Changes in the Trees

Family Tree Site 3-7-07.bmpThose of you who have been to Ancestry in the past day or so may be wondering what happened to the Trees tab. Well, there have been some enhancements to the trees and they are now more than just a tree–they are Family History Sites and they’ve moved to the My Ancestry tab.

In addition, when you enter your family history site, you leave the standard Ancestry navigation tool bar. This is nice since it opens the space up for more of your family history, and there are still smaller links at the very top of the page so that you can easily bounce back to other sections of

Another recent upgrade makes it easier to merge records from to your family tree. It’s now easier to replace old information with the new information from the record, and to give better options for how the information is sourced and how it creates (or doesn’t create) alternate facts within your family tree.

It’s also easier to navigate through photos you’ve added. If you have more than four photos for a person or a tree, the new photo display wraps them into a tool that allows for fast scrolling and a nice description when your mouse hovers over the image.

For more information on these changes, see the Member Trees Tutorial.

16 thoughts on “Changes in the Trees

  1. I work on a Mac. The new timeline looks sloppy with 3 or 4 events marching across the page. The old appearance was elegant and now my page looks messy. There also seems to be a lot more advertising on the page.

  2. I personally like the additions. I think it would be great if there was a “merge people” feature. I was merging with WFT, and somehow ended up with several people repeated!


  4. The new person page looks nice in the new color. I would like to see (as in the old) all the verifications that I have for each person listed. When you come up with a blinking leaf it is so handy to see if I have it already.
    Also DUMP the ads they clutter up and degrade……..Always thot Ancestry had a “class act” but the ads leave another impression……..A “Singles” ad!!!!!!!!

  5. Once again, you’ve anticipated a lot of our needs and created a very friendly place to continue our work! Thank you! I especially like the way we can add source material. The new side by side panels not only shows the differences between what we have and what’s on the source material – but you can also make changes to the tree material at the same time. Very nice, indeed.
    I would also like to see a merge feature – but understand how complex that would be. At this point, I’m doing a lot of work in the 1000 – 1300’s and there are very few records outside of the Millenium files. Because some of our families who emigrated to the New World seemed to be connected in that time, I have a lot of “duplicate” names and would love to figure out how to “consolidate” them.
    All things in good time!
    Thanks for all you do!

  6. The only problem I have with the changes is how the display of attached records from Ancestry and other non-ancestry records are displayed. The Ancestry records are listed under the event as source records. The non-ancestry records create ‘source citations’ and are not viewable as ‘sources’ with the event. The source citations are viewable by a ‘see source citations’ selection in the lower right hand corner of the screen. These source citations are valid and should be listed with the event. I have included a lot of valuable data in the actual text of these citations (i.e. translations of vital records from foreign countries, obituaries, etc) and want this info to be viewed with the event. My worry is that invited guests who are not familiar with genealogy may not know the difference between a ‘source’ and a ‘source citation’ and only look at sources listed under an event, missing a valuable resource record. In fact, with this change, I had a moment of panic when I thought my source records were lost! I had to search and found they were recorded not as sources, but source citations only.

  7. I would like to second the request for a merge people feature. I have often gotten tangled up with duplicates that are difficult to remove with being sure where all they are referenced.

    Also, I wish there was a way to unlink people from each other in the event that a link was made in error. Am I missing this feature?

    It seems there may be some display problems with the positioning of page elements on Mac-based browsers, particularly the timeline has gone haywire (perhaps an issue with not setting these entries to ‘block’ formatting in the style sheet), but overall I like the visual direction of the site.

    And it still seems to function well. It’s tricky making everyone happy and folks wl use the site in different ways. I personally liked the ability to FIND RECORDS with a single click rather than clicking to ADD TO THIS PAGE and the clicking SOURCE in the menu list. Again this is just my preference.

    It is very different than when I signed on only months ago. Thanks for your continued improvements and sensitivity to researcher needs and suggestions for further enhancement.

  8. I have been away from the computer and for several weeks and all I can say is “WOW” The ‘people view’ is just excellent, all of the information I need is on one page and if I see something that needs to be added or in in error it is all very easily corrected.

