We hear from our members all the time that some of their most meaningful family history experiences have come from connecting with another Ancestry.com member who has rich information about one of their ancestors. That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of Member Connect, a new feature that will make it easier than ever before to discover and collaborate with other members who are researching the same ancestors you are.
Millions of people research their family history on Ancestry.com and odds are that some of them are researching the same people as you. Member Connect is designed to help you learn about those members, share your discoveries together, and stay up to date on the research they are doing on your shared ancestors.
You’ll find elements of Member Connect throughout Ancestry.com, including within your family tree, while viewing census images and other historical records, and in a list of recent research activity about your ancestors on your homepage.
Where you’ll notice Member Connect
Viewing Historical Records
When you find a historical record for one of your ancestors, you’ll also be able to see who else has saved the record or made comments or corrections to it. This is part of our new enhanced image page, which is launching today on a few of our census collections and expanding to other collections in the future. See an example of a record on the new image page.
Your Family Tree
If you have a family tree on Ancestry.com, we’ll show you who else potentially has your ancestor in their public member tree. You can choose who you connect with, and when you connect you can compare the information in their tree with yours, contact the other member, update your tree with new discoveries, and be notified about new information they find about your shared ancestor.
“Recent Activity” Lists
On profile pages in your tree you’ll have a Recent Activity list showing all of the public research being done on Ancestry.com that relates to your specific ancestor. On your homepage, the Collaborate tab, and the Recent Member Connect Activity page you’ll find a full list of all of the site activity related to your ancestors, including activity around records you have saved, corrected, or commented on as well as activity from connections made in your family tree. We’re working on additional options to filter this list, but in the meantime if you find that your list is too full we suggest just checking the Recent Activity list on the profile pages for specific ancestors in your tree that you’re interested in.
We respect your privacy
Your privacy is very important to us. You can review or modify your member activity privacy settings at any time. These settings determine what you share in the recent activity lists and the Member Connect section on the new enhanced image page.
Please note: In most cases Member Connect does not share more information about your research than what is already publicly available on Ancestry.com. The main exception is when historical records, photos, and stories are saved to your private member tree. Depending upon your privacy settings we may let other members know general information about this activity, but they will be unable to view the actual tree or information in that tree without being invited by the tree owner.
We want to continue to make Member Connect better
As you begin using Member Connect, please send us your feedback by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your feedback will help us continue to improve this new feature and make it even more useful for you.
Interested in learning more?
We’ve created a page describing Member Connect that includes three short video tutorials. Just click here to visit the page.
I also hope to make additional blog posts later in the week with a bit more details about the different elements of Member Connect.
Finally, we’ll be conducting a one-hour online presentation about Member Connect on August 17th. We’ll show you where to find the new features and how to use them to discover even more about your family story. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Click here to learn more and register.
We are very excited about Member Connect and hope that it will help you make new valuable connections and discoveries in your family history research.