Posted by Duff Wilson on December 21, 2012 in Mobile, Website

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.



  1. Mike

    Thanks much for adding a Windows 8 App! I’m very happy to hve it on my Microsoft Surface as well.

    I hope that you’ll eventually have a Pedigree tree view as well – like on Android and iOS.

  2. don

    @ David from the start screen hit Windows key + Q and pick store and then type ancestry into the search box – mine showed 3 results with the ancestry app being the first. Now, if I can just figure out how to use it, I’m stuck on a blank tree page.

  3. Jeff Jahn

    I installed it but after the first update to it, it wont show dates anymore just part of the location. Did something change?

  4. Ron Warness

    I am running Win7 and just got a copy of Win8 pro UPGRADE. Anything special I should know before I upgrade this pc and then get your new app? I do have FTM12 installed here.

    I do have another pc already running with the Win8 upgrade. I use that sometimes as it is hooked up to my large screen tv. I do not have FTM installed on that. Can I install the App on that one and use this pc without going to W8?

  5. Duff Wilson

    Thank you for your comments. I’ll try to address as many questions as I can.

    Windows Phone 8—Windows Phone 8 is not currently supported.

    Mac Support—This app is specifically designed only for the Windows 8 platform.

    Future Updates—We do plan to update this application in the future to support the top requested needs from our users.

    Family Tree Maker—Ancestry for Window 8 is completely separate from Family Tree Maker, and is intended to provide an interesting and attractive way to experience, view, and show your online tree from Ancestry on your desktop. The Ancestry app for Windows 8 does not supersede or replace Family Tree Maker. Family Tree Maker (which is also compatible with Windows 8) is a full-featured desktop family tree building application for building your tree on your desktop and optionally syncing it with your online Ancestry tree.

  6. Joe Healy

    Thanks for the win8 version. I have it on Samsung slate and a couple other machines. For those wondering about ftm on win8, it runs fine in desktop mode, aka not on any “RT” devices. I’d love a windows phone version. OR some open read only apis and I could write my own wp8 apps!

  7. Pat Wright

    I have been using Family Tree Maker for many years and have the 2011 version on an older computer that I just replace. The new computer is running Windows 8, will my previous version of FTM work with 8 should I purchase the new 2013 FTM program? Duff your post is interesting. The only place I have seen FTM 2013 to purchase is through Any comments or advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  8. Linda

    I want to download this app, but I cannot find where to go to do this this. I followed the url which MC shared (thank you!), however once there and I click the “View In Windows Store” box, nothing happens.:/ Can some one please direct me??

  9. Billy

    When will Ancestry get on board and release an app for Windows Phone? I loved my Ancestry app when I had an Android phone, but I am willing to switch genealogy sites before giving up my windows phone. Hope it is coming soon!!!

  10. chris blanchette

    Is there a windows 8 phone app in the works. I would love to have that app. So another big vote for that app

  11. Amy

    How do you select another family tree in the Windows 8 app? It has a guest tree that I am able to view but not my own tree. I can not seem to find a way to change this. Thanks, Amy

  12. James Bertram

    So why does Ancestry continue to put out upgrades to iOS but doesn’t put forth any effort to create an app for WP8? Looking at market share and Windows Phones have increased from 6% to 10%. No it isn’t Android or iOS, but it still deserves an app.

  13. Jeremy

    The Ancestry app is beautifully designed. However, the lack of a structured tree view is disappointing and its absence almost makes the entire application useless.

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