    I started my genealogy research in 1972, and back then my goal was to publish in hard copy! With today’s Internet and sites like this, this is the only way to publish, easy to update, much larger audience, and as long has “we” have power it should run forever.

    Best of luck to ALL researchers, may you find that “one” elusive ancestor!

  9. Like many other subscribers, I too have found the new look appealing, but also found some areas where I preferred the old way.

    One major irritant no one else has mentioned yet is the photo section being placed at the top of the timeline. It was better at the bottom since the timeline is the main entree and the photos, if any, are the dessert! I am slowly adding photos, but for the majority of my ancestors there are no photos, in part because they lived well before the age of photography or before it was available to the general population.

    Please put the photos back on the bottom!

  10. Thanks for making the family tree section so much easier to use. My special favorite is the ability to add source information to the EVENTS section.

    But I do agree with Alyce Duarte that “These source citations are valid and should be listed with the event.” I started my trees with data (it’s sure fun!) and plan to add other sources that should be shown in the EVENTS section. I’ve been using that section to help plan my next research step so I need to see all my information.

    Keep up the good work, both in the family tree section and in the records.


  11. I agree with 3 comments above:
    Please move the Photo section below the facts and events. Photos are excellent “frosting” but the “cake” is in the detais about the ancestor.

    Source citations do need to be linked to the event. Finding new information on another person’s collection has not been sourced degrades the value of the find. Having to check all the source citations slows the process and can be missed. In some cases, citations would not be found by other researchers since the details are often not located in any library or museum.

    Loading a family collection here is far more satisfying that working toward a published book. Information grows here while published books leave so many threads hanging. I am enjoying returning to a hobby discarded 10 years ago!

  12. Why does my desired “Exact match” not stay checked when I leaver the website and return? It used to.

  13. Thanks to those of you who seconded my feeling regarding the display of source citations. These are valuable, well-researched sources and should be included with the event.

    I do have one more thing I would like to see for sources which I have submitted thru Feedback, but I would like to see if anyone else has this problem. Currently, a source can only be added for limited events. Depending on the record, these are generally birth, death, marriage and residence. I have changed all the ‘Census’ events I uploaded from my PC application to ‘Residence’ as I attached the census record – it does seem like a better description of the event (Residence with a census record as the source). However, I have a problem with passenger lists because I referred to these events as ‘Immigration’. However, Ancestry defines the events of ‘Departure’, ‘Arrival’ and, if the data is there, ‘Origin’ and ‘Destination’ for these records. I would like the option of selecting another event name, such as ‘Immigration’ where I can handle documentation of the 4 above Ancestry named events. I suppose I could change all of my ‘Immigration’ events to ‘Arrival’, but I really would rather record them as ‘Immigration’. To do this now, I have to add passenger list as a source for ‘Name’, so that the record remains attached when I remove the events Departure, Arrival, Origin and Destination (These events are being added even if I uncheck add as source). I then have to create a source citation for the Immigration event and we know what happens to source citations.

    I agree with moving the Photos further down the page. The timeline is generally what someone would be interested in the majority of time.

    I did notice that the ‘Family View’ is no longer available. It was nice to have when you wanted to view data for an entire family – and it was what Ancestry touted as the closest thing to a report that could be printed.

  14. To search the trees, go to the Ancestry home page and select the Family Trees tab, which is located just above the search box. That will allow you to search only the trees.


  15. I have a small private genealogy website and would like to insert a link to my new family tree at for those interested in seeing a full version of my family tree with photos, records, and notes on my entire family. I realize that it is necessary for a first time visitor to first register at to be able to view my family tree, but then, after they log in, is it possible to link visitors DIRECTLY to my new family tree at without them having to select the Family Trees tab and to search all the other trees first? I tried it out and set a link directly to my family tree site, and after logging in visitors get to my tree right away and can see ALL the information, but this way they can also see information on living individuals and even edit my tree which of course I DON’T want. What I want is to put a link from my private website directly to my family tree at (saying that if they log in for the first time they have to first register at, so that visitors can see all the information, photos, and records I have, but they should not be able to see information on living individuals and of course not be able to edit my family tree. Any comments or suggestions how I can solve this problem are very much appreciated. Ute

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