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Genealogy & Family History
The MyTrees.com Genealogy and Family History Center Explore the MyTrees.com Forum for your ancestors!

 

Genealogy & Family History
My Family Tree FAQ
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My Family Tree
Frequently Asked Questions

Topics

If your My Family Tree question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
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Getting Started Return to Topics
Editing Your Family Tree Return to Topics
Navigating My Family Tree Return to Topics
Appending GEDCOMs Return to Topics
Match/Merge Return to Topics
Family Access Return to Topics
Printing Return to Topics
Remake Index Return to Topics
Family Time Line Return to Topics
Family Map Return to Topics

Getting Started


What is My Family Tree?

My Family Tree is a free online genealogy program that you can use to create, edit, and share your family tree. Because it runs entirely over the internet, there is no software for you to download or install on your own computer. Your family tree will be stored on our servers and you can access it at any time simply by logging into your account.

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How do I create a new My Family Tree file?

Follow these steps to create a new file (start a new family tree):

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com and click "My Family Tree / Manage Tree" in the main menu bar.
  2. Login to your account. If you do not already have an account with us, you can click Register at the top right of this page. If you do not wish to search out your ancestry on our site, then select the "My Family Tree access only - free account". However, we recommend a subscription account, so that you can search our database to find more family names to add to your family tree.
  3. You should now be taken to the File Selection page. Enter a title for your new family tree. This title is for your own use only. No one else will see it. It should be something unique to help you distinguish this file from others you may create in the future.
  4. Click the button
  5. A new file will then be created and you will be taken to a screen where you can begin entering information on your family. We do suggest that you begin with yourself. If you are married and/or have children you should list yourself as a parent of this first family. If not, list yourself as a child of your parent's family.

    You will notice that there is a Browse link next to each entry on this screen. You can ignore that link for now. Later on, it will allow you to browse the index of your file in order to connect an already existing record to a new family. However, since you are just starting your file, there are no records in your index at this time.

    At the top of the page, there is a button. If you click this button, no information will be saved for this family. You will be taken to an empty pedigree chart. You should use this button only if you do not wish to actually start entering information at this time. Otherwise, you can create your first family record by continuing to follow the below steps.

  6. Begin by entering the last, first, and middle names of the parents for this family. Again, if you are married and/or have children, you should list yourself as a parent. Otherwise, list your parents in these spaces. The mother should be listed under her maiden name.
  7. Next, begin by entering the names of any children born to these parents. Child 1 should be the oldest child. You can enter up to ten children from this screen. Additional children can be added to the family later. Women should always be listed under their maiden names.
  8. When you have finished entering the children's names, click the button to save this information to your file.
You will now be taken to a pedigree chart, where you will see the information you have just entered for your family. You will notice that here at My Family Tree we use a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, instead of a single individual, is listed in each place.

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What information will I see on my pedigree chart?

Here is a brief description of each feature you will see on your My Family Tree pedigree chart:

  • Toolbar - The first thing you will see when you are viewing your pedigree chart is a toolbar. Each icon on the toolbar allows you to use a different feature of the My Family Tree program. You can see an explanation of what each icon is for by clicking the button on the right of the toolbar or by clicking here.
  • File name and title - Directly below the toolbar you will see the name and title of your file. The file name is a series of numbers and letters. In the example to the right, the file name is "az000048." This file name is what your family tree will be called in our database.

    The title is what you have chosen to call your family tree. In the example to the right, the file title is "My Family Tree." The title is for your use only and allows you to tell your files apart, should you wish to create or upload multiple files.

  • Reset - Below the toolbar and to the right, you will see the "Reset" link. Clicking on this link will return you to the first family listed in your file or to a family that you have selected as the default reset point.
  • FAQ - To the right of the Reset link, you will see a link to this Frequently Asked Questions page. This link allows you to easily access these questions, should you need assistance while working on your file.
  • Pedigree chart - Next you will see your pedigree chart itself. You will notice that My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart with which you may be familiar. A family pedigree chart shows an entire family, rather than a single individual, in each position. In the example to the right, you will see that the family of John and Jane Doe is listed in the first position. Up to three generations can be shown on the screen at one time. Below we will discuss each element of the family pedigree chart.

  • Family group - In each position on the pedigree chart, you will see a family group. The names of the parents of this family will be displayed, along with their birth and marriage years and places. The links and icons in the family group allow you to view and edit information on the family, as well as individual family members.

    • Husband/Wife first name - Clicking the husband or wife's first name will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for the husband of our sample family. Clicking the "Edit John" link will allow you to edit the husband's individual record.

      Next, you will see links that allow you to choose which spouse appears on the pedigree chart. John was married twice. He is currently being displayed with Jane on the pedigree chart. If you would like him to be displayed with his second wife, you would click the "Display John with Mary Brown" link.

      The last option on this edit menu allows you to add a new spouse for John.

    • Surname - Clicking the family's surname (last name) will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for our sample family. Clicking the "Edit Doe Family" link will take you to the couple's family group record, where you can edit information on their marriage and children.

      Next, you will see a "Family Time Line" option. Clicking this link will bring up a time line of important life events for each member of this family group (husband, wife, and children). The time line will appear in a small pop-up window. For further information about the Family Time Line, see What is a family time line?.

      Next, you will see a "Family Map" option. Clicking this link will bring up a Google Map of the world. The location of vital life events (including birth, marriage, and death) for each member of the selected family will be marked on the map. For more information about the Family Map, see What is a family map?.

      The final option in the Edit Family menu reads "Set family as default for "Reset." If you click this option, this family group will become the default reset point in your family tree. Whenever you click the "Reset" link that appears in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

    • - You can click this tree icon to reset your pedigree chart with that family listed in the first position. If the family is already showing in the first position, no change will be made.
    • - The couple icon allows you to reset your pedigree chart so that a married child of the current family is listed in the first position with his/her spouse. When you click the icon, a Display Married Children menu will appear, listing each child of the current family who has a spouse. In the example to the right, clicking the "Display Johnny & Ann Doe" link would cause the pedigree chart to reset with Johnny and Ann in the first position.
    • - Clicking the children icon will bring up an Edit Children menu. From this menu you can go to each child's individual record by clicking their name. You can also use the "Add new child" link to add additional children to the family.

    • - The DC icon allows you to view a Dynamic Descendancy Chart. This chart allows you to view all of the descendants included in the file for the parents of the family. You can click the name of any descendant listed in the file to view his/her individual record, or the name of a descendant's spouse to view their family group record.

  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has not yet been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Not Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Completed.
  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Not Completed.
  • Add the Parents of - This link will appear in any empty position of your pedigree chart. It allows you to extend your family tree by adding the next generation. Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can enter the names of the individual's parents and siblings.

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What is an individual record?

An individual record contains information that pertains to a specific individual contained in your file. This information includes vital statistics, such as birth and death dates and places, spouse(s), and notes. There are several ways you can get to an individual record. First, you can click the person's first name from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Person icon from the toolbar to search for them. Third, you can use the List People icon from the toolbar to select the individual from a list of every name contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the person's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. From there, you can edit their full name, gender, and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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What is a family group record?

A family group record contains information that pertains to an entire family. This information includes marriage details for the parents and the names and birth order of the children. There are several ways you can get a family group record. First, you can click the family's surname (last name) from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Family icon from the toolbar to search for the family. Third, you can click the List Families icon from the toolbar to select the family from a list all of the families contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the family's name, you will be taken to their family group editing screen. On this screen, you will be able to edit or add information relating to the marriage of the parents. You can add or remove a parent and add dates and places for their marriage and divorce, if applicable. You can use the icons in the toolbar to add children, notes, or pictures to the family. Any notes or pictures added here should relate to the entire family. Notes or pictures relating to a specific family member can be added to that person's individual record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How do I add a spouse to an individual

Follow these steps to add a spouse:

  1. Bring up the person's individual record. If they are currently being displayed on your pedigree chart, you can do this by clicking their first name and then the "Edit [First Name]" link. If not, you can locate them by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This will bring up a list of every name contained in your file. Locate the individual and click their name.
  2. Once you are viewing the person's individual record, click the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will bring you to the spouse editing screen. There are two ways you can add a spouse. First, you can add a new spouse who is not currently listed in your file. Select the "Add new spouse" option and enter the spouse's first and last name. Then click the button. A new individual record will be created for the spouse, as well as a family group record, showing the individual and new spouse as the father and mother.

    Second, you can attach a spouse who is already listed in your file. If you have previously created an individual record for the spouse and now you just need to create a family group record to show the marriage between the two individuals, click the "Attach spouse" option. Then click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link. This will bring up a search window. Enter the spouse's surname (maiden name for women), locate him/her from the results list, and click his/her name. That should cause his/her record number to be placed in the appropriate field. Then click the button. A family group record will be created, showing the individual and spouse as the mother and father.

Once you have added a spouse, you can go into the family group record to add details about their marriage and any children they had together. Go to the spouse's individual record to add vital information, such as birth and death dates.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add parents to an individual?

Follow these steps to add parents:

  1. The option to add parents appears right on your pedigree chart. First, you need to make sure that the individual is currently being displayed on your pedigree chart. If not, you will need to reset your pedigree. Click the List People icon from the tool bar and then select the name of the individual for whom you wish to add parents. That will take you to their individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon . That will reset your pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family is listed in the first position.
  2. Once the individual is displaying on your pedigree chart, you should see a "Add the Parents of" link in the next position. Click this link to add the individual's parents. (Note: If the individual is being displayed in the third generation on your pedigree chart, the add parents link will not appear. Click the tree icon in the box where the individual is listed. That will reset the pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family will be shown in the first position. The add parents link should then appear.)
  3. Once you have clicked the "Add the Parents of" link you will be taken to a screen where you can create a family record the individual's parents. You will find that the individual will already be listed as a child of this family. The father's surname will also be filled in (you can change it if necessary). Fill in the remaining name spaces for the individual's parents and siblings.
  4. Click the button to create the family record and save the information you have entered.
You will then be taken back to your pedigree chart, where you should now see the newly added parents displayed. You can add dates and other information from there. Click a first name to add details to an individual record. Click the surname to add details to the family group record.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add children to a family?

There are two ways to add children to a family:

  1. First, you can add children directly from your pedigree chart by clicking the children icon from the family group. Click the "Add new child" link. This will create a new individual record and take you directly to the editing screen where you can enter a name and vital information for the new child.

    Once you have finished adding information about that child, save the changes by clicking the button. You will then be taken to an Individual Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the View Tree icon to return to your pedigree chart. You can then add another child following the same steps.

  2. You can also add children from the family group record. Bring up the family group record by clicking the family's surname on your pedigree chart. (If the family is not currently displayed on your pedigree, click the List Families icon to locate them.)

    Once you are viewing the family group record, where you will see information regarding the parents' marriage, click the Children Info icon . This will take you to a children editing screen. From there, you can either add a new child or attach a child who already exists in your file to this family. Click the button to save the changes. You will then be taken to a Family Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the Children Info icon to add another child. You can add information, such as dates and notes, to a child's record by clicking their name from the children editing screen.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I edit my pedigree chart?

You edit your pedigree chart by making changes to individual and family group records (for more information, see What is an individual record? and What is a family group record?). You can access these records using the links and icons on the pedigree chart itself.

  • Individual records - To access an individual record, click the person's first name and then on the "Edit" link. My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, so you will see an entire family listed in each position (for more information see What is a family pedigree chart?). The mother and father's names will be listed directly on the chart. To access the children's records, click the children icon .

    If the individual you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Person icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a person to locate their record. The List People icon will bring up a complete list of all the individual records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on the person's name, you will be taken to an individual editing screen, where you can edit their name and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as spouses, parents, and notes. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

  • Family records - To access a family group record, click the family's surname. If the family you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Family icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a family to locate their record. The List Families icon will bring up a complete list of all the family records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on a family's surname, you will be taken to a family editing screen. From there you can edit information regarding the mother and father and their marriage. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as children and notes. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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Why can't I see all family members on my pedigree chart?

My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, rather than a single individual, is listed in each place.

The image to the right is an example of a family group as it will be shown on your pedigree chart. You will note that the father and mother's names are shown as links, as is the family's surname. You can access the parents' individual records by clicking their first names. You can access the family group record (where you can add marriage details and children) by clicking the surname. You can access the children's records by clicking the children icon . That will give you the option to edit any children you have already entered for the family or to add a new child.

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Is My Family Tree a free service?

Yes, My Family Tree is a completely free service. We will never charge you to access or edit your family tree. When you register a Family Password, your family members can also view your family tree for free. There is no limit to the amount of information that can be stored in your file and this information is under your control at all times.

You will need to register an account with us in order to use MyTrees Online, but this account is free. If you have not already done so, you can register now by clicking here.

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Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?

Yes, if you add at least 60 individuals and 15 families to your MyTrees Online file, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription services. Please note that this is a one time offer . You will be given the free month for the first file that reaches the size limit. While you can have as many My Family Tree files as you like, you will not be given additional free time for building more files.

You do not need to do anything to receive this free time. Your account will be automatically credited with the free month once your file has reached the 60 individuals and 15 families limit. (Please note that it may take a couple of hours for the system to register that your file has reached the size limit, so please be patient. You will receive an email when your account has been credited with the free time.) You do not need to upload a GEDCOM of the information. When you use My Family Tree to build your family tree, you are adding the information directly into our site. We already have the it, so you will not need to upload anything to us.

However, if you have previously entered all or some of your family tree into another genealogy program, you are welcome to upload a GEDCOM to us. That can save you the time involved in re-entering the information. You will still receive the free month if you choose to upload a GEDCOM rather than building your file from scratch on My Family Tree. For more information on GEDCOMs, click here.

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Editing Your Family Tree


How do I enter details about a marriage?

Details about a marriage can be edited from the family group record. You can access this record from your pedigree chart or from either spouse's individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. To access the family group record from your pedigree chart, simply click the family's surname.

    If you are viewing the individual record of either spouse, you can access the family group record by clicking the Spouse Info icon . That will take you to a spouse editing screen where you will see any spouse(s) currently listed for the individual. Click the Family Record link listed next to a spouse's name to access that family group record.

  2. You should now be on the family group editing screen. You can add basic details about the marriage (where and when the couple were married and, if applicable, divorced) right on this screen.
  3. When you are done, click the button to save any changes you have made to the record.
You can also add or remove the father or mother of the family from this screen or use the icons in the toolbar to make other changes. The Children Info icon allows you to add new children or edit information about existing children. The Source Notes icon allows you to add notes to the family record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How can I make sure that I have successfully added a spouse to an individual?

Once you have added a new spouse, you should see an Individual Editing Update message, confirming that your update is complete. You can make sure that the spouse was successfully added by clicking the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar. That will return you to the spouse editing screen, where you should now see the new spouse listed.

If you do not see the spouse listed on this page, you will need to try again. Please note that you must have the gender of an individual set before you can add a spouse. You can set an individual's gender by clicking the Vital Info icon from the toolbar.

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How do I add information to a child's record?

Once you have added a child to a family, you can add information about that child by accessing their individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. From your pedigree chart, click the children icon . This will bring up the children editing menu. Click the "Edit [child's name]" link.

    You can also get to the child's individual record by clicking the child's name on the child editing screen (found in the family group record), or by using the Find Person or List People icons to locate them.

  2. Once you have clicked the child's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. >From there, you can add or change the individual's name and vital information.
  3. When you are finished, click the button to save the changes you have made to the record.
You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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Can I add more than one child at a time?

When you are first creating a new family, using the "Add parents of" link from your pedigree chart or the Add Family icon from the toolbar, you can add up to ten children. However, when you are adding more children to a family that already exists in your file, you can only add one child at a time. But you can add as many children to each family as you need.

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How do I attach a child who is already listed in my file to a family?

If you have previously created an individual record for a child and now need to attach that child to his/her parents, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. Select the "Attach child" option.
  4. Click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link.

  5. This will bring up a search form in a small pop-up window. Enter the child's last name and click the SEARCH button.
  6. Locate the child's name from the results list and click it. That should cause the child's Individual Record Number to be placed in the appropriate field.
  7. Select the option that best describes the child's relationship to this set of parents. The options are Natural (meaning these are the child's biological parents), Adopted, Foster, or Other.
  8. Click the button.
The child will then be attached to the family.

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How do I change the birth order of children in a family?

Follow these steps to change the birth order of children in a family:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. You will see a list of all the children currently attached to this family. Select a child who is listed out of order by clicking the circle to the left of his/her name.
  4. Under the "Action for Above Selected Child" area, you will see a "Set child order" field. Enter the number that represents the child's place in the birth order. The oldest child would be 1, the next 2, and so on.
  5. Click the button.
  6. That should take you to a Family Editing Update screen, where you will see a message confirming that your update is complete. To check that the child is now listed in the correct place in the birth order, click the Child Info icon from the toolbar to return to the child editing screen.
The child you selected should now be listed in the correct place in the birth order. If any other children are listed out of order, you can fix them by following the same steps.

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How do I add notes to document my research?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding Source Notes. For questions about History Info, see How do I add historical/biographical information?

  1. To add Source Notes, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as documentation on the individual's birth or death, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as documentation of the marriage date, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the Source Notes icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the source notes editing screen. The first options you will see are the source note tags. These tags help you to organize your notes by information type. For example, to document information regarding an individual's birth you would select BIRTH from the General Tags. That will place "BIRTH:" on the next available line of your notes. You can then add the documentation after the tag.
  5. Once you have selected an appropriate tag for your note, you can enter the note itself in the text area. There are many ways to document your research. You are free to use any documentation method you want.

    If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    You can make notes private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see a button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your notes will look like with any formatting you have included.
  7. The remaining options on this screen are for attaching images to your notes. If you have any images of source documents, such as a birth certificate, you can upload them and attach them to your source notes. For information on uploading pictures see Pictures in MyTrees Online. Once you have uploaded your source image, select it from the "Add New Source Image" scroll box to attach it to this record.
  8. When you finished making changes to the source notes for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add historical/biographical information?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding History Info. For questions about Source Notes, see How do I add notes to document my research?

