can create as many pages as you want in the electronic version of your book, but if you order a professionally printed book through AncestryPress, only the first 100 pages will be included. We are trying to figure out the best way to raise the page limit without compromising the quality of the binding. I’ll keep you posted.

  6. Stephanie

    Shouldn’t there be more options for fonts. Like Times Roman for example. I also would like symbols and glyphs support for vietnamese.

  7. I will be working on a book in the very near future, but I probably will exceed the 100 page limit. I am right along with everyone else with this. If I do exceed the limit, I suppose I can start another book where I left off? I have to assume that I can, and with a new grandchild in the picture, I don’t want to leave anything out!

  8. Stefanie Condie

    Glynis, you’ll need to set the second book up as a new project. Currently it isn’t possible to split a book into two books, but if there are pages in book #1 that you want to use in book #2, you can make a copy of book #1 and then delete the pages you don’t want.

  9. Jerry Booz

    Just “upgraded” from FTW 200 to 2008. I had a book of over 750 pages in the old version and wanted to do a fairly major editing upgrade but find that the book feature is now gone and replaced with this 100 page mini book. Are there any plans for improving this feature to at least come close to the capabilities of the 2005 version?

  10. Laurie A. Barthlow

    The new features in Ancestry Press are wonderful – keep those backgrounds and embellishments coming! – but I really need more than 100 pages! Can you tell me how close we are to having that restriction lifted?

  11. Peter

    This works if you are trying to only easily add more direct ancestors of somebody. Not so good for adding collateral lines.

    It’s not ancestors I want to see though. I want to see descendents of my great-great-grandparents. I’m trying to make a book for all my cousins, not an individual book for each one.

    I could add in group sheets by hand for each couple. Adding in ancestor charts doesn’t really help. I end up with litterally dozens of almost the same chart, one for each great grandkid showing their parents and their children.

  12. Scott

    I agree Peter. The system is broken. I can add my wife her grandparents and great grandparents, but none of their kids. We are trying to build a tree with many branches, not one big trunk.

  13. chasity

    i am very greatfull for this site it is a easy place to log all the new info that i learn about my family as i receive it i have lost both my parents and am having a hard time learning about my family, but what i am learning i am able to log here so that i may one day create my own book , but it doesnt let you log all generations its limited to 5 is there a way to log more that 5 generation

  14. bob

    I agree with the unhappy people. 100 page limit and only a direct line of ancestors is not what we want. In addition, after talking with the tech assistant, I find that my copy of the program does not do some of the things that she believes it should. She could find no reason for the defects. This program is much like the autos of the 70’s, rushed to production without amy quality control.

  15. Marilyn Hartin

    Sometimes when wanting to re-read what I had already posted under “Personal Notes” the data is not there. What happened to it? Where is it?

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