  1. To add historical or biographical information, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as a journal entry written by the person, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as a description of the wedding or information about where the family lived, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the History Info icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the biography editing screen. The first options you will see have to do with including pictures in your biography. If you have uploaded any pictures of the individual or family, you can add them to the biography.
    • First, select how you would like the picture to be placed in relation to the text. There are four options: inline, left, center, and right. Select the option you would like by clicking the circle to the left of that option.
    • Next, chose the picture from the "Select picture" scroll box. That will place the picture on the next line of your biography. (A picture can be placed anywhere in the biography and you can include as many pictures as you like.)

  5. Below the picture options, you will see the text area, where you can enter the biography or history information. If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    If you have a historical document that is already in HTML format, you can upload it rather than re-entering it here. To do so, return to your pedigree chart and click the Upload Bios icon .

    You can make part of your biography private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see the button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your biography will look like with any formatting and/or pictures you have included.
  7. Next, you will see the button, which will give you some tips on using a few basic HTML tags.
  8. When you finished making changes to the History Info for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add a child to two different sets of parents?

You may have individuals in your file who have two different sets of parents, such as in the case of adoptive families. You can attach a child to two sets of parents by following these steps:

  1. In order to add the child to both sets of parents, you will first need to create both family group records. To create a family group record, click the Add Family icon from the toolbar (this option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart).
  2. This will take you to an Add First Family editing screen. Enter the parents' names, as well as the names of any children not previously entered into your file.
  3. If one or more children of this set of parents has already been entered into your file (either as a spouse or as the child of a different set of parents), click the Browse link.
  4. This will bring up a search form in a pop-up window. Enter the child's surname and click the SEARCH button.
  5. Click the child's name from the search results.
  6. That will automatically place the child's IRIN (Individual Record Number) in the last name field.
  7. When you have finished adding family members, click the button at the bottom of the screen. A family group record will be created for the new family.
If you need to create a family group record for the second set of parents as well, follow steps 2-7 to do so now. The child should then be listed with both sets of parents. You can check by bringing up the child's individual record (either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them). Then click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar. That will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How can I view both families?

Only one set of parents can be shown on your pedigree chart at a time. However, you can see information on both sets of parents from the child's individual record:

  1. To bring up the child's individual record, either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.
  4. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart to display the other set of parents, click the parents' names to go to their family group record. Then click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How do I set one of them to Adoptive Parents?

When a child is added to a family, the relationship to the parents is automatically set as Natural, indicating a biological relationship. If the child's relationship to this set of parents is other than biological, you can indicate that in the record by following these steps:

  1. First, bring up the child's individual record. You can either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. Select the circle to the left of the parents for whom you wish to change the relationship status.
  4. Under "Action for Selected Parents," select the relationship type. There are four choices: Natural, Adoptive, Foster, or Other. (If you select Other, you may wish to include a note in the family group record describing the exact relationship.)
  5. Click the button at the bottom of the screen.
The relationship status for that set of parents will then be updated.

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Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

No. The privacy of living individuals is very important to us here at MyTrees.com. Our site is designed to hide all information on anyone that it can determine to be a living individual. It determines if an individual is still living by dates. First, it looks for a death date. If no death date is listed, then it will look at the birth date. Any individual for whom no death date is listed and who was born within the last 95 years will be considered living. Their information (including their names) will NOT be displayed in the Ancestry Archive.

Please note that if no birth date has been included for the individual, then our site will have no way to determine that they are, in fact, living and their information will be displayed. That is why it is so important to include birth dates for all living individuals.

It is also important to note that information on living individuals will appear both when you view your own file and when family members use the family access login to view your file. However, you control who has your family access password, so you can control who is able to view that information.

If you have any further concerns about protecting the privacy of living individuals, please contact us at

.

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How do I change the title of my file?

The title of your file is what you originally called your file when you created it. Only you will see your title. You can change the title by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to rename from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Type the new title in the "Enter new title for selected family tree" field.
  4. Click the button.

The title of your file will then be changed.

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Navigating My Family Tree


How do I navigate through my pedigree chart?

You can move navigate through your family tree using the tree and DDC icons listed on the pedigree chart.

  • Moving backward in time to see the next generation of ancestors - Click the tree icon in the upper left corner of a family group to reset your pedigree chart so that family will be displayed in the first position. This moves you backward in time through your pedigree chart, so that the next generation or two of ancestors will be shown.
  • Moving forward in time to see the next generation of descendants -
    1. Click the DDC icon in the lower right corner of a family group to view the Dynamic Descendancy Chart.
    2. The DDC will displayed in a smaller pop-up window and will show you a list of all the descendants of the father and mother of that family. Click a descendant's name to be taken to his/her individual record. (If you click the name of a descendant's spouse, you will be taken to their family record.)
    3. From the individual or family record, click the Reset Tree icon .

    Your pedigree chart will now display, showing the family of that descendant in the first position. (Please note that if the descendant does not have a spouse or children listed in your file, they will be shown as a child of their parent's family.) You have moved you forward in time through your pedigree chart, so that you are now viewing later generations of descendants.

  • Returning to the beginning of your file - You can return to the beginning of your file whenever you like by clicking the Reset link found in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. You can also change the default reset point to any family in your tree. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option?.

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What is a Dynamic Descendancy Chart?

A Dynamic Descendancy Chart, sometimes abbreviated DDC, shows you five generations of descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) for a selected couple. You can view the DDC for any couple shown on your pedigree chart by clicking the DDC icon , shown in the lower right corner of their family group. The DDC will be displayed in a smaller pop-up window.

The top line of the DDC will show a folder icon , "Dynamic Descendancy Chart for:", and then the names of the selected couple. The line that goes down from that folder icon will branch off for each of the couple's children. So, in our example to the right, you can see that John and Alice Kendig had sons named John, Isaac, and Henry.

If a child has a family of their own listed in the file (meaning that a spouse and/or children have been added for them), then you will see another folder icon next to their name. John and Henry both have families listed in the file. If a child does not have a family listed in the file, then there will be an end of line icon next to their name. Isaac does not have a family listed in the file.

For any child who has a family listed, you will see their spouse(s) listed below their name. If they have children, the spouse's name will be preceded by a folder icon and the children will be listed below. If they did not have any children with that spouse, then the spouse's name will be preceded by a end of line icon . In our example, John Kendig had two spouses, Anna and Barbara Ann, but there are no children listed with either wife in the file. Henry Kendig had one spouse, Barbara, and there are several children listed in the file.

Each generation of the DDC will continue in the same way for up to five generations. If there is another generation of descendants in that line, you will see the folder icon . If there are no further descendants, you will see the end of line icon .

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How do I see everyone that is listed in my file?

You can view a complete list of all the names contained in your file by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart. The list will display in a smaller, pop-up window.

If you have recently added some names to your file and do not see them listed, click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar. That will update the indexes of your file to include the recent changes. Then click the List People icon again and you should see the new names.

>From this list, you can view a person's individual record by clicking their name. If you would like to view that person on your pedigree chart, click the Reset Tree icon when you are viewing their individual record. That will take you back to the pedigree chart, where that individual's family should be displaying in the first position.

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How can I quickly jump to a specific person in my pedigree chart?

You can easily jump to any point in your file by following these steps:

  1. When you are viewing your pedigree chart, click the List People icon from the toolbar.
  2. This will bring up a complete list of all the names in your file. Click the name of the individual you wish to view.

    (If you have recently added some names to your file and are not seeing the name you wish to view, click the Remake Indexes icon to update your indexes and then try again.)

  3. You will now be taken to that person's individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon .

Your pedigree chart will then re-display with that individual's family in the first position. Please note that if the individual does not have a spouse and/or children listed in the file then they will be displayed as a child of their parent's family.

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How do I return to the beginning of my pedigree chart?

When you are viewing your file, you will find a "Reset" link in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. Simply click this link to be returned to the first family listed in your file. It is also possible to select a different family to be the default reset point. If you have previously done so, you will be taken to that point in your family tree when you click the Reset link. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option? .

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How do I use the Reset option?

The Reset option, found in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, allows you to return to a specific point in your file whenever you like. Unless you select a different family, this will automatically be set as the first family listed in your file. You can return to that first family at any time simply by clicking the "Reset" link. You can select a new family to be the default reset point by following these steps:

  1. Locate the family you wish to be the default reset point in your pedigree chart. If the family is not currently showing on your pedigree chart, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names. This will take you to their family group record. >From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
  2. You should now see the family listed on your pedigree chart. Click the family's surname to bring up the edit menu.
  3. Click the "Set family as default for 'Reset'" link.
That family will then be set as the default reset point. Whenever you click the "Reset" link in the upper right corner of the pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

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I have more than one file. How do I view a different file?

You can switch between files by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Click the button.

You will then be taken to the selected file.

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Appending GEDCOMs


What is an append?

Append means to add a section of a family tree to an existing file. There are two ways to do this. First, if you have a GEDCOM that contains the information you wish to add to your family tree, you can upload it as an append. That will add the information in the GEDCOM to your file. You can then attach the new information to your family tree by completing a Match/Merge. For more information, see How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Second, if you have found the information in another file on our site, you can download that information directly into your file. For information on how to download information from another file, see How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

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How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

If you have found a file on our site that contains information you would like to add to your family tree, you can download up to 6 generations directly to your My Family Tree file as long as you have already received a free month for the file. (For more information, see Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?) If you have not already received your free month, please continue building your file. Once you have received your free month, you can download information from any file on our site by following these steps:

  1. First, if you have more than one file, you will need to make sure that the correct file is selected in your account. The information will automatically download into whichever file you have most recently opened in My Family Tree. If you only have one file, or are sure that the correct file has been selected, continue on to Step 2. To check if the correct file is selected,
    • Click the My Family Tree option from the menu bar at the top of the page.
    • This will take you to My Family Tree. If the file that is displaying is the one that you wish to add the information to, continue to Step 2.
    • If the file that is displaying is not the file you wish to add the new information to, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar to select the correct file. Once the correct file is displaying, continue to Step 2.
  2. Return to the file in the Ancestry Archive and look directly below the pedigree chart to find the download area.
  3. Select the number of generations you wish to download from the scroll box. You can download up to 6 generations at a time. The download will begin with the family currently showing in the first position on the pedigree chart.
  4. Select the MyTrees.com option.
  5. A message will pop-up, telling you that after you have downloaded this information into your file, you should wait 10 minutes and then complete a Match/Merge. Click the OK button.

  6. Click the button.
  7. The information will then be downloaded into your My Family Tree file. You will see a "Download Completed" message when the download has finished.
  8. Wait at least 10 minutes to give the system time to fully process the new information into your file. Then return to My Family Tree and complete a Match/Merge to attach the new information to your family tree.
You are welcome to download information from as many files as you like into your My Family Tree file. However, it is important that you do wait 10 minutes after each download and then complete a Match/Merge. If you complete multiple downloads one right after the other without giving the system time to fully process each download, your file can become corrupted.

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How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Appending a GEDCOM to your My Family Tree file will add the information to your existing family tree. It will not replace and update your entire file. If you would like to update your file by uploading a new GEDCOM, please click here for instructions.

If you would like to add new information to your family tree by appending a GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. If you have more than one file, first make sure that the correct file is displaying. The information in your GEDCOM will be added to whichever file is currently open in My Family Tree. If you want to append the information to a different file, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar and select the correct file.
  2. Once the correct file is displaying, click the Append GEDCOM icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  3. You will then be taken to the append GEDCOM screen. Select whether the GEDCOM was created using a Windows, DOS, or MAC program.
  4. Click the BROWSE button.
  5. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  6. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.
  7. Click the button.
Your GEDCOM will then be appended to the current file. That means that the information from the GEDCOM is now stored in your My Family Tree file. However, the new information is not yet connected to your family tree. You will be prompted to start a Match/Merge , which should link the names from your GEDCOM into your family tree. Click the "Continue" link to start the Match/Merge.

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Why is it so important to run a Match/Mere after appending a GEDCOM?

When you append a GEDCOM, the information from the GEDCOM is added to your My Family Tree file. However, the new branch of names will not be connected to your family tree. It will exist separately in your file and will not be displayed as part of your main pedigree chart. Also, there will most likely be duplication between the information from the GEDCOM and the information that you had in your file previous to the append. Running a Match/Merge will allow you to merge any duplicate records, cleaning up your file and connecting the new branch into your family tree.

For more information about running a Match/Merge, click here.

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I received an email saying that my file was corrupted. What caused this and how can I prevent it from happening again?

File corruption usually happens when too many appends are done in a short period of time. Some of the appended information did not have time to fully process before the next append was started. Also, when multiple appends are done so quickly, time was not taken to merge each piece into the whole tree. This results in the file becoming corrupted and unfixable.

When that happens, the only option is to revert to a previously saved copy of the file. Fortunately, we frequently backup all files stored in our database and are generally able to restore the file to a point before the corruption took place. However, you will then have to redo any changes that were made to the file after that time, including any appends that were done.

You can prevent your file from becoming corrupted in the future by waiting 10 minutes between each append and by completing a Match/Merge after each append. This ensures that each append is fully processed and each new branch is correctly linked into your family tree.

You may also want to consider saving a backup of your file before you begin an append. This will ensure that we do have a current backup, should we need to restore your file later on. You can save a backup of your file in My Family Tree by clicking the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Is there any way to restore my corrupted file?

Yes, it is possible to restore your file to a point before the corruption took place. There is an option in My Family Tree that allows you to save a backup of your file. If you have previously saved a backup, you can restore your file yourself by clicking the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. (This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.) That will restore your file to the backup copy. Assuming that the backup was saved before the corruption took place, that should solve the problem.

If you have not saved a backup of your file in My Family Tree, you can contact us and we will restore your file. We routinely backup all files stored in our database. If you originally uploaded your file as a GEDCOM, we can always restore the original GEDCOM. We may also have more recent backups of your file. If you contact us, we will restore the most recent backup that we have.

While it is possible to restore your file, it is far better to prevent it from being corrupted in the first place. Once your file has been restore, please take measures to prevent corruption in the future.

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Match/Merge


What is a Match/Merge?

Match/Merge is the process of finding duplicate records in your file and merging them, so that there is only one record for each individual. There are two Match/Merge options in My Family Tree:

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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I have the same person listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there are multiple records for the same individual in your file, you will want to merge those duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Person option. You can only merge one pair of records at a time, so if there are more than two duplicate records for one individual, you will need to repeat the process until all the duplicates have been merged. (If there is a lot of duplication in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Branch option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Person icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Individual Match/Merge screen. Here you will see two "Individual Record Number" fields. Each individual record in your file is given a unique number. If you are seeing the same person listed multiple times in your file, it means that two or more individual records have been created for that person.

    If you know the Individual Record Numbers (IRINs) for the duplicate records, you can go ahead and enter those into the fields and then skip to Step 8.

  4. If you do not know the IRINs for the duplicate records, click the "Browse" link next to the first field.
  5. This will bring up a Browse Find Individual Record Number search form in a smaller pop-up window. Enter the last name of the person and click the SEARCH button.
  6. When the results appear, you will see a list of names of people in your file who have that last name. You will notice that each name has a number listed next to it. This is the IRIN for that record. Next to the IRIN, you will see the person's birth date, if you included it in their individual record.

    Locate the first duplicate record and click it. This will return you to the Individual Match/Merge screen and will automatically place the IRIN in the field.

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second Individual Record Number field.
  8. When both IRINs have been entered into the appropriate fields, click the button to merge those records. The page will reload so that you can merge another set of duplicate records.

    If you have entered the IRINs into the fields and then decide that you do not want to merge those two records, click the button. That will clear the form so that you can start over.

  9. When you are done merging records, click the button.

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Many people are listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there is a lot of duplication in your file, you will want to merge the duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Branch option. (If there are only a few duplicate records in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Person option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Branch icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Match/Merge Query Screen. You will see a "Starting surname" field. You have two options on this screen:

    • If you had previously begun a Match/Merge but had to stop before completing the process - The Match/Merge program runs alphabetically by surname. To start where you left off last time, enter the surname you were last working on in the "Starting surname" field. The Match/Merge will begin at that point in your file.
    • If you are starting a new Match/Merge - Leave the "Starting surname" field blank. The Match/Merge will run for your entire file.
  4. If you are ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

    If you are not ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

  5. You will now be shown the first pair of possible record duplicates. For each record, you will see the IRIN (individual record number), name, birth date, birth place, spouses, and parents. Consider all of this information and decide whether or not these two records refer to the same individual.
  6. If both records refer to the same individual, click the MERGE button.

    If the records do not refer to the same individual, click the button.

  7. Once you have clicked Merge or Don't Merge, you will be shown the next pair of records. Continue until you are told that there are no further records to match. The last merge will take a long time because, in addition to merging the two individual records, it will also automatically merge any duplicate family records and rebuild the indexes.

Here are some things to keep in mind when doing a Match/Merge:

  • Take your time when deciding whether or not to merge each record. If you have a lot of duplication in your file, it is tempting to try and get through it as quickly as possible. However, when you do so, it becomes easy to accidentally merge records that are not actually duplicates. Since you can not undo a merge, you will have to fix the record manually. This can be both complicated and time consuming. If you accidentally merge several wrong records you may need to restore your file to the way it was before you began the Match/Merge and then you'll have to start over from the beginning.

    Take time to examine the information from both records and make sure that they really do refer to the same individual. If you're not sure, don't merge the records. Instead, make a note of the record numbers and name. You can always go back and merge them later if you decide they are duplicates.

  • If you need to stop at any time, make a note of which surname you are currently working on and click the button. This will stop the Match/Merge and return you to your pedigree chart. When you are ready to work on the Match/Merge again, you can use the "Starting surname" option to begin where you left off.
  • It is important to complete a Match/Merge. It's okay to stop and come back later if you need to. But make sure that you do come back and finish. When you merge individual records, you can end up with duplicate family group records for the same families. When you complete the Match/Merge process, the program will automatically scan for duplicate family group records and merge them as well. This will be done when you merge the final pair of duplicate individual records.

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What is the difference between the Merge Person and Merge Branch options?

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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How can I check to make sure that the duplicate records have been correctly merged?

If you have completed a Match/Merge and would now like to make sure that the duplication has been corrected, follow these steps:

  1. First, return to your pedigree chart and click the Remake Indexes icon . This will update the indexes of your file.
  2. To make sure that duplicate individual records have been correctly merged, click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each individual listed only once.
  3. To make sure that duplicate family group records have been correctly merged, click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every couple listed in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each couple listed only once.

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I have just Match/Merged an individual. How can I edit his/her record?

Once you have completed your Match/Merge, you can edit the individual record as normal. First, click the Remake Indexes icon . That will update the indexes to include any changes that were made during the Match/Merge. Then go to the person's individual record by clicking his/he name from your pedigree chart. If the name is not currently displayed on the pedigree chart, click the List People icon to select the individual from a list of all the names in your file.

For more information about editing your file, see Getting Started and Editing Your Family Tree .

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I accidentally merged two records that were not duplicates. How can I correct this mistake?

If you made a mistake while merging records, there are two ways that you can correct the problem. The easiest way is to restore your file to a previously saved version. If you used the "Make Backup" option to save your file before starting your Match/Merge, you can restore your file to the backed up copy.

If the mistake only involves one or two records, you may also be able to correct the problem manually. First, locate the record that was incorrectly merged. If you have mistakenly merged two different people into one record, you will probably find that they are now attached to multiple families. They will most likely have more than one set of parents and/or spouses. The easiest way to resolve the problem would be to delete the individual record. That will separate the incorrectly linked families. You can then go back into each family and add both individuals back into your file where they belong.

Fixing problems caused by incorrectly merged records can get complicated. If you can not see how to easily correct the problem, you may want to contact us for assistance. We routinely backup all files that are saved in our database, so even if you did not backup your file, we may have a recent copy saved that we can restore. We may also be able to help you correct the problem. You can email us at

. Remember, we can see your file, so please give us specific details, such as names and record numbers, to help us identify the problem.

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How can I restore the backup I saved before starting my Match/Merge?

If you used the "Make Backup" option in My Family Tree before starting your Match/Merge, you can easily restore your file to that point. First, make sure that that is what you want to do. You can not undo a restore. Once your file has been restored, you will lose any changes you have made since saving the backup. This should only be done if your file has become corrupted and can not easily be fixed any other way.

If you are sure that you want to restore your file, click the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Family Access


What is Family Access?

Family Access allows your family members and friends to view your file without needing to register an account with our site. When they login using your Family Password, they will be able to view your complete file, as well any personal history or family news items you have created in your account.

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How do I create a Family Password?

Follow these steps to create a Family Password:

  1. Select My Account from the menu bar at the top of our page and click the "Set Family Password" link.

  2. This will take you to an Update Personal Information screen. Locate the password area. There are two fields-one for your personal password and one for your family password. Enter a unique family password.
  3. Click the button to save the change.

Please note that your family password should be different than your personal password. In order to protect the personal information stored in your account, you should never give out the password that you use to login. It is, however, safe to give your family password to family and friends in order to allow them to view your family tree.

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Do my family members need to register an account in order to view my tree?

No, your family members and friends do not need to register an account with MyTrees.com in order to view your tree. They can view your tree, as well as any personal history or family news items saved in your account, by logging in with your account number and Family Password.

A Family Password is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a family password, click here.

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How do my family members login to Family Access?

Your family members and friends can actually use the same login screen that you use in order to log into Family Access. However, they will use your account number and Family Password, which is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a Family Password, click here.

Once you have created a Family Password, you can send your family members these instructions to help them log into Family Access (they will need your account number and Family Password):

  1. Go to our homepage at www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "Login" link that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Enter the member's account number and Family Password.
  4. Click the LOGIN NOW button.
  5. This will take you to a File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.

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Will my family members be able to edit or add to my family tree through Family Access?

No. Family Access allows your family members and friends to view, but not edit your family tree. As the submitter, you are the only one who can edit your family tree. This allows you to maintain control of your file at all times. If a family member sees something that needs to be edited in your file, they can let you know so that you can make those changes.

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Will my family members be able to view information on living individuals in my file when they login through Family Access?

Yes. When your family members or friends login through Family Access, they will be able to see information on any living individuals in your file. However, since you control who has your Family Password, you control who sees that information. (For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?)

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Printing


What records can I print from MyTrees Online?

The following types of records can be printed from My Family Tree:

  • Family Pedigree Chart - This is a text version of your family tree.
  • Descendancy Chart - This will list all of the descendants of the couple currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart. It is basically a text version of the Dynamic Descendancy Chart that you can view from your pedigree chart.
  • Birthday Calendar - This will produce a calendar for a specified year, showing the birth dates, including death years for those who are deceased, beginning with the left-hand family of your current family tree display and including their descendants down the specified number of generations.

    After creating your calendar (with or without pictures), use the arrows at the bottom of the currently displayed calendar to select the desired calendar for printing (or use the "View Display" entry with the numbers 1 through 12, representing the months January through December to bring up a calendar for a specific month). Then, use your browser's print capabilities (e.g. "File/Print" as in Firefox) to print that month's Birthday Calendar.

    If you want pictures in your calendar, use the "Birthday Calendar Photo Selection" at the right of the screen to select from standard pictures or upload your own pictures in jpg format. After uploading pictures, you can then proceed to create and print your calendar as described above.

  • Family Group Records - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get a family group record for each family shown on the chart.
  • Index - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get an index of every name shown on the chart.

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What options will I find on the print screen?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar to reach the print options screen. Here is a brief description of each of the options:

  • Select Display Type - This option allows you to select what type of record you would like to print.
  • Generations - Below the Select Display Type option, you will see a scroll box. This allows you to select how many generations you would like to include on your record. You can print out up to forty generations at a time. The print display will begin with the family currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart.
  • Optional records - The next two options are additional records that can be added to your print display. They include Family Group Records and an Index. For more information on these records, click here.
  • Select Font Size - This option allows you to select how large the text will be on your record. The default font size is 3, but you can select 2 or 1 for smaller text and 4 or 5 for larger text.
  • - When you click the Create Display button, your record will be created, using the options you have specified. The record will be displayed in a separate tab or window.
  • Select Page - This option allows you to jump to a specific page in a previously created display. If you have already created a print display and now wish to view a particular page, simply enter the page number in the Select Page field and click the button.

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How can I print out records from MyTrees Online?

To print charts and records from your My Family Tree file, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the print options screen. Select which type of record you would like to print from the Select Display Type options.
  3. Use the scroll box to select how many generations you would like to include in the record. Please note that the record will start with the family currently displayed in the first position. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart so that a different family is listed in the first position, click here for instructions.
  4. If you would also like to print out Family Group Records or an Index, click the box to the left of these options. For a description of these additional records, click here.
  5. Select what font size you would like to use for the record. The default font size is 2. If you would like smaller text, select 1. If you would like larger text, select 3.
  6. When you have finished selecting your print display options, click the button.
  7. The record will then be displayed in a separate window or tab. You will notice that this is a text only version of the record, so that it can easily be printed. To print out a copy of the record, use your browser's print option. This can usually be done by clicking the File menu and selecting Print.
Please note that your record may have more than one page. At the bottom of the page, you will see "Previous Page | Next Page." If your record includes more than one page, the "Next Page" statement will be a link. If you selected the option to include Family Group Records and/or an Index, these records will appear on separate pages.

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Remake Indexes


What does the Remake Indexes icon do?

Clicking the Remake Indexes icon will update the indexes of your file to include any recent changes you may have made. The indexes are automatically updated throughout the day, but you can force an update at any time by clicking this icon. You would want to do this if you have just added a name to your file and are unable to locate it using the Find or List options.

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I just added new names to my family tree, but they aren't showing. What do I do?

Most likely, the problem is simply that your indexes need to be updated to include the new names. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes. Then click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. The new name(s) should now be showing.

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The pedigree chart I was working on disappeared. What do I do?

If you have logged into My Family Tree and your pedigree chart is blank or not showing the family you are interested in, you should reset your pedigree chart. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes to include any recent changes you may have made to your file.
  2. Click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every married couple in your file. Locate the couple you would like to display in the first position of your pedigree chart.
  3. Click the couple's names to be taken to their family group record.
  4. Click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
Your pedigree chart will then display with that family listed in the first position. If you are unable to follow these instructions for any reason, or if your pedigree chart will still not display, please contact us.

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Family Time Line


What is a family time line?

A Family Time Line is a graphic representation of a family unit's important life events (including birth, marriage, and death.) In My Family Tree, a family unit is a husband and wife and any children they may have had. You can open a time line for any family by clicking that family's surname from your pedigree chart and then selecting the "Family Time Line" link. This will open the time line in a separate pop-up window. Here's an example of what a family time line looks like in My Family Tree:

As you can see, each family member (beginning with the parents) is listed by name at the left of the time line. Each column represents a decade, progressing from left to right. Along the time line, vital life events are indicated by the following icons:

  • - Birth
  • - Marriage
  • - Death
When you are done viewing the Time Line, you can close the pop-up window by clicking the "Close X" button in the top right corner.

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How do I view the time line for my ancestor's family?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family time line by clicking on the family's surname. This will bring up an Edit Family menu. From there click the "Family Time Line" link. The time line will then appear in a smaller pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a time line for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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How do I use the time line links?

When you are viewing a time line for a specific family, you can use the following icons to view a time line for the families of either the parents or married children:

  • - If parents have been listed for either spouse currently displayed on your time line, a blue up arrow will appear next to his/her name. Click on this arrow to be taken to the new time line.
  • - When you are viewing a time line, you can click the marriage icon for any child to be taken to the time line for his/her family.
While viewing a time line, you can jump to any family member's individual record by clicking his or her first name. That will cause the individual record to appear in the main window, allowing you to view or edit his/her personal information.

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How can a family time line help my research?

Time lines are an excellent way to keep track of what information you have already gathered about an individual or family, and what information you still need to find. The first rule of genealogical research is to start with what you know, so that you don't end up duplicating research that you already have. The new Family Time Line feature makes it easy for you to see, at a glance, what vital information you still need to find for a specific family.

In addition to pointing out what information you do or do not have about a family, a time line can also point out incongruities in your research. For example, if you look at the sample time line above, you'll notice that the first child, Samuel, is shown as having be born eight years before his parents were married. Since that would make his mother only eleven years old at the time of his birth, we can assume there is some kind of error. In this case, a typo switched his birth year form 1821 (a year after his parents' marriage) to 1812.

Also, if you look at the pattern of childbirth in this family, you will notice a gap of eight years between the third and fourth children. While it is possible that there were simply no children born between those years, it is likely that we are missing a child or two. It would certainly be worth looking into.

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Family Map


What is a family map?

Family Map is a feature that uses the information in your file to display your ancestors' important life events on a current world map. When you are viewing your file in My Family Tree, just click on the surname of any family and select the "Family Map" option. A separate pop-up window will display a Google Map of the world. Vital life events for each member of the selected family will be marked with a special icon.

This is a sample of what you might see on a Family Map:

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How do I view a family map?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family map by clicking on the surname of any family. This will bring up a Edit Family menu. From there, click the "Family Map" link. The family map will appear in a pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a family map for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

Here is a sample family map:

Once your family map is displaying, you can move around and view details using the following navigation icons:

  • Map type: You can select whether to view your Family Map as an illustration or as an actual image taken by satellite.

  • Arrows/mouse: You can move around the map either by using the arrows in the upper left or by clicking and dragging anywhere on the map.

  • Street view: If you grab the icon of the little orange man and drop him somewhere on the map, you will be shown a street view of that location. A fun way to see what your ancestor's hometown looks like today!

  • Zoom: You can zoom in or out by using the slider on the left side of the screen. You may need to zoom in to see all of your event markers.

  • Event marker: Each of these markers indicates a vital life event for at least one family member occurred at that location. Click on the event marker to see details of what event(s) took place at that location.

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Why won't my family map display?

If you have clicked on the family map option but either nothing happened or the window that popped up was blank, here are a few suggestions:

  • If a window pops up, but the display is completely blue, you are looking at the ocean. Check to make sure that you have included place information for vital life events for this family. The family map feature uses the information that you have entered into your file to chart a map of your ancestors' lives. If you have not entered any place information for the family's births, marriages, and deaths, there are no events for the program to chart and your map will be centered over the ocean.
  • If a window pops up, but remains blank and you have included place information for life events for this family, try closing the pop- up window and clicking the Family Map link again. If you have tried several times and still can not get the map to display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.
  • If no window pops up when you click the Family Map link, check to see if you have blocked pop-up windows. There is an option in most browsers that will allow you to block all pop-up windows. If you have selected this option, you will need to change it so that pop-up windows are allowed for our site. Once you have done that, try again.
  • If you do not have pop-up windows blocked for our site and no map pops up when you click the Family Map link, try minimizing your browser window to see if the map has popped up in the background. In the upper right-hand corner of your browser window, you will see three small buttons: a "_", a box, and an "X". Click the "_" button to minimize the window.
If you have read through these suggestions and still can not get your Family Map to correctly display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.

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How can a family map help my research?

Maps are an essential part of genealogical research. Here are just a few ways that the Family Map option in My Family Tree might be useful to your research:

  • Family Map utilizes the Google Maps tool, which is a comprehensive map of the world that can be used to see the entire globe or a view of one individual street. This means that you can easily see what other cities, counties, and even countries border the area where your ancestor lived on the same map that you can use to see what part of town their house was in. This can save you the necessity of having several maps (a city, country, and world atlas for example) at hand for reference.
  • Being able to see the life events of all family members marked on an individual map can help you to identify the family's pattern of migration. If you have been unable to find the birth of a child, visualizing the family's movements in this way might suggest other possible locations to search.
  • Most, if not all, genealogists will eventually run into the problem of trying to identify an ancestor among several candidates of the same name. A good place to start is to consider which of the individuals lived in or nearby the same areas as known members of the family. To determine that, you need to be able to have in mind all of the places where members of that family lived. Being able to instantly bring up a family map, which pinpoints the exact locations of vital life events, makes that much easier.
  • And finally, it's always interesting to learn more about the area where your ancestors lived. Wouldn't it be fun to see if the house where your great grandmother was born is still standing? Or just "take a walk" down the street where your great-great grandfather raised his family? The Family Map tool, by utilizing Google Maps, allows you to do just that without ever leaving the comfort of your computer chair. The "street view" feature allows you to see exactly what your ancestor's hometown looks like today.

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Copyright © 2013-2018 Fficiency Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

My Family Tree FAQ
My Family Tree
Frequently Asked Questions

Topics

If your My Family Tree question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
please send us an email at

Getting Started Return to Topics
Editing Your Family Tree Return to Topics
Navigating My Family Tree Return to Topics
Appending GEDCOMs Return to Topics
Match/Merge Return to Topics
Family Access Return to Topics
Printing Return to Topics
Remake Index Return to Topics
Family Time Line Return to Topics
Family Map Return to Topics

Getting Started


What is My Family Tree?

My Family Tree is a free online genealogy program that you can use to create, edit, and share your family tree. Because it runs entirely over the internet, there is no software for you to download or install on your own computer. Your family tree will be stored on our servers and you can access it at any time simply by logging into your account.

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How do I create a new My Family Tree file?

Follow these steps to create a new file (start a new family tree):

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com and click "My Family Tree / Manage Tree" in the main menu bar.
  2. Login to your account. If you do not already have an account with us, you can click Register at the top right of this page. If you do not wish to search out your ancestry on our site, then select the "My Family Tree access only - free account". However, we recommend a subscription account, so that you can search our database to find more family names to add to your family tree.
  3. You should now be taken to the File Selection page. Enter a title for your new family tree. This title is for your own use only. No one else will see it. It should be something unique to help you distinguish this file from others you may create in the future.
  4. Click the button
  5. A new file will then be created and you will be taken to a screen where you can begin entering information on your family. We do suggest that you begin with yourself. If you are married and/or have children you should list yourself as a parent of this first family. If not, list yourself as a child of your parent's family.

    You will notice that there is a Browse link next to each entry on this screen. You can ignore that link for now. Later on, it will allow you to browse the index of your file in order to connect an already existing record to a new family. However, since you are just starting your file, there are no records in your index at this time.

    At the top of the page, there is a button. If you click this button, no information will be saved for this family. You will be taken to an empty pedigree chart. You should use this button only if you do not wish to actually start entering information at this time. Otherwise, you can create your first family record by continuing to follow the below steps.

  6. Begin by entering the last, first, and middle names of the parents for this family. Again, if you are married and/or have children, you should list yourself as a parent. Otherwise, list your parents in these spaces. The mother should be listed under her maiden name.
  7. Next, begin by entering the names of any children born to these parents. Child 1 should be the oldest child. You can enter up to ten children from this screen. Additional children can be added to the family later. Women should always be listed under their maiden names.
  8. When you have finished entering the children's names, click the button to save this information to your file.
You will now be taken to a pedigree chart, where you will see the information you have just entered for your family. You will notice that here at My Family Tree we use a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, instead of a single individual, is listed in each place.

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What information will I see on my pedigree chart?

Here is a brief description of each feature you will see on your My Family Tree pedigree chart:

  • Toolbar - The first thing you will see when you are viewing your pedigree chart is a toolbar. Each icon on the toolbar allows you to use a different feature of the My Family Tree program. You can see an explanation of what each icon is for by clicking the button on the right of the toolbar or by clicking here.
  • File name and title - Directly below the toolbar you will see the name and title of your file. The file name is a series of numbers and letters. In the example to the right, the file name is "az000048." This file name is what your family tree will be called in our database.

    The title is what you have chosen to call your family tree. In the example to the right, the file title is "My Family Tree." The title is for your use only and allows you to tell your files apart, should you wish to create or upload multiple files.

  • Reset - Below the toolbar and to the right, you will see the "Reset" link. Clicking on this link will return you to the first family listed in your file or to a family that you have selected as the default reset point.
  • FAQ - To the right of the Reset link, you will see a link to this Frequently Asked Questions page. This link allows you to easily access these questions, should you need assistance while working on your file.
  • Pedigree chart - Next you will see your pedigree chart itself. You will notice that My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart with which you may be familiar. A family pedigree chart shows an entire family, rather than a single individual, in each position. In the example to the right, you will see that the family of John and Jane Doe is listed in the first position. Up to three generations can be shown on the screen at one time. Below we will discuss each element of the family pedigree chart.

  • Family group - In each position on the pedigree chart, you will see a family group. The names of the parents of this family will be displayed, along with their birth and marriage years and places. The links and icons in the family group allow you to view and edit information on the family, as well as individual family members.

    • Husband/Wife first name - Clicking the husband or wife's first name will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for the husband of our sample family. Clicking the "Edit John" link will allow you to edit the husband's individual record.

      Next, you will see links that allow you to choose which spouse appears on the pedigree chart. John was married twice. He is currently being displayed with Jane on the pedigree chart. If you would like him to be displayed with his second wife, you would click the "Display John with Mary Brown" link.

      The last option on this edit menu allows you to add a new spouse for John.

    • Surname - Clicking the family's surname (last name) will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for our sample family. Clicking the "Edit Doe Family" link will take you to the couple's family group record, where you can edit information on their marriage and children.

      Next, you will see a "Family Time Line" option. Clicking this link will bring up a time line of important life events for each member of this family group (husband, wife, and children). The time line will appear in a small pop-up window. For further information about the Family Time Line, see What is a family time line?.

      Next, you will see a "Family Map" option. Clicking this link will bring up a Google Map of the world. The location of vital life events (including birth, marriage, and death) for each member of the selected family will be marked on the map. For more information about the Family Map, see What is a family map?.

      The final option in the Edit Family menu reads "Set family as default for "Reset." If you click this option, this family group will become the default reset point in your family tree. Whenever you click the "Reset" link that appears in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

    • - You can click this tree icon to reset your pedigree chart with that family listed in the first position. If the family is already showing in the first position, no change will be made.
    • - The couple icon allows you to reset your pedigree chart so that a married child of the current family is listed in the first position with his/her spouse. When you click the icon, a Display Married Children menu will appear, listing each child of the current family who has a spouse. In the example to the right, clicking the "Display Johnny & Ann Doe" link would cause the pedigree chart to reset with Johnny and Ann in the first position.
    • - Clicking the children icon will bring up an Edit Children menu. From this menu you can go to each child's individual record by clicking their name. You can also use the "Add new child" link to add additional children to the family.

    • - The DC icon allows you to view a Dynamic Descendancy Chart. This chart allows you to view all of the descendants included in the file for the parents of the family. You can click the name of any descendant listed in the file to view his/her individual record, or the name of a descendant's spouse to view their family group record.

  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has not yet been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Not Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Completed.
  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Not Completed.
  • Add the Parents of - This link will appear in any empty position of your pedigree chart. It allows you to extend your family tree by adding the next generation. Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can enter the names of the individual's parents and siblings.

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What is an individual record?

An individual record contains information that pertains to a specific individual contained in your file. This information includes vital statistics, such as birth and death dates and places, spouse(s), and notes. There are several ways you can get to an individual record. First, you can click the person's first name from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Person icon from the toolbar to search for them. Third, you can use the List People icon from the toolbar to select the individual from a list of every name contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the person's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. From there, you can edit their full name, gender, and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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What is a family group record?

A family group record contains information that pertains to an entire family. This information includes marriage details for the parents and the names and birth order of the children. There are several ways you can get a family group record. First, you can click the family's surname (last name) from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Family icon from the toolbar to search for the family. Third, you can click the List Families icon from the toolbar to select the family from a list all of the families contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the family's name, you will be taken to their family group editing screen. On this screen, you will be able to edit or add information relating to the marriage of the parents. You can add or remove a parent and add dates and places for their marriage and divorce, if applicable. You can use the icons in the toolbar to add children, notes, or pictures to the family. Any notes or pictures added here should relate to the entire family. Notes or pictures relating to a specific family member can be added to that person's individual record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How do I add a spouse to an individual

Follow these steps to add a spouse:

  1. Bring up the person's individual record. If they are currently being displayed on your pedigree chart, you can do this by clicking their first name and then the "Edit [First Name]" link. If not, you can locate them by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This will bring up a list of every name contained in your file. Locate the individual and click their name.
  2. Once you are viewing the person's individual record, click the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will bring you to the spouse editing screen. There are two ways you can add a spouse. First, you can add a new spouse who is not currently listed in your file. Select the "Add new spouse" option and enter the spouse's first and last name. Then click the button. A new individual record will be created for the spouse, as well as a family group record, showing the individual and new spouse as the father and mother.

    Second, you can attach a spouse who is already listed in your file. If you have previously created an individual record for the spouse and now you just need to create a family group record to show the marriage between the two individuals, click the "Attach spouse" option. Then click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link. This will bring up a search window. Enter the spouse's surname (maiden name for women), locate him/her from the results list, and click his/her name. That should cause his/her record number to be placed in the appropriate field. Then click the button. A family group record will be created, showing the individual and spouse as the mother and father.

Once you have added a spouse, you can go into the family group record to add details about their marriage and any children they had together. Go to the spouse's individual record to add vital information, such as birth and death dates.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add parents to an individual?

Follow these steps to add parents:

  1. The option to add parents appears right on your pedigree chart. First, you need to make sure that the individual is currently being displayed on your pedigree chart. If not, you will need to reset your pedigree. Click the List People icon from the tool bar and then select the name of the individual for whom you wish to add parents. That will take you to their individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon . That will reset your pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family is listed in the first position.
  2. Once the individual is displaying on your pedigree chart, you should see a "Add the Parents of" link in the next position. Click this link to add the individual's parents. (Note: If the individual is being displayed in the third generation on your pedigree chart, the add parents link will not appear. Click the tree icon in the box where the individual is listed. That will reset the pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family will be shown in the first position. The add parents link should then appear.)
  3. Once you have clicked the "Add the Parents of" link you will be taken to a screen where you can create a family record the individual's parents. You will find that the individual will already be listed as a child of this family. The father's surname will also be filled in (you can change it if necessary). Fill in the remaining name spaces for the individual's parents and siblings.
  4. Click the button to create the family record and save the information you have entered.
You will then be taken back to your pedigree chart, where you should now see the newly added parents displayed. You can add dates and other information from there. Click a first name to add details to an individual record. Click the surname to add details to the family group record.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add children to a family?

There are two ways to add children to a family:

  1. First, you can add children directly from your pedigree chart by clicking the children icon from the family group. Click the "Add new child" link. This will create a new individual record and take you directly to the editing screen where you can enter a name and vital information for the new child.

    Once you have finished adding information about that child, save the changes by clicking the button. You will then be taken to an Individual Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the View Tree icon to return to your pedigree chart. You can then add another child following the same steps.

  2. You can also add children from the family group record. Bring up the family group record by clicking the family's surname on your pedigree chart. (If the family is not currently displayed on your pedigree, click the List Families icon to locate them.)

    Once you are viewing the family group record, where you will see information regarding the parents' marriage, click the Children Info icon . This will take you to a children editing screen. From there, you can either add a new child or attach a child who already exists in your file to this family. Click the button to save the changes. You will then be taken to a Family Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the Children Info icon to add another child. You can add information, such as dates and notes, to a child's record by clicking their name from the children editing screen.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I edit my pedigree chart?

You edit your pedigree chart by making changes to individual and family group records (for more information, see What is an individual record? and What is a family group record?). You can access these records using the links and icons on the pedigree chart itself.

  • Individual records - To access an individual record, click the person's first name and then on the "Edit" link. My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, so you will see an entire family listed in each position (for more information see What is a family pedigree chart?). The mother and father's names will be listed directly on the chart. To access the children's records, click the children icon .

    If the individual you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Person icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a person to locate their record. The List People icon will bring up a complete list of all the individual records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on the person's name, you will be taken to an individual editing screen, where you can edit their name and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as spouses, parents, and notes. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

  • Family records - To access a family group record, click the family's surname. If the family you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Family icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a family to locate their record. The List Families icon will bring up a complete list of all the family records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on a family's surname, you will be taken to a family editing screen. From there you can edit information regarding the mother and father and their marriage. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as children and notes. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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Why can't I see all family members on my pedigree chart?

My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, rather than a single individual, is listed in each place.

The image to the right is an example of a family group as it will be shown on your pedigree chart. You will note that the father and mother's names are shown as links, as is the family's surname. You can access the parents' individual records by clicking their first names. You can access the family group record (where you can add marriage details and children) by clicking the surname. You can access the children's records by clicking the children icon . That will give you the option to edit any children you have already entered for the family or to add a new child.

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Is My Family Tree a free service?

Yes, My Family Tree is a completely free service. We will never charge you to access or edit your family tree. When you register a Family Password, your family members can also view your family tree for free. There is no limit to the amount of information that can be stored in your file and this information is under your control at all times.

You will need to register an account with us in order to use MyTrees Online, but this account is free. If you have not already done so, you can register now by clicking here.

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Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?

Yes, if you add at least 60 individuals and 15 families to your MyTrees Online file, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription services. Please note that this is a one time offer . You will be given the free month for the first file that reaches the size limit. While you can have as many My Family Tree files as you like, you will not be given additional free time for building more files.

You do not need to do anything to receive this free time. Your account will be automatically credited with the free month once your file has reached the 60 individuals and 15 families limit. (Please note that it may take a couple of hours for the system to register that your file has reached the size limit, so please be patient. You will receive an email when your account has been credited with the free time.) You do not need to upload a GEDCOM of the information. When you use My Family Tree to build your family tree, you are adding the information directly into our site. We already have the it, so you will not need to upload anything to us.

However, if you have previously entered all or some of your family tree into another genealogy program, you are welcome to upload a GEDCOM to us. That can save you the time involved in re-entering the information. You will still receive the free month if you choose to upload a GEDCOM rather than building your file from scratch on My Family Tree. For more information on GEDCOMs, click here.

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Editing Your Family Tree


How do I enter details about a marriage?

Details about a marriage can be edited from the family group record. You can access this record from your pedigree chart or from either spouse's individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. To access the family group record from your pedigree chart, simply click the family's surname.

    If you are viewing the individual record of either spouse, you can access the family group record by clicking the Spouse Info icon . That will take you to a spouse editing screen where you will see any spouse(s) currently listed for the individual. Click the Family Record link listed next to a spouse's name to access that family group record.

  2. You should now be on the family group editing screen. You can add basic details about the marriage (where and when the couple were married and, if applicable, divorced) right on this screen.
  3. When you are done, click the button to save any changes you have made to the record.
You can also add or remove the father or mother of the family from this screen or use the icons in the toolbar to make other changes. The Children Info icon allows you to add new children or edit information about existing children. The Source Notes icon allows you to add notes to the family record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How can I make sure that I have successfully added a spouse to an individual?

Once you have added a new spouse, you should see an Individual Editing Update message, confirming that your update is complete. You can make sure that the spouse was successfully added by clicking the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar. That will return you to the spouse editing screen, where you should now see the new spouse listed.

If you do not see the spouse listed on this page, you will need to try again. Please note that you must have the gender of an individual set before you can add a spouse. You can set an individual's gender by clicking the Vital Info icon from the toolbar.

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How do I add information to a child's record?

Once you have added a child to a family, you can add information about that child by accessing their individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. From your pedigree chart, click the children icon . This will bring up the children editing menu. Click the "Edit [child's name]" link.

    You can also get to the child's individual record by clicking the child's name on the child editing screen (found in the family group record), or by using the Find Person or List People icons to locate them.

  2. Once you have clicked the child's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. >From there, you can add or change the individual's name and vital information.
  3. When you are finished, click the button to save the changes you have made to the record.
You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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Can I add more than one child at a time?

When you are first creating a new family, using the "Add parents of" link from your pedigree chart or the Add Family icon from the toolbar, you can add up to ten children. However, when you are adding more children to a family that already exists in your file, you can only add one child at a time. But you can add as many children to each family as you need.

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How do I attach a child who is already listed in my file to a family?

If you have previously created an individual record for a child and now need to attach that child to his/her parents, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. Select the "Attach child" option.
  4. Click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link.

  5. This will bring up a search form in a small pop-up window. Enter the child's last name and click the SEARCH button.
  6. Locate the child's name from the results list and click it. That should cause the child's Individual Record Number to be placed in the appropriate field.
  7. Select the option that best describes the child's relationship to this set of parents. The options are Natural (meaning these are the child's biological parents), Adopted, Foster, or Other.
  8. Click the button.
The child will then be attached to the family.

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How do I change the birth order of children in a family?

Follow these steps to change the birth order of children in a family:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. You will see a list of all the children currently attached to this family. Select a child who is listed out of order by clicking the circle to the left of his/her name.
  4. Under the "Action for Above Selected Child" area, you will see a "Set child order" field. Enter the number that represents the child's place in the birth order. The oldest child would be 1, the next 2, and so on.
  5. Click the button.
  6. That should take you to a Family Editing Update screen, where you will see a message confirming that your update is complete. To check that the child is now listed in the correct place in the birth order, click the Child Info icon from the toolbar to return to the child editing screen.
The child you selected should now be listed in the correct place in the birth order. If any other children are listed out of order, you can fix them by following the same steps.

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How do I add notes to document my research?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding Source Notes. For questions about History Info, see How do I add historical/biographical information?

  1. To add Source Notes, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as documentation on the individual's birth or death, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as documentation of the marriage date, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the Source Notes icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the source notes editing screen. The first options you will see are the source note tags. These tags help you to organize your notes by information type. For example, to document information regarding an individual's birth you would select BIRTH from the General Tags. That will place "BIRTH:" on the next available line of your notes. You can then add the documentation after the tag.
  5. Once you have selected an appropriate tag for your note, you can enter the note itself in the text area. There are many ways to document your research. You are free to use any documentation method you want.

    If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    You can make notes private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see a button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your notes will look like with any formatting you have included.
  7. The remaining options on this screen are for attaching images to your notes. If you have any images of source documents, such as a birth certificate, you can upload them and attach them to your source notes. For information on uploading pictures see Pictures in MyTrees Online. Once you have uploaded your source image, select it from the "Add New Source Image" scroll box to attach it to this record.
  8. When you finished making changes to the source notes for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add historical/biographical information?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding History Info. For questions about Source Notes, see How do I add notes to document my research?

  1. To add historical or biographical information, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as a journal entry written by the person, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as a description of the wedding or information about where the family lived, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the History Info icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the biography editing screen. The first options you will see have to do with including pictures in your biography. If you have uploaded any pictures of the individual or family, you can add them to the biography.
    • First, select how you would like the picture to be placed in relation to the text. There are four options: inline, left, center, and right. Select the option you would like by clicking the circle to the left of that option.
    • Next, chose the picture from the "Select picture" scroll box. That will place the picture on the next line of your biography. (A picture can be placed anywhere in the biography and you can include as many pictures as you like.)

  5. Below the picture options, you will see the text area, where you can enter the biography or history information. If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    If you have a historical document that is already in HTML format, you can upload it rather than re-entering it here. To do so, return to your pedigree chart and click the Upload Bios icon .

    You can make part of your biography private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see the button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your biography will look like with any formatting and/or pictures you have included.
  7. Next, you will see the button, which will give you some tips on using a few basic HTML tags.
  8. When you finished making changes to the History Info for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add a child to two different sets of parents?

You may have individuals in your file who have two different sets of parents, such as in the case of adoptive families. You can attach a child to two sets of parents by following these steps:

  1. In order to add the child to both sets of parents, you will first need to create both family group records. To create a family group record, click the Add Family icon from the toolbar (this option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart).
  2. This will take you to an Add First Family editing screen. Enter the parents' names, as well as the names of any children not previously entered into your file.
  3. If one or more children of this set of parents has already been entered into your file (either as a spouse or as the child of a different set of parents), click the Browse link.
  4. This will bring up a search form in a pop-up window. Enter the child's surname and click the SEARCH button.
  5. Click the child's name from the search results.
  6. That will automatically place the child's IRIN (Individual Record Number) in the last name field.
  7. When you have finished adding family members, click the button at the bottom of the screen. A family group record will be created for the new family.
If you need to create a family group record for the second set of parents as well, follow steps 2-7 to do so now. The child should then be listed with both sets of parents. You can check by bringing up the child's individual record (either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them). Then click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar. That will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How can I view both families?

Only one set of parents can be shown on your pedigree chart at a time. However, you can see information on both sets of parents from the child's individual record:

  1. To bring up the child's individual record, either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.
  4. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart to display the other set of parents, click the parents' names to go to their family group record. Then click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How do I set one of them to Adoptive Parents?

When a child is added to a family, the relationship to the parents is automatically set as Natural, indicating a biological relationship. If the child's relationship to this set of parents is other than biological, you can indicate that in the record by following these steps:

  1. First, bring up the child's individual record. You can either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. Select the circle to the left of the parents for whom you wish to change the relationship status.
  4. Under "Action for Selected Parents," select the relationship type. There are four choices: Natural, Adoptive, Foster, or Other. (If you select Other, you may wish to include a note in the family group record describing the exact relationship.)
  5. Click the button at the bottom of the screen.
The relationship status for that set of parents will then be updated.

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Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

No. The privacy of living individuals is very important to us here at MyTrees.com. Our site is designed to hide all information on anyone that it can determine to be a living individual. It determines if an individual is still living by dates. First, it looks for a death date. If no death date is listed, then it will look at the birth date. Any individual for whom no death date is listed and who was born within the last 95 years will be considered living. Their information (including their names) will NOT be displayed in the Ancestry Archive.

Please note that if no birth date has been included for the individual, then our site will have no way to determine that they are, in fact, living and their information will be displayed. That is why it is so important to include birth dates for all living individuals.

It is also important to note that information on living individuals will appear both when you view your own file and when family members use the family access login to view your file. However, you control who has your family access password, so you can control who is able to view that information.

If you have any further concerns about protecting the privacy of living individuals, please contact us at

.

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How do I change the title of my file?

The title of your file is what you originally called your file when you created it. Only you will see your title. You can change the title by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to rename from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Type the new title in the "Enter new title for selected family tree" field.
  4. Click the button.

The title of your file will then be changed.

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Navigating My Family Tree


How do I navigate through my pedigree chart?

You can move navigate through your family tree using the tree and DDC icons listed on the pedigree chart.

  • Moving backward in time to see the next generation of ancestors - Click the tree icon in the upper left corner of a family group to reset your pedigree chart so that family will be displayed in the first position. This moves you backward in time through your pedigree chart, so that the next generation or two of ancestors will be shown.
  • Moving forward in time to see the next generation of descendants -
    1. Click the DDC icon in the lower right corner of a family group to view the Dynamic Descendancy Chart.
    2. The DDC will displayed in a smaller pop-up window and will show you a list of all the descendants of the father and mother of that family. Click a descendant's name to be taken to his/her individual record. (If you click the name of a descendant's spouse, you will be taken to their family record.)
    3. From the individual or family record, click the Reset Tree icon .

    Your pedigree chart will now display, showing the family of that descendant in the first position. (Please note that if the descendant does not have a spouse or children listed in your file, they will be shown as a child of their parent's family.) You have moved you forward in time through your pedigree chart, so that you are now viewing later generations of descendants.

  • Returning to the beginning of your file - You can return to the beginning of your file whenever you like by clicking the Reset link found in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. You can also change the default reset point to any family in your tree. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option?.

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What is a Dynamic Descendancy Chart?

A Dynamic Descendancy Chart, sometimes abbreviated DDC, shows you five generations of descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) for a selected couple. You can view the DDC for any couple shown on your pedigree chart by clicking the DDC icon , shown in the lower right corner of their family group. The DDC will be displayed in a smaller pop-up window.

The top line of the DDC will show a folder icon , "Dynamic Descendancy Chart for:", and then the names of the selected couple. The line that goes down from that folder icon will branch off for each of the couple's children. So, in our example to the right, you can see that John and Alice Kendig had sons named John, Isaac, and Henry.

If a child has a family of their own listed in the file (meaning that a spouse and/or children have been added for them), then you will see another folder icon next to their name. John and Henry both have families listed in the file. If a child does not have a family listed in the file, then there will be an end of line icon next to their name. Isaac does not have a family listed in the file.

For any child who has a family listed, you will see their spouse(s) listed below their name. If they have children, the spouse's name will be preceded by a folder icon and the children will be listed below. If they did not have any children with that spouse, then the spouse's name will be preceded by a end of line icon . In our example, John Kendig had two spouses, Anna and Barbara Ann, but there are no children listed with either wife in the file. Henry Kendig had one spouse, Barbara, and there are several children listed in the file.

Each generation of the DDC will continue in the same way for up to five generations. If there is another generation of descendants in that line, you will see the folder icon . If there are no further descendants, you will see the end of line icon .

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How do I see everyone that is listed in my file?

You can view a complete list of all the names contained in your file by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart. The list will display in a smaller, pop-up window.

If you have recently added some names to your file and do not see them listed, click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar. That will update the indexes of your file to include the recent changes. Then click the List People icon again and you should see the new names.

>From this list, you can view a person's individual record by clicking their name. If you would like to view that person on your pedigree chart, click the Reset Tree icon when you are viewing their individual record. That will take you back to the pedigree chart, where that individual's family should be displaying in the first position.

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How can I quickly jump to a specific person in my pedigree chart?

You can easily jump to any point in your file by following these steps:

  1. When you are viewing your pedigree chart, click the List People icon from the toolbar.
  2. This will bring up a complete list of all the names in your file. Click the name of the individual you wish to view.

    (If you have recently added some names to your file and are not seeing the name you wish to view, click the Remake Indexes icon to update your indexes and then try again.)

  3. You will now be taken to that person's individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon .

Your pedigree chart will then re-display with that individual's family in the first position. Please note that if the individual does not have a spouse and/or children listed in the file then they will be displayed as a child of their parent's family.

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How do I return to the beginning of my pedigree chart?

When you are viewing your file, you will find a "Reset" link in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. Simply click this link to be returned to the first family listed in your file. It is also possible to select a different family to be the default reset point. If you have previously done so, you will be taken to that point in your family tree when you click the Reset link. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option? .

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How do I use the Reset option?

The Reset option, found in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, allows you to return to a specific point in your file whenever you like. Unless you select a different family, this will automatically be set as the first family listed in your file. You can return to that first family at any time simply by clicking the "Reset" link. You can select a new family to be the default reset point by following these steps:

  1. Locate the family you wish to be the default reset point in your pedigree chart. If the family is not currently showing on your pedigree chart, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names. This will take you to their family group record. >From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
  2. You should now see the family listed on your pedigree chart. Click the family's surname to bring up the edit menu.
  3. Click the "Set family as default for 'Reset'" link.
That family will then be set as the default reset point. Whenever you click the "Reset" link in the upper right corner of the pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

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I have more than one file. How do I view a different file?

You can switch between files by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Click the button.

You will then be taken to the selected file.

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Appending GEDCOMs


What is an append?

Append means to add a section of a family tree to an existing file. There are two ways to do this. First, if you have a GEDCOM that contains the information you wish to add to your family tree, you can upload it as an append. That will add the information in the GEDCOM to your file. You can then attach the new information to your family tree by completing a Match/Merge. For more information, see How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Second, if you have found the information in another file on our site, you can download that information directly into your file. For information on how to download information from another file, see How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

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How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

If you have found a file on our site that contains information you would like to add to your family tree, you can download up to 6 generations directly to your My Family Tree file as long as you have already received a free month for the file. (For more information, see Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?) If you have not already received your free month, please continue building your file. Once you have received your free month, you can download information from any file on our site by following these steps:

  1. First, if you have more than one file, you will need to make sure that the correct file is selected in your account. The information will automatically download into whichever file you have most recently opened in My Family Tree. If you only have one file, or are sure that the correct file has been selected, continue on to Step 2. To check if the correct file is selected,
    • Click the My Family Tree option from the menu bar at the top of the page.
    • This will take you to My Family Tree. If the file that is displaying is the one that you wish to add the information to, continue to Step 2.
    • If the file that is displaying is not the file you wish to add the new information to, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar to select the correct file. Once the correct file is displaying, continue to Step 2.
  2. Return to the file in the Ancestry Archive and look directly below the pedigree chart to find the download area.
  3. Select the number of generations you wish to download from the scroll box. You can download up to 6 generations at a time. The download will begin with the family currently showing in the first position on the pedigree chart.
  4. Select the MyTrees.com option.
  5. A message will pop-up, telling you that after you have downloaded this information into your file, you should wait 10 minutes and then complete a Match/Merge. Click the OK button.

  6. Click the button.
  7. The information will then be downloaded into your My Family Tree file. You will see a "Download Completed" message when the download has finished.
  8. Wait at least 10 minutes to give the system time to fully process the new information into your file. Then return to My Family Tree and complete a Match/Merge to attach the new information to your family tree.
You are welcome to download information from as many files as you like into your My Family Tree file. However, it is important that you do wait 10 minutes after each download and then complete a Match/Merge. If you complete multiple downloads one right after the other without giving the system time to fully process each download, your file can become corrupted.

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How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Appending a GEDCOM to your My Family Tree file will add the information to your existing family tree. It will not replace and update your entire file. If you would like to update your file by uploading a new GEDCOM, please click here for instructions.

If you would like to add new information to your family tree by appending a GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. If you have more than one file, first make sure that the correct file is displaying. The information in your GEDCOM will be added to whichever file is currently open in My Family Tree. If you want to append the information to a different file, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar and select the correct file.
  2. Once the correct file is displaying, click the Append GEDCOM icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  3. You will then be taken to the append GEDCOM screen. Select whether the GEDCOM was created using a Windows, DOS, or MAC program.
  4. Click the BROWSE button.
  5. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  6. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.
  7. Click the button.
Your GEDCOM will then be appended to the current file. That means that the information from the GEDCOM is now stored in your My Family Tree file. However, the new information is not yet connected to your family tree. You will be prompted to start a Match/Merge , which should link the names from your GEDCOM into your family tree. Click the "Continue" link to start the Match/Merge.

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Why is it so important to run a Match/Mere after appending a GEDCOM?

When you append a GEDCOM, the information from the GEDCOM is added to your My Family Tree file. However, the new branch of names will not be connected to your family tree. It will exist separately in your file and will not be displayed as part of your main pedigree chart. Also, there will most likely be duplication between the information from the GEDCOM and the information that you had in your file previous to the append. Running a Match/Merge will allow you to merge any duplicate records, cleaning up your file and connecting the new branch into your family tree.

For more information about running a Match/Merge, click here.

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I received an email saying that my file was corrupted. What caused this and how can I prevent it from happening again?

File corruption usually happens when too many appends are done in a short period of time. Some of the appended information did not have time to fully process before the next append was started. Also, when multiple appends are done so quickly, time was not taken to merge each piece into the whole tree. This results in the file becoming corrupted and unfixable.

When that happens, the only option is to revert to a previously saved copy of the file. Fortunately, we frequently backup all files stored in our database and are generally able to restore the file to a point before the corruption took place. However, you will then have to redo any changes that were made to the file after that time, including any appends that were done.

You can prevent your file from becoming corrupted in the future by waiting 10 minutes between each append and by completing a Match/Merge after each append. This ensures that each append is fully processed and each new branch is correctly linked into your family tree.

You may also want to consider saving a backup of your file before you begin an append. This will ensure that we do have a current backup, should we need to restore your file later on. You can save a backup of your file in My Family Tree by clicking the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Is there any way to restore my corrupted file?

Yes, it is possible to restore your file to a point before the corruption took place. There is an option in My Family Tree that allows you to save a backup of your file. If you have previously saved a backup, you can restore your file yourself by clicking the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. (This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.) That will restore your file to the backup copy. Assuming that the backup was saved before the corruption took place, that should solve the problem.

If you have not saved a backup of your file in My Family Tree, you can contact us and we will restore your file. We routinely backup all files stored in our database. If you originally uploaded your file as a GEDCOM, we can always restore the original GEDCOM. We may also have more recent backups of your file. If you contact us, we will restore the most recent backup that we have.

While it is possible to restore your file, it is far better to prevent it from being corrupted in the first place. Once your file has been restore, please take measures to prevent corruption in the future.

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Match/Merge


What is a Match/Merge?

Match/Merge is the process of finding duplicate records in your file and merging them, so that there is only one record for each individual. There are two Match/Merge options in My Family Tree:

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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I have the same person listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there are multiple records for the same individual in your file, you will want to merge those duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Person option. You can only merge one pair of records at a time, so if there are more than two duplicate records for one individual, you will need to repeat the process until all the duplicates have been merged. (If there is a lot of duplication in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Branch option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Person icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Individual Match/Merge screen. Here you will see two "Individual Record Number" fields. Each individual record in your file is given a unique number. If you are seeing the same person listed multiple times in your file, it means that two or more individual records have been created for that person.

    If you know the Individual Record Numbers (IRINs) for the duplicate records, you can go ahead and enter those into the fields and then skip to Step 8.

  4. If you do not know the IRINs for the duplicate records, click the "Browse" link next to the first field.
  5. This will bring up a Browse Find Individual Record Number search form in a smaller pop-up window. Enter the last name of the person and click the SEARCH button.
  6. When the results appear, you will see a list of names of people in your file who have that last name. You will notice that each name has a number listed next to it. This is the IRIN for that record. Next to the IRIN, you will see the person's birth date, if you included it in their individual record.

    Locate the first duplicate record and click it. This will return you to the Individual Match/Merge screen and will automatically place the IRIN in the field.

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second Individual Record Number field.
  8. When both IRINs have been entered into the appropriate fields, click the button to merge those records. The page will reload so that you can merge another set of duplicate records.

    If you have entered the IRINs into the fields and then decide that you do not want to merge those two records, click the button. That will clear the form so that you can start over.

  9. When you are done merging records, click the button.

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Many people are listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there is a lot of duplication in your file, you will want to merge the duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Branch option. (If there are only a few duplicate records in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Person option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Branch icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Match/Merge Query Screen. You will see a "Starting surname" field. You have two options on this screen:

    • If you had previously begun a Match/Merge but had to stop before completing the process - The Match/Merge program runs alphabetically by surname. To start where you left off last time, enter the surname you were last working on in the "Starting surname" field. The Match/Merge will begin at that point in your file.
    • If you are starting a new Match/Merge - Leave the "Starting surname" field blank. The Match/Merge will run for your entire file.
  4. If you are ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

    If you are not ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

  5. You will now be shown the first pair of possible record duplicates. For each record, you will see the IRIN (individual record number), name, birth date, birth place, spouses, and parents. Consider all of this information and decide whether or not these two records refer to the same individual.
  6. If both records refer to the same individual, click the MERGE button.

    If the records do not refer to the same individual, click the button.

  7. Once you have clicked Merge or Don't Merge, you will be shown the next pair of records. Continue until you are told that there are no further records to match. The last merge will take a long time because, in addition to merging the two individual records, it will also automatically merge any duplicate family records and rebuild the indexes.

Here are some things to keep in mind when doing a Match/Merge:

  • Take your time when deciding whether or not to merge each record. If you have a lot of duplication in your file, it is tempting to try and get through it as quickly as possible. However, when you do so, it becomes easy to accidentally merge records that are not actually duplicates. Since you can not undo a merge, you will have to fix the record manually. This can be both complicated and time consuming. If you accidentally merge several wrong records you may need to restore your file to the way it was before you began the Match/Merge and then you'll have to start over from the beginning.

    Take time to examine the information from both records and make sure that they really do refer to the same individual. If you're not sure, don't merge the records. Instead, make a note of the record numbers and name. You can always go back and merge them later if you decide they are duplicates.

  • If you need to stop at any time, make a note of which surname you are currently working on and click the button. This will stop the Match/Merge and return you to your pedigree chart. When you are ready to work on the Match/Merge again, you can use the "Starting surname" option to begin where you left off.
  • It is important to complete a Match/Merge. It's okay to stop and come back later if you need to. But make sure that you do come back and finish. When you merge individual records, you can end up with duplicate family group records for the same families. When you complete the Match/Merge process, the program will automatically scan for duplicate family group records and merge them as well. This will be done when you merge the final pair of duplicate individual records.

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What is the difference between the Merge Person and Merge Branch options?

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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How can I check to make sure that the duplicate records have been correctly merged?

If you have completed a Match/Merge and would now like to make sure that the duplication has been corrected, follow these steps:

  1. First, return to your pedigree chart and click the Remake Indexes icon . This will update the indexes of your file.
  2. To make sure that duplicate individual records have been correctly merged, click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each individual listed only once.
  3. To make sure that duplicate family group records have been correctly merged, click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every couple listed in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each couple listed only once.

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I have just Match/Merged an individual. How can I edit his/her record?

Once you have completed your Match/Merge, you can edit the individual record as normal. First, click the Remake Indexes icon . That will update the indexes to include any changes that were made during the Match/Merge. Then go to the person's individual record by clicking his/he name from your pedigree chart. If the name is not currently displayed on the pedigree chart, click the List People icon to select the individual from a list of all the names in your file.

For more information about editing your file, see Getting Started and Editing Your Family Tree .

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I accidentally merged two records that were not duplicates. How can I correct this mistake?

If you made a mistake while merging records, there are two ways that you can correct the problem. The easiest way is to restore your file to a previously saved version. If you used the "Make Backup" option to save your file before starting your Match/Merge, you can restore your file to the backed up copy.

If the mistake only involves one or two records, you may also be able to correct the problem manually. First, locate the record that was incorrectly merged. If you have mistakenly merged two different people into one record, you will probably find that they are now attached to multiple families. They will most likely have more than one set of parents and/or spouses. The easiest way to resolve the problem would be to delete the individual record. That will separate the incorrectly linked families. You can then go back into each family and add both individuals back into your file where they belong.

Fixing problems caused by incorrectly merged records can get complicated. If you can not see how to easily correct the problem, you may want to contact us for assistance. We routinely backup all files that are saved in our database, so even if you did not backup your file, we may have a recent copy saved that we can restore. We may also be able to help you correct the problem. You can email us at

. Remember, we can see your file, so please give us specific details, such as names and record numbers, to help us identify the problem.

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How can I restore the backup I saved before starting my Match/Merge?

If you used the "Make Backup" option in My Family Tree before starting your Match/Merge, you can easily restore your file to that point. First, make sure that that is what you want to do. You can not undo a restore. Once your file has been restored, you will lose any changes you have made since saving the backup. This should only be done if your file has become corrupted and can not easily be fixed any other way.

If you are sure that you want to restore your file, click the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Family Access


What is Family Access?

Family Access allows your family members and friends to view your file without needing to register an account with our site. When they login using your Family Password, they will be able to view your complete file, as well any personal history or family news items you have created in your account.

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How do I create a Family Password?

Follow these steps to create a Family Password:

  1. Select My Account from the menu bar at the top of our page and click the "Set Family Password" link.

  2. This will take you to an Update Personal Information screen. Locate the password area. There are two fields-one for your personal password and one for your family password. Enter a unique family password.
  3. Click the button to save the change.

Please note that your family password should be different than your personal password. In order to protect the personal information stored in your account, you should never give out the password that you use to login. It is, however, safe to give your family password to family and friends in order to allow them to view your family tree.

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Do my family members need to register an account in order to view my tree?

No, your family members and friends do not need to register an account with MyTrees.com in order to view your tree. They can view your tree, as well as any personal history or family news items saved in your account, by logging in with your account number and Family Password.

A Family Password is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a family password, click here.

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How do my family members login to Family Access?

Your family members and friends can actually use the same login screen that you use in order to log into Family Access. However, they will use your account number and Family Password, which is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a Family Password, click here.

Once you have created a Family Password, you can send your family members these instructions to help them log into Family Access (they will need your account number and Family Password):

  1. Go to our homepage at www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "Login" link that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Enter the member's account number and Family Password.
  4. Click the LOGIN NOW button.
  5. This will take you to a File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.

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Will my family members be able to edit or add to my family tree through Family Access?

No. Family Access allows your family members and friends to view, but not edit your family tree. As the submitter, you are the only one who can edit your family tree. This allows you to maintain control of your file at all times. If a family member sees something that needs to be edited in your file, they can let you know so that you can make those changes.

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Will my family members be able to view information on living individuals in my file when they login through Family Access?

Yes. When your family members or friends login through Family Access, they will be able to see information on any living individuals in your file. However, since you control who has your Family Password, you control who sees that information. (For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?)

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Printing


What records can I print from MyTrees Online?

The following types of records can be printed from My Family Tree:

  • Family Pedigree Chart - This is a text version of your family tree.
  • Descendancy Chart - This will list all of the descendants of the couple currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart. It is basically a text version of the Dynamic Descendancy Chart that you can view from your pedigree chart.
  • Birthday Calendar - This will produce a calendar for a specified year, showing the birth dates, including death years for those who are deceased, beginning with the left-hand family of your current family tree display and including their descendants down the specified number of generations.

    After creating your calendar (with or without pictures), use the arrows at the bottom of the currently displayed calendar to select the desired calendar for printing (or use the "View Display" entry with the numbers 1 through 12, representing the months January through December to bring up a calendar for a specific month). Then, use your browser's print capabilities (e.g. "File/Print" as in Firefox) to print that month's Birthday Calendar.

    If you want pictures in your calendar, use the "Birthday Calendar Photo Selection" at the right of the screen to select from standard pictures or upload your own pictures in jpg format. After uploading pictures, you can then proceed to create and print your calendar as described above.

  • Family Group Records - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get a family group record for each family shown on the chart.
  • Index - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get an index of every name shown on the chart.

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What options will I find on the print screen?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar to reach the print options screen. Here is a brief description of each of the options:

  • Select Display Type - This option allows you to select what type of record you would like to print.
  • Generations - Below the Select Display Type option, you will see a scroll box. This allows you to select how many generations you would like to include on your record. You can print out up to forty generations at a time. The print display will begin with the family currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart.
  • Optional records - The next two options are additional records that can be added to your print display. They include Family Group Records and an Index. For more information on these records, click here.
  • Select Font Size - This option allows you to select how large the text will be on your record. The default font size is 3, but you can select 2 or 1 for smaller text and 4 or 5 for larger text.
  • - When you click the Create Display button, your record will be created, using the options you have specified. The record will be displayed in a separate tab or window.
  • Select Page - This option allows you to jump to a specific page in a previously created display. If you have already created a print display and now wish to view a particular page, simply enter the page number in the Select Page field and click the button.

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How can I print out records from MyTrees Online?

To print charts and records from your My Family Tree file, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the print options screen. Select which type of record you would like to print from the Select Display Type options.
  3. Use the scroll box to select how many generations you would like to include in the record. Please note that the record will start with the family currently displayed in the first position. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart so that a different family is listed in the first position, click here for instructions.
  4. If you would also like to print out Family Group Records or an Index, click the box to the left of these options. For a description of these additional records, click here.
  5. Select what font size you would like to use for the record. The default font size is 2. If you would like smaller text, select 1. If you would like larger text, select 3.
  6. When you have finished selecting your print display options, click the button.
  7. The record will then be displayed in a separate window or tab. You will notice that this is a text only version of the record, so that it can easily be printed. To print out a copy of the record, use your browser's print option. This can usually be done by clicking the File menu and selecting Print.
Please note that your record may have more than one page. At the bottom of the page, you will see "Previous Page | Next Page." If your record includes more than one page, the "Next Page" statement will be a link. If you selected the option to include Family Group Records and/or an Index, these records will appear on separate pages.

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Remake Indexes


What does the Remake Indexes icon do?

Clicking the Remake Indexes icon will update the indexes of your file to include any recent changes you may have made. The indexes are automatically updated throughout the day, but you can force an update at any time by clicking this icon. You would want to do this if you have just added a name to your file and are unable to locate it using the Find or List options.

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I just added new names to my family tree, but they aren't showing. What do I do?

Most likely, the problem is simply that your indexes need to be updated to include the new names. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes. Then click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. The new name(s) should now be showing.

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The pedigree chart I was working on disappeared. What do I do?

If you have logged into My Family Tree and your pedigree chart is blank or not showing the family you are interested in, you should reset your pedigree chart. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes to include any recent changes you may have made to your file.
  2. Click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every married couple in your file. Locate the couple you would like to display in the first position of your pedigree chart.
  3. Click the couple's names to be taken to their family group record.
  4. Click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
Your pedigree chart will then display with that family listed in the first position. If you are unable to follow these instructions for any reason, or if your pedigree chart will still not display, please contact us.

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Family Time Line


What is a family time line?

A Family Time Line is a graphic representation of a family unit's important life events (including birth, marriage, and death.) In My Family Tree, a family unit is a husband and wife and any children they may have had. You can open a time line for any family by clicking that family's surname from your pedigree chart and then selecting the "Family Time Line" link. This will open the time line in a separate pop-up window. Here's an example of what a family time line looks like in My Family Tree:

As you can see, each family member (beginning with the parents) is listed by name at the left of the time line. Each column represents a decade, progressing from left to right. Along the time line, vital life events are indicated by the following icons:

  • - Birth
  • - Marriage
  • - Death
When you are done viewing the Time Line, you can close the pop-up window by clicking the "Close X" button in the top right corner.

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How do I view the time line for my ancestor's family?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family time line by clicking on the family's surname. This will bring up an Edit Family menu. From there click the "Family Time Line" link. The time line will then appear in a smaller pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a time line for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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How do I use the time line links?

When you are viewing a time line for a specific family, you can use the following icons to view a time line for the families of either the parents or married children:

  • - If parents have been listed for either spouse currently displayed on your time line, a blue up arrow will appear next to his/her name. Click on this arrow to be taken to the new time line.
  • - When you are viewing a time line, you can click the marriage icon for any child to be taken to the time line for his/her family.
While viewing a time line, you can jump to any family member's individual record by clicking his or her first name. That will cause the individual record to appear in the main window, allowing you to view or edit his/her personal information.

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How can a family time line help my research?

Time lines are an excellent way to keep track of what information you have already gathered about an individual or family, and what information you still need to find. The first rule of genealogical research is to start with what you know, so that you don't end up duplicating research that you already have. The new Family Time Line feature makes it easy for you to see, at a glance, what vital information you still need to find for a specific family.

In addition to pointing out what information you do or do not have about a family, a time line can also point out incongruities in your research. For example, if you look at the sample time line above, you'll notice that the first child, Samuel, is shown as having be born eight years before his parents were married. Since that would make his mother only eleven years old at the time of his birth, we can assume there is some kind of error. In this case, a typo switched his birth year form 1821 (a year after his parents' marriage) to 1812.

Also, if you look at the pattern of childbirth in this family, you will notice a gap of eight years between the third and fourth children. While it is possible that there were simply no children born between those years, it is likely that we are missing a child or two. It would certainly be worth looking into.

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Family Map


What is a family map?

Family Map is a feature that uses the information in your file to display your ancestors' important life events on a current world map. When you are viewing your file in My Family Tree, just click on the surname of any family and select the "Family Map" option. A separate pop-up window will display a Google Map of the world. Vital life events for each member of the selected family will be marked with a special icon.

This is a sample of what you might see on a Family Map:

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How do I view a family map?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family map by clicking on the surname of any family. This will bring up a Edit Family menu. From there, click the "Family Map" link. The family map will appear in a pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a family map for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

Here is a sample family map:

Once your family map is displaying, you can move around and view details using the following navigation icons:

  • Map type: You can select whether to view your Family Map as an illustration or as an actual image taken by satellite.

  • Arrows/mouse: You can move around the map either by using the arrows in the upper left or by clicking and dragging anywhere on the map.

  • Street view: If you grab the icon of the little orange man and drop him somewhere on the map, you will be shown a street view of that location. A fun way to see what your ancestor's hometown looks like today!

  • Zoom: You can zoom in or out by using the slider on the left side of the screen. You may need to zoom in to see all of your event markers.

  • Event marker: Each of these markers indicates a vital life event for at least one family member occurred at that location. Click on the event marker to see details of what event(s) took place at that location.

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Why won't my family map display?

If you have clicked on the family map option but either nothing happened or the window that popped up was blank, here are a few suggestions:

  • If a window pops up, but the display is completely blue, you are looking at the ocean. Check to make sure that you have included place information for vital life events for this family. The family map feature uses the information that you have entered into your file to chart a map of your ancestors' lives. If you have not entered any place information for the family's births, marriages, and deaths, there are no events for the program to chart and your map will be centered over the ocean.
  • If a window pops up, but remains blank and you have included place information for life events for this family, try closing the pop- up window and clicking the Family Map link again. If you have tried several times and still can not get the map to display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.
  • If no window pops up when you click the Family Map link, check to see if you have blocked pop-up windows. There is an option in most browsers that will allow you to block all pop-up windows. If you have selected this option, you will need to change it so that pop-up windows are allowed for our site. Once you have done that, try again.
  • If you do not have pop-up windows blocked for our site and no map pops up when you click the Family Map link, try minimizing your browser window to see if the map has popped up in the background. In the upper right-hand corner of your browser window, you will see three small buttons: a "_", a box, and an "X". Click the "_" button to minimize the window.
If you have read through these suggestions and still can not get your Family Map to correctly display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.

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How can a family map help my research?

Maps are an essential part of genealogical research. Here are just a few ways that the Family Map option in My Family Tree might be useful to your research:

  • Family Map utilizes the Google Maps tool, which is a comprehensive map of the world that can be used to see the entire globe or a view of one individual street. This means that you can easily see what other cities, counties, and even countries border the area where your ancestor lived on the same map that you can use to see what part of town their house was in. This can save you the necessity of having several maps (a city, country, and world atlas for example) at hand for reference.
  • Being able to see the life events of all family members marked on an individual map can help you to identify the family's pattern of migration. If you have been unable to find the birth of a child, visualizing the family's movements in this way might suggest other possible locations to search.
  • Most, if not all, genealogists will eventually run into the problem of trying to identify an ancestor among several candidates of the same name. A good place to start is to consider which of the individuals lived in or nearby the same areas as known members of the family. To determine that, you need to be able to have in mind all of the places where members of that family lived. Being able to instantly bring up a family map, which pinpoints the exact locations of vital life events, makes that much easier.
  • And finally, it's always interesting to learn more about the area where your ancestors lived. Wouldn't it be fun to see if the house where your great grandmother was born is still standing? Or just "take a walk" down the street where your great-great grandfather raised his family? The Family Map tool, by utilizing Google Maps, allows you to do just that without ever leaving the comfort of your computer chair. The "street view" feature allows you to see exactly what your ancestor's hometown looks like today.

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Copyright © 2013-2018 Fficiency Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

My Family Tree FAQ
My Family Tree
Frequently Asked Questions

Topics

If your My Family Tree question is not listed here, or if you need further information,
please send us an email at

Getting Started Return to Topics
Editing Your Family Tree Return to Topics
Navigating My Family Tree Return to Topics
Appending GEDCOMs Return to Topics
Match/Merge Return to Topics
Family Access Return to Topics
Printing Return to Topics
Remake Index Return to Topics
Family Time Line Return to Topics
Family Map Return to Topics

Getting Started


What is My Family Tree?

My Family Tree is a free online genealogy program that you can use to create, edit, and share your family tree. Because it runs entirely over the internet, there is no software for you to download or install on your own computer. Your family tree will be stored on our servers and you can access it at any time simply by logging into your account.

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How do I create a new My Family Tree file?

Follow these steps to create a new file (start a new family tree):

  1. Go to our homepage at https://www.mytrees.com and click "My Family Tree / Manage Tree" in the main menu bar.
  2. Login to your account. If you do not already have an account with us, you can click Register at the top right of this page. If you do not wish to search out your ancestry on our site, then select the "My Family Tree access only - free account". However, we recommend a subscription account, so that you can search our database to find more family names to add to your family tree.
  3. You should now be taken to the File Selection page. Enter a title for your new family tree. This title is for your own use only. No one else will see it. It should be something unique to help you distinguish this file from others you may create in the future.
  4. Click the button
  5. A new file will then be created and you will be taken to a screen where you can begin entering information on your family. We do suggest that you begin with yourself. If you are married and/or have children you should list yourself as a parent of this first family. If not, list yourself as a child of your parent's family.

    You will notice that there is a Browse link next to each entry on this screen. You can ignore that link for now. Later on, it will allow you to browse the index of your file in order to connect an already existing record to a new family. However, since you are just starting your file, there are no records in your index at this time.

    At the top of the page, there is a button. If you click this button, no information will be saved for this family. You will be taken to an empty pedigree chart. You should use this button only if you do not wish to actually start entering information at this time. Otherwise, you can create your first family record by continuing to follow the below steps.

  6. Begin by entering the last, first, and middle names of the parents for this family. Again, if you are married and/or have children, you should list yourself as a parent. Otherwise, list your parents in these spaces. The mother should be listed under her maiden name.
  7. Next, begin by entering the names of any children born to these parents. Child 1 should be the oldest child. You can enter up to ten children from this screen. Additional children can be added to the family later. Women should always be listed under their maiden names.
  8. When you have finished entering the children's names, click the button to save this information to your file.
You will now be taken to a pedigree chart, where you will see the information you have just entered for your family. You will notice that here at My Family Tree we use a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, instead of a single individual, is listed in each place.

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What information will I see on my pedigree chart?

Here is a brief description of each feature you will see on your My Family Tree pedigree chart:

  • Toolbar - The first thing you will see when you are viewing your pedigree chart is a toolbar. Each icon on the toolbar allows you to use a different feature of the My Family Tree program. You can see an explanation of what each icon is for by clicking the button on the right of the toolbar or by clicking here.
  • File name and title - Directly below the toolbar you will see the name and title of your file. The file name is a series of numbers and letters. In the example to the right, the file name is "az000048." This file name is what your family tree will be called in our database.

    The title is what you have chosen to call your family tree. In the example to the right, the file title is "My Family Tree." The title is for your use only and allows you to tell your files apart, should you wish to create or upload multiple files.

  • Reset - Below the toolbar and to the right, you will see the "Reset" link. Clicking on this link will return you to the first family listed in your file or to a family that you have selected as the default reset point.
  • FAQ - To the right of the Reset link, you will see a link to this Frequently Asked Questions page. This link allows you to easily access these questions, should you need assistance while working on your file.
  • Pedigree chart - Next you will see your pedigree chart itself. You will notice that My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart with which you may be familiar. A family pedigree chart shows an entire family, rather than a single individual, in each position. In the example to the right, you will see that the family of John and Jane Doe is listed in the first position. Up to three generations can be shown on the screen at one time. Below we will discuss each element of the family pedigree chart.

  • Family group - In each position on the pedigree chart, you will see a family group. The names of the parents of this family will be displayed, along with their birth and marriage years and places. The links and icons in the family group allow you to view and edit information on the family, as well as individual family members.

    • Husband/Wife first name - Clicking the husband or wife's first name will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for the husband of our sample family. Clicking the "Edit John" link will allow you to edit the husband's individual record.

      Next, you will see links that allow you to choose which spouse appears on the pedigree chart. John was married twice. He is currently being displayed with Jane on the pedigree chart. If you would like him to be displayed with his second wife, you would click the "Display John with Mary Brown" link.

      The last option on this edit menu allows you to add a new spouse for John.

    • Surname - Clicking the family's surname (last name) will bring up an edit menu. The example to the right shows an edit menu for our sample family. Clicking the "Edit Doe Family" link will take you to the couple's family group record, where you can edit information on their marriage and children.

      Next, you will see a "Family Time Line" option. Clicking this link will bring up a time line of important life events for each member of this family group (husband, wife, and children). The time line will appear in a small pop-up window. For further information about the Family Time Line, see What is a family time line?.

      Next, you will see a "Family Map" option. Clicking this link will bring up a Google Map of the world. The location of vital life events (including birth, marriage, and death) for each member of the selected family will be marked on the map. For more information about the Family Map, see What is a family map?.

      The final option in the Edit Family menu reads "Set family as default for "Reset." If you click this option, this family group will become the default reset point in your family tree. Whenever you click the "Reset" link that appears in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

    • - You can click this tree icon to reset your pedigree chart with that family listed in the first position. If the family is already showing in the first position, no change will be made.
    • - The couple icon allows you to reset your pedigree chart so that a married child of the current family is listed in the first position with his/her spouse. When you click the icon, a Display Married Children menu will appear, listing each child of the current family who has a spouse. In the example to the right, clicking the "Display Johnny & Ann Doe" link would cause the pedigree chart to reset with Johnny and Ann in the first position.
    • - Clicking the children icon will bring up an Edit Children menu. From this menu you can go to each child's individual record by clicking their name. You can also use the "Add new child" link to add additional children to the family.

    • - The DC icon allows you to view a Dynamic Descendancy Chart. This chart allows you to view all of the descendants included in the file for the parents of the family. You can click the name of any descendant listed in the file to view his/her individual record, or the name of a descendant's spouse to view their family group record.

  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has not yet been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Not Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Completed.
  • - When this icon appears next to a family group, it indicates that the work for this family has been completed. You can change the status of the family group by going to the family record and clicking the "Work Completed" icon listed in the toolbar. That will change the status to Not Completed.
  • Add the Parents of - This link will appear in any empty position of your pedigree chart. It allows you to extend your family tree by adding the next generation. Clicking this link will take you to a page where you can enter the names of the individual's parents and siblings.

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What is an individual record?

An individual record contains information that pertains to a specific individual contained in your file. This information includes vital statistics, such as birth and death dates and places, spouse(s), and notes. There are several ways you can get to an individual record. First, you can click the person's first name from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Person icon from the toolbar to search for them. Third, you can use the List People icon from the toolbar to select the individual from a list of every name contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the person's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. From there, you can edit their full name, gender, and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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What is a family group record?

A family group record contains information that pertains to an entire family. This information includes marriage details for the parents and the names and birth order of the children. There are several ways you can get a family group record. First, you can click the family's surname (last name) from your pedigree chart. Second, you can click the Find Family icon from the toolbar to search for the family. Third, you can click the List Families icon from the toolbar to select the family from a list all of the families contained in your file.

Once you have clicked the family's name, you will be taken to their family group editing screen. On this screen, you will be able to edit or add information relating to the marriage of the parents. You can add or remove a parent and add dates and places for their marriage and divorce, if applicable. You can use the icons in the toolbar to add children, notes, or pictures to the family. Any notes or pictures added here should relate to the entire family. Notes or pictures relating to a specific family member can be added to that person's individual record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How do I add a spouse to an individual

Follow these steps to add a spouse:

  1. Bring up the person's individual record. If they are currently being displayed on your pedigree chart, you can do this by clicking their first name and then the "Edit [First Name]" link. If not, you can locate them by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This will bring up a list of every name contained in your file. Locate the individual and click their name.
  2. Once you are viewing the person's individual record, click the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will bring you to the spouse editing screen. There are two ways you can add a spouse. First, you can add a new spouse who is not currently listed in your file. Select the "Add new spouse" option and enter the spouse's first and last name. Then click the button. A new individual record will be created for the spouse, as well as a family group record, showing the individual and new spouse as the father and mother.

    Second, you can attach a spouse who is already listed in your file. If you have previously created an individual record for the spouse and now you just need to create a family group record to show the marriage between the two individuals, click the "Attach spouse" option. Then click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link. This will bring up a search window. Enter the spouse's surname (maiden name for women), locate him/her from the results list, and click his/her name. That should cause his/her record number to be placed in the appropriate field. Then click the button. A family group record will be created, showing the individual and spouse as the mother and father.

Once you have added a spouse, you can go into the family group record to add details about their marriage and any children they had together. Go to the spouse's individual record to add vital information, such as birth and death dates.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add parents to an individual?

Follow these steps to add parents:

  1. The option to add parents appears right on your pedigree chart. First, you need to make sure that the individual is currently being displayed on your pedigree chart. If not, you will need to reset your pedigree. Click the List People icon from the tool bar and then select the name of the individual for whom you wish to add parents. That will take you to their individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon . That will reset your pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family is listed in the first position.
  2. Once the individual is displaying on your pedigree chart, you should see a "Add the Parents of" link in the next position. Click this link to add the individual's parents. (Note: If the individual is being displayed in the third generation on your pedigree chart, the add parents link will not appear. Click the tree icon in the box where the individual is listed. That will reset the pedigree chart so that the individual and his/her family will be shown in the first position. The add parents link should then appear.)
  3. Once you have clicked the "Add the Parents of" link you will be taken to a screen where you can create a family record the individual's parents. You will find that the individual will already be listed as a child of this family. The father's surname will also be filled in (you can change it if necessary). Fill in the remaining name spaces for the individual's parents and siblings.
  4. Click the button to create the family record and save the information you have entered.
You will then be taken back to your pedigree chart, where you should now see the newly added parents displayed. You can add dates and other information from there. Click a first name to add details to an individual record. Click the surname to add details to the family group record.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I add children to a family?

There are two ways to add children to a family:

  1. First, you can add children directly from your pedigree chart by clicking the children icon from the family group. Click the "Add new child" link. This will create a new individual record and take you directly to the editing screen where you can enter a name and vital information for the new child.

    Once you have finished adding information about that child, save the changes by clicking the button. You will then be taken to an Individual Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the View Tree icon to return to your pedigree chart. You can then add another child following the same steps.

  2. You can also add children from the family group record. Bring up the family group record by clicking the family's surname on your pedigree chart. (If the family is not currently displayed on your pedigree, click the List Families icon to locate them.)

    Once you are viewing the family group record, where you will see information regarding the parents' marriage, click the Children Info icon . This will take you to a children editing screen. From there, you can either add a new child or attach a child who already exists in your file to this family. Click the button to save the changes. You will then be taken to a Family Editing Update screen, confirming that the changes to the record have been saved. From there, click the Children Info icon to add another child. You can add information, such as dates and notes, to a child's record by clicking their name from the children editing screen.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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How do I edit my pedigree chart?

You edit your pedigree chart by making changes to individual and family group records (for more information, see What is an individual record? and What is a family group record?). You can access these records using the links and icons on the pedigree chart itself.

  • Individual records - To access an individual record, click the person's first name and then on the "Edit" link. My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, so you will see an entire family listed in each position (for more information see What is a family pedigree chart?). The mother and father's names will be listed directly on the chart. To access the children's records, click the children icon .

    If the individual you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Person icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a person to locate their record. The List People icon will bring up a complete list of all the individual records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on the person's name, you will be taken to an individual editing screen, where you can edit their name and vital information. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as spouses, parents, and notes. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

  • Family records - To access a family group record, click the family's surname. If the family you wish to edit is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can use the Find or List icons in the toolbar to locate them. The Find Family icon will take you to a search screen, where you can enter specific details about a family to locate their record. The List Families icon will bring up a complete list of all the family records contained in your file.

    Once you have clicked on a family's surname, you will be taken to a family editing screen. From there you can edit information regarding the mother and father and their marriage. You can also use the icons in the toolbar to edit other information, such as children and notes. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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Why can't I see all family members on my pedigree chart?

My Family Tree uses a family pedigree chart, rather than the individual pedigree chart you may be used to. On a family pedigree chart an entire family, rather than a single individual, is listed in each place.

The image to the right is an example of a family group as it will be shown on your pedigree chart. You will note that the father and mother's names are shown as links, as is the family's surname. You can access the parents' individual records by clicking their first names. You can access the family group record (where you can add marriage details and children) by clicking the surname. You can access the children's records by clicking the children icon . That will give you the option to edit any children you have already entered for the family or to add a new child.

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Is My Family Tree a free service?

Yes, My Family Tree is a completely free service. We will never charge you to access or edit your family tree. When you register a Family Password, your family members can also view your family tree for free. There is no limit to the amount of information that can be stored in your file and this information is under your control at all times.

You will need to register an account with us in order to use MyTrees Online, but this account is free. If you have not already done so, you can register now by clicking here.

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Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?

Yes, if you add at least 60 individuals and 15 families to your MyTrees Online file, you will be eligible to receive one free month of our subscription services. Please note that this is a one time offer . You will be given the free month for the first file that reaches the size limit. While you can have as many My Family Tree files as you like, you will not be given additional free time for building more files.

You do not need to do anything to receive this free time. Your account will be automatically credited with the free month once your file has reached the 60 individuals and 15 families limit. (Please note that it may take a couple of hours for the system to register that your file has reached the size limit, so please be patient. You will receive an email when your account has been credited with the free time.) You do not need to upload a GEDCOM of the information. When you use My Family Tree to build your family tree, you are adding the information directly into our site. We already have the it, so you will not need to upload anything to us.

However, if you have previously entered all or some of your family tree into another genealogy program, you are welcome to upload a GEDCOM to us. That can save you the time involved in re-entering the information. You will still receive the free month if you choose to upload a GEDCOM rather than building your file from scratch on My Family Tree. For more information on GEDCOMs, click here.

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Editing Your Family Tree


How do I enter details about a marriage?

Details about a marriage can be edited from the family group record. You can access this record from your pedigree chart or from either spouse's individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. To access the family group record from your pedigree chart, simply click the family's surname.

    If you are viewing the individual record of either spouse, you can access the family group record by clicking the Spouse Info icon . That will take you to a spouse editing screen where you will see any spouse(s) currently listed for the individual. Click the Family Record link listed next to a spouse's name to access that family group record.

  2. You should now be on the family group editing screen. You can add basic details about the marriage (where and when the couple were married and, if applicable, divorced) right on this screen.
  3. When you are done, click the button to save any changes you have made to the record.
You can also add or remove the father or mother of the family from this screen or use the icons in the toolbar to make other changes. The Children Info icon allows you to add new children or edit information about existing children. The Source Notes icon allows you to add notes to the family record. For a complete description of the family editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

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How can I make sure that I have successfully added a spouse to an individual?

Once you have added a new spouse, you should see an Individual Editing Update message, confirming that your update is complete. You can make sure that the spouse was successfully added by clicking the Spouse Info icon from the toolbar. That will return you to the spouse editing screen, where you should now see the new spouse listed.

If you do not see the spouse listed on this page, you will need to try again. Please note that you must have the gender of an individual set before you can add a spouse. You can set an individual's gender by clicking the Vital Info icon from the toolbar.

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How do I add information to a child's record?

Once you have added a child to a family, you can add information about that child by accessing their individual record . Follow these steps:

  1. From your pedigree chart, click the children icon . This will bring up the children editing menu. Click the "Edit [child's name]" link.

    You can also get to the child's individual record by clicking the child's name on the child editing screen (found in the family group record), or by using the Find Person or List People icons to locate them.

  2. Once you have clicked the child's name, you will be taken to their individual editing screen. >From there, you can add or change the individual's name and vital information.
  3. When you are finished, click the button to save the changes you have made to the record.
You can also use the icons in the toolbar to search our site for the individual, edit information on their spouse(s) or parents, or add notes and pictures relating to the individual. For a complete description of the individual editing toolbar options, click the icon at the right of the toolbar or click here.

Please note that it is important to enter birth dates for all living individuals. Our system will not display information on living individuals to the public, but the only way we can identify living individuals is by referring to the dates listed in your file. For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

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Can I add more than one child at a time?

When you are first creating a new family, using the "Add parents of" link from your pedigree chart or the Add Family icon from the toolbar, you can add up to ten children. However, when you are adding more children to a family that already exists in your file, you can only add one child at a time. But you can add as many children to each family as you need.

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How do I attach a child who is already listed in my file to a family?

If you have previously created an individual record for a child and now need to attach that child to his/her parents, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. Select the "Attach child" option.
  4. Click the "Browse Find Individual Record Number" link.

  5. This will bring up a search form in a small pop-up window. Enter the child's last name and click the SEARCH button.
  6. Locate the child's name from the results list and click it. That should cause the child's Individual Record Number to be placed in the appropriate field.
  7. Select the option that best describes the child's relationship to this set of parents. The options are Natural (meaning these are the child's biological parents), Adopted, Foster, or Other.
  8. Click the button.
The child will then be attached to the family.

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How do I change the birth order of children in a family?

Follow these steps to change the birth order of children in a family:

  1. First, you will need to bring up the family group record. If the family is currently displayed on your pedigree chart, just click their surname. If not, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names.
  2. That will take you to the family group record. Now click the Child Info icon from the toolbar.

  3. You will now be on the child editing screen. You will see a list of all the children currently attached to this family. Select a child who is listed out of order by clicking the circle to the left of his/her name.
  4. Under the "Action for Above Selected Child" area, you will see a "Set child order" field. Enter the number that represents the child's place in the birth order. The oldest child would be 1, the next 2, and so on.
  5. Click the button.
  6. That should take you to a Family Editing Update screen, where you will see a message confirming that your update is complete. To check that the child is now listed in the correct place in the birth order, click the Child Info icon from the toolbar to return to the child editing screen.
The child you selected should now be listed in the correct place in the birth order. If any other children are listed out of order, you can fix them by following the same steps.

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How do I add notes to document my research?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding Source Notes. For questions about History Info, see How do I add historical/biographical information?

  1. To add Source Notes, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as documentation on the individual's birth or death, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as documentation of the marriage date, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the Source Notes icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the source notes editing screen. The first options you will see are the source note tags. These tags help you to organize your notes by information type. For example, to document information regarding an individual's birth you would select BIRTH from the General Tags. That will place "BIRTH:" on the next available line of your notes. You can then add the documentation after the tag.
  5. Once you have selected an appropriate tag for your note, you can enter the note itself in the text area. There are many ways to document your research. You are free to use any documentation method you want.

    If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    You can make notes private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see a button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your notes will look like with any formatting you have included.
  7. The remaining options on this screen are for attaching images to your notes. If you have any images of source documents, such as a birth certificate, you can upload them and attach them to your source notes. For information on uploading pictures see Pictures in MyTrees Online. Once you have uploaded your source image, select it from the "Add New Source Image" scroll box to attach it to this record.
  8. When you finished making changes to the source notes for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add historical/biographical information?

You can add two types of notes to your My Family Tree family tree: Source Notes, which allow you to document your research, and History Info, which allows you to enter historical or biographical information. Here we will discuss adding History Info. For questions about Source Notes, see How do I add notes to document my research?

  1. To add historical or biographical information, you will first need to decide which record the note belongs in. You can add notes to individual records or family group records. If the note pertains only to the individual, such as a journal entry written by the person, you would put it in his/her individual record. If the note is about the marriage or pertains to the whole family, such as a description of the wedding or information about where the family lived, you would put it in the family group record.
  2. Once you have decided which record to place the note in, you will need to open that record. You can do so from the pedigree chart. To open an individual record, click the individual's first name (if they are showing as part of their parent's family, first click the children icon and then the "Edit [child's name]" link). To open a family group record, click the family's surname.

    If the person or family is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, you can bring up their record by clicking the List People or List Families icons from your toolbar. That will bring up a complete list of all the people or families currently displayed in your file. Locate and click the correct name to bring up the record.

  3. You should now be viewing either an individual or family group record. From there, click the History Info icon from the toolbar.
  4. This will take you to the biography editing screen. The first options you will see have to do with including pictures in your biography. If you have uploaded any pictures of the individual or family, you can add them to the biography.
    • First, select how you would like the picture to be placed in relation to the text. There are four options: inline, left, center, and right. Select the option you would like by clicking the circle to the left of that option.
    • Next, chose the picture from the "Select picture" scroll box. That will place the picture on the next line of your biography. (A picture can be placed anywhere in the biography and you can include as many pictures as you like.)

  5. Below the picture options, you will see the text area, where you can enter the biography or history information. If you are familiar with HTML, you can add HTML tags to format your notes. If not, just enter your notes as plain text. For more information, see What is HTML? and What are some basic HTML tags I can use?

    If you have a historical document that is already in HTML format, you can upload it rather than re-entering it here. To do so, return to your pedigree chart and click the Upload Bios icon .

    You can make part of your biography private if you have information that you would like to include in your file for your own reference, but do not want shown to others. You do this by enclosing the note in {braces}. Notes enclosed between {single braces} will be shown to you when you view your own file and to family members when they login through the family access login. Notes enclosed between {{double braces}} will only be shown to you when you view your own file.

  6. Below the text area, you will see the button. Clicking this button will bring up a smaller pop- up window, which will show you what your biography will look like with any formatting and/or pictures you have included.
  7. Next, you will see the button, which will give you some tips on using a few basic HTML tags.
  8. When you finished making changes to the History Info for this record, click the button at the bottom of the screen.

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How do I add a child to two different sets of parents?

You may have individuals in your file who have two different sets of parents, such as in the case of adoptive families. You can attach a child to two sets of parents by following these steps:

  1. In order to add the child to both sets of parents, you will first need to create both family group records. To create a family group record, click the Add Family icon from the toolbar (this option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart).
  2. This will take you to an Add First Family editing screen. Enter the parents' names, as well as the names of any children not previously entered into your file.
  3. If one or more children of this set of parents has already been entered into your file (either as a spouse or as the child of a different set of parents), click the Browse link.
  4. This will bring up a search form in a pop-up window. Enter the child's surname and click the SEARCH button.
  5. Click the child's name from the search results.
  6. That will automatically place the child's IRIN (Individual Record Number) in the last name field.
  7. When you have finished adding family members, click the button at the bottom of the screen. A family group record will be created for the new family.
If you need to create a family group record for the second set of parents as well, follow steps 2-7 to do so now. The child should then be listed with both sets of parents. You can check by bringing up the child's individual record (either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them). Then click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar. That will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How can I view both families?

Only one set of parents can be shown on your pedigree chart at a time. However, you can see information on both sets of parents from the child's individual record:

  1. To bring up the child's individual record, either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. You can also edit information about the parents from this screen, such as their relationship to the child.
  4. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart to display the other set of parents, click the parents' names to go to their family group record. Then click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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I have added a child to two sets of parents. How do I set one of them to Adoptive Parents?

When a child is added to a family, the relationship to the parents is automatically set as Natural, indicating a biological relationship. If the child's relationship to this set of parents is other than biological, you can indicate that in the record by following these steps:

  1. First, bring up the child's individual record. You can either click their first name from the pedigree chart or use the Find Person icon to search for them.
  2. Click the Parents Info icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the parents editing screen, where you should see both sets of parents listed. Select the circle to the left of the parents for whom you wish to change the relationship status.
  4. Under "Action for Selected Parents," select the relationship type. There are four choices: Natural, Adoptive, Foster, or Other. (If you select Other, you may wish to include a note in the family group record describing the exact relationship.)
  5. Click the button at the bottom of the screen.
The relationship status for that set of parents will then be updated.

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Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?

No. The privacy of living individuals is very important to us here at MyTrees.com. Our site is designed to hide all information on anyone that it can determine to be a living individual. It determines if an individual is still living by dates. First, it looks for a death date. If no death date is listed, then it will look at the birth date. Any individual for whom no death date is listed and who was born within the last 95 years will be considered living. Their information (including their names) will NOT be displayed in the Ancestry Archive.

Please note that if no birth date has been included for the individual, then our site will have no way to determine that they are, in fact, living and their information will be displayed. That is why it is so important to include birth dates for all living individuals.

It is also important to note that information on living individuals will appear both when you view your own file and when family members use the family access login to view your file. However, you control who has your family access password, so you can control who is able to view that information.

If you have any further concerns about protecting the privacy of living individuals, please contact us at

.

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How do I change the title of my file?

The title of your file is what you originally called your file when you created it. Only you will see your title. You can change the title by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to rename from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Type the new title in the "Enter new title for selected family tree" field.
  4. Click the button.

The title of your file will then be changed.

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Navigating My Family Tree


How do I navigate through my pedigree chart?

You can move navigate through your family tree using the tree and DDC icons listed on the pedigree chart.

  • Moving backward in time to see the next generation of ancestors - Click the tree icon in the upper left corner of a family group to reset your pedigree chart so that family will be displayed in the first position. This moves you backward in time through your pedigree chart, so that the next generation or two of ancestors will be shown.
  • Moving forward in time to see the next generation of descendants -
    1. Click the DDC icon in the lower right corner of a family group to view the Dynamic Descendancy Chart.
    2. The DDC will displayed in a smaller pop-up window and will show you a list of all the descendants of the father and mother of that family. Click a descendant's name to be taken to his/her individual record. (If you click the name of a descendant's spouse, you will be taken to their family record.)
    3. From the individual or family record, click the Reset Tree icon .

    Your pedigree chart will now display, showing the family of that descendant in the first position. (Please note that if the descendant does not have a spouse or children listed in your file, they will be shown as a child of their parent's family.) You have moved you forward in time through your pedigree chart, so that you are now viewing later generations of descendants.

  • Returning to the beginning of your file - You can return to the beginning of your file whenever you like by clicking the Reset link found in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. You can also change the default reset point to any family in your tree. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option?.

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What is a Dynamic Descendancy Chart?

A Dynamic Descendancy Chart, sometimes abbreviated DDC, shows you five generations of descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) for a selected couple. You can view the DDC for any couple shown on your pedigree chart by clicking the DDC icon , shown in the lower right corner of their family group. The DDC will be displayed in a smaller pop-up window.

The top line of the DDC will show a folder icon , "Dynamic Descendancy Chart for:", and then the names of the selected couple. The line that goes down from that folder icon will branch off for each of the couple's children. So, in our example to the right, you can see that John and Alice Kendig had sons named John, Isaac, and Henry.

If a child has a family of their own listed in the file (meaning that a spouse and/or children have been added for them), then you will see another folder icon next to their name. John and Henry both have families listed in the file. If a child does not have a family listed in the file, then there will be an end of line icon next to their name. Isaac does not have a family listed in the file.

For any child who has a family listed, you will see their spouse(s) listed below their name. If they have children, the spouse's name will be preceded by a folder icon and the children will be listed below. If they did not have any children with that spouse, then the spouse's name will be preceded by a end of line icon . In our example, John Kendig had two spouses, Anna and Barbara Ann, but there are no children listed with either wife in the file. Henry Kendig had one spouse, Barbara, and there are several children listed in the file.

Each generation of the DDC will continue in the same way for up to five generations. If there is another generation of descendants in that line, you will see the folder icon . If there are no further descendants, you will see the end of line icon .

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How do I see everyone that is listed in my file?

You can view a complete list of all the names contained in your file by clicking the List People icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart. The list will display in a smaller, pop-up window.

If you have recently added some names to your file and do not see them listed, click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar. That will update the indexes of your file to include the recent changes. Then click the List People icon again and you should see the new names.

>From this list, you can view a person's individual record by clicking their name. If you would like to view that person on your pedigree chart, click the Reset Tree icon when you are viewing their individual record. That will take you back to the pedigree chart, where that individual's family should be displaying in the first position.

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How can I quickly jump to a specific person in my pedigree chart?

You can easily jump to any point in your file by following these steps:

  1. When you are viewing your pedigree chart, click the List People icon from the toolbar.
  2. This will bring up a complete list of all the names in your file. Click the name of the individual you wish to view.

    (If you have recently added some names to your file and are not seeing the name you wish to view, click the Remake Indexes icon to update your indexes and then try again.)

  3. You will now be taken to that person's individual record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon .

Your pedigree chart will then re-display with that individual's family in the first position. Please note that if the individual does not have a spouse and/or children listed in the file then they will be displayed as a child of their parent's family.

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How do I return to the beginning of my pedigree chart?

When you are viewing your file, you will find a "Reset" link in the upper right hand corner of the pedigree chart. Simply click this link to be returned to the first family listed in your file. It is also possible to select a different family to be the default reset point. If you have previously done so, you will be taken to that point in your family tree when you click the Reset link. For more information, see How do I use the Reset option? .

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How do I use the Reset option?

The Reset option, found in the upper right corner of your pedigree chart, allows you to return to a specific point in your file whenever you like. Unless you select a different family, this will automatically be set as the first family listed in your file. You can return to that first family at any time simply by clicking the "Reset" link. You can select a new family to be the default reset point by following these steps:

  1. Locate the family you wish to be the default reset point in your pedigree chart. If the family is not currently showing on your pedigree chart, click the List Families icon from the toolbar to bring up a list of all the families contained in your file. Locate the parents and click their names. This will take you to their family group record. >From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
  2. You should now see the family listed on your pedigree chart. Click the family's surname to bring up the edit menu.
  3. Click the "Set family as default for 'Reset'" link.
That family will then be set as the default reset point. Whenever you click the "Reset" link in the upper right corner of the pedigree chart, you will be taken back to this family.

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I have more than one file. How do I view a different file?

You can switch between files by following these steps:

  1. Click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view from the "Select Existing File" scroll box.
  3. Click the button.

You will then be taken to the selected file.

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Appending GEDCOMs


What is an append?

Append means to add a section of a family tree to an existing file. There are two ways to do this. First, if you have a GEDCOM that contains the information you wish to add to your family tree, you can upload it as an append. That will add the information in the GEDCOM to your file. You can then attach the new information to your family tree by completing a Match/Merge. For more information, see How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Second, if you have found the information in another file on our site, you can download that information directly into your file. For information on how to download information from another file, see How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

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How do I add information from a file in the Ancestry Archive to my own family tree?

If you have found a file on our site that contains information you would like to add to your family tree, you can download up to 6 generations directly to your My Family Tree file as long as you have already received a free month for the file. (For more information, see Will I get free subscription time for building my file in My Family Tree?) If you have not already received your free month, please continue building your file. Once you have received your free month, you can download information from any file on our site by following these steps:

  1. First, if you have more than one file, you will need to make sure that the correct file is selected in your account. The information will automatically download into whichever file you have most recently opened in My Family Tree. If you only have one file, or are sure that the correct file has been selected, continue on to Step 2. To check if the correct file is selected,
    • Click the My Family Tree option from the menu bar at the top of the page.
    • This will take you to My Family Tree. If the file that is displaying is the one that you wish to add the information to, continue to Step 2.
    • If the file that is displaying is not the file you wish to add the new information to, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar to select the correct file. Once the correct file is displaying, continue to Step 2.
  2. Return to the file in the Ancestry Archive and look directly below the pedigree chart to find the download area.
  3. Select the number of generations you wish to download from the scroll box. You can download up to 6 generations at a time. The download will begin with the family currently showing in the first position on the pedigree chart.
  4. Select the MyTrees.com option.
  5. A message will pop-up, telling you that after you have downloaded this information into your file, you should wait 10 minutes and then complete a Match/Merge. Click the OK button.

  6. Click the button.
  7. The information will then be downloaded into your My Family Tree file. You will see a "Download Completed" message when the download has finished.
  8. Wait at least 10 minutes to give the system time to fully process the new information into your file. Then return to My Family Tree and complete a Match/Merge to attach the new information to your family tree.
You are welcome to download information from as many files as you like into your My Family Tree file. However, it is important that you do wait 10 minutes after each download and then complete a Match/Merge. If you complete multiple downloads one right after the other without giving the system time to fully process each download, your file can become corrupted.

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How do I append a GEDCOM to my My Family Tree family tree?

Appending a GEDCOM to your My Family Tree file will add the information to your existing family tree. It will not replace and update your entire file. If you would like to update your file by uploading a new GEDCOM, please click here for instructions.

If you would like to add new information to your family tree by appending a GEDCOM, follow these steps:

  1. If you have more than one file, first make sure that the correct file is displaying. The information in your GEDCOM will be added to whichever file is currently open in My Family Tree. If you want to append the information to a different file, click the Select Tree icon from the toolbar and select the correct file.
  2. Once the correct file is displaying, click the Append GEDCOM icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  3. You will then be taken to the append GEDCOM screen. Select whether the GEDCOM was created using a Windows, DOS, or MAC program.
  4. Click the BROWSE button.
  5. Select the drive and folder in which your GEDCOM is saved.
  6. Select the file name and then click OPEN. This will place the correct path to your file into the submission form.
  7. Click the button.
Your GEDCOM will then be appended to the current file. That means that the information from the GEDCOM is now stored in your My Family Tree file. However, the new information is not yet connected to your family tree. You will be prompted to start a Match/Merge , which should link the names from your GEDCOM into your family tree. Click the "Continue" link to start the Match/Merge.

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Why is it so important to run a Match/Mere after appending a GEDCOM?

When you append a GEDCOM, the information from the GEDCOM is added to your My Family Tree file. However, the new branch of names will not be connected to your family tree. It will exist separately in your file and will not be displayed as part of your main pedigree chart. Also, there will most likely be duplication between the information from the GEDCOM and the information that you had in your file previous to the append. Running a Match/Merge will allow you to merge any duplicate records, cleaning up your file and connecting the new branch into your family tree.

For more information about running a Match/Merge, click here.

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I received an email saying that my file was corrupted. What caused this and how can I prevent it from happening again?

File corruption usually happens when too many appends are done in a short period of time. Some of the appended information did not have time to fully process before the next append was started. Also, when multiple appends are done so quickly, time was not taken to merge each piece into the whole tree. This results in the file becoming corrupted and unfixable.

When that happens, the only option is to revert to a previously saved copy of the file. Fortunately, we frequently backup all files stored in our database and are generally able to restore the file to a point before the corruption took place. However, you will then have to redo any changes that were made to the file after that time, including any appends that were done.

You can prevent your file from becoming corrupted in the future by waiting 10 minutes between each append and by completing a Match/Merge after each append. This ensures that each append is fully processed and each new branch is correctly linked into your family tree.

You may also want to consider saving a backup of your file before you begin an append. This will ensure that we do have a current backup, should we need to restore your file later on. You can save a backup of your file in My Family Tree by clicking the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Is there any way to restore my corrupted file?

Yes, it is possible to restore your file to a point before the corruption took place. There is an option in My Family Tree that allows you to save a backup of your file. If you have previously saved a backup, you can restore your file yourself by clicking the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. (This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.) That will restore your file to the backup copy. Assuming that the backup was saved before the corruption took place, that should solve the problem.

If you have not saved a backup of your file in My Family Tree, you can contact us and we will restore your file. We routinely backup all files stored in our database. If you originally uploaded your file as a GEDCOM, we can always restore the original GEDCOM. We may also have more recent backups of your file. If you contact us, we will restore the most recent backup that we have.

While it is possible to restore your file, it is far better to prevent it from being corrupted in the first place. Once your file has been restore, please take measures to prevent corruption in the future.

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Match/Merge


What is a Match/Merge?

Match/Merge is the process of finding duplicate records in your file and merging them, so that there is only one record for each individual. There are two Match/Merge options in My Family Tree:

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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I have the same person listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there are multiple records for the same individual in your file, you will want to merge those duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Person option. You can only merge one pair of records at a time, so if there are more than two duplicate records for one individual, you will need to repeat the process until all the duplicates have been merged. (If there is a lot of duplication in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Branch option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Person icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Individual Match/Merge screen. Here you will see two "Individual Record Number" fields. Each individual record in your file is given a unique number. If you are seeing the same person listed multiple times in your file, it means that two or more individual records have been created for that person.

    If you know the Individual Record Numbers (IRINs) for the duplicate records, you can go ahead and enter those into the fields and then skip to Step 8.

  4. If you do not know the IRINs for the duplicate records, click the "Browse" link next to the first field.
  5. This will bring up a Browse Find Individual Record Number search form in a smaller pop-up window. Enter the last name of the person and click the SEARCH button.
  6. When the results appear, you will see a list of names of people in your file who have that last name. You will notice that each name has a number listed next to it. This is the IRIN for that record. Next to the IRIN, you will see the person's birth date, if you included it in their individual record.

    Locate the first duplicate record and click it. This will return you to the Individual Match/Merge screen and will automatically place the IRIN in the field.

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the second Individual Record Number field.
  8. When both IRINs have been entered into the appropriate fields, click the button to merge those records. The page will reload so that you can merge another set of duplicate records.

    If you have entered the IRINs into the fields and then decide that you do not want to merge those two records, click the button. That will clear the form so that you can start over.

  9. When you are done merging records, click the button.

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Many people are listed more than once in my file. How do I correct this?

If you have noticed that there is a lot of duplication in your file, you will want to merge the duplicate records together using the Match/Merge Branch option. (If there are only a few duplicate records in your file, you may want to consider using the Match/Merge Person option.)

  1. Before beginning any Match/Merge process, we strongly suggest that you backup your file. That way if you later find that you have incorrectly merged two records, you can always restore your file. To backup your file, click the Make Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. Once you have backed up your file, click the Merge Branch icon from the toolbar.
  3. This will take you to the Match/Merge Query Screen. You will see a "Starting surname" field. You have two options on this screen:

    • If you had previously begun a Match/Merge but had to stop before completing the process - The Match/Merge program runs alphabetically by surname. To start where you left off last time, enter the surname you were last working on in the "Starting surname" field. The Match/Merge will begin at that point in your file.
    • If you are starting a new Match/Merge - Leave the "Starting surname" field blank. The Match/Merge will run for your entire file.
  4. If you are ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

    If you are not ready to start the Match/Merge, click the button.

  5. You will now be shown the first pair of possible record duplicates. For each record, you will see the IRIN (individual record number), name, birth date, birth place, spouses, and parents. Consider all of this information and decide whether or not these two records refer to the same individual.
  6. If both records refer to the same individual, click the MERGE button.

    If the records do not refer to the same individual, click the button.

  7. Once you have clicked Merge or Don't Merge, you will be shown the next pair of records. Continue until you are told that there are no further records to match. The last merge will take a long time because, in addition to merging the two individual records, it will also automatically merge any duplicate family records and rebuild the indexes.

Here are some things to keep in mind when doing a Match/Merge:

  • Take your time when deciding whether or not to merge each record. If you have a lot of duplication in your file, it is tempting to try and get through it as quickly as possible. However, when you do so, it becomes easy to accidentally merge records that are not actually duplicates. Since you can not undo a merge, you will have to fix the record manually. This can be both complicated and time consuming. If you accidentally merge several wrong records you may need to restore your file to the way it was before you began the Match/Merge and then you'll have to start over from the beginning.

    Take time to examine the information from both records and make sure that they really do refer to the same individual. If you're not sure, don't merge the records. Instead, make a note of the record numbers and name. You can always go back and merge them later if you decide they are duplicates.

  • If you need to stop at any time, make a note of which surname you are currently working on and click the button. This will stop the Match/Merge and return you to your pedigree chart. When you are ready to work on the Match/Merge again, you can use the "Starting surname" option to begin where you left off.
  • It is important to complete a Match/Merge. It's okay to stop and come back later if you need to. But make sure that you do come back and finish. When you merge individual records, you can end up with duplicate family group records for the same families. When you complete the Match/Merge process, the program will automatically scan for duplicate family group records and merge them as well. This will be done when you merge the final pair of duplicate individual records.

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What is the difference between the Merge Person and Merge Branch options?

  • Merge Branch - This option will automatically scan your entire file and then show you possible duplicate records one pair at a time, allowing you to decide whether or not each pair needs to be merged. This option is useful if you have recently appended a GEDCOM or downloaded information from another file on our site into your family tree. It allows you to connect the new information into your tree by merging those duplicate records. You can also use this option if you know there are a lot of duplicate records in your file.
  • Merge Person - This option allows you to select two specific records to merge. You should use this option if there are only a few duplicate records in your file.

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How can I check to make sure that the duplicate records have been correctly merged?

If you have completed a Match/Merge and would now like to make sure that the duplication has been corrected, follow these steps:

  1. First, return to your pedigree chart and click the Remake Indexes icon . This will update the indexes of your file.
  2. To make sure that duplicate individual records have been correctly merged, click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each individual listed only once.
  3. To make sure that duplicate family group records have been correctly merged, click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every couple listed in your file. If the duplication has been correctly merged, you should see each couple listed only once.

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I have just Match/Merged an individual. How can I edit his/her record?

Once you have completed your Match/Merge, you can edit the individual record as normal. First, click the Remake Indexes icon . That will update the indexes to include any changes that were made during the Match/Merge. Then go to the person's individual record by clicking his/he name from your pedigree chart. If the name is not currently displayed on the pedigree chart, click the List People icon to select the individual from a list of all the names in your file.

For more information about editing your file, see Getting Started and Editing Your Family Tree .

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I accidentally merged two records that were not duplicates. How can I correct this mistake?

If you made a mistake while merging records, there are two ways that you can correct the problem. The easiest way is to restore your file to a previously saved version. If you used the "Make Backup" option to save your file before starting your Match/Merge, you can restore your file to the backed up copy.

If the mistake only involves one or two records, you may also be able to correct the problem manually. First, locate the record that was incorrectly merged. If you have mistakenly merged two different people into one record, you will probably find that they are now attached to multiple families. They will most likely have more than one set of parents and/or spouses. The easiest way to resolve the problem would be to delete the individual record. That will separate the incorrectly linked families. You can then go back into each family and add both individuals back into your file where they belong.

Fixing problems caused by incorrectly merged records can get complicated. If you can not see how to easily correct the problem, you may want to contact us for assistance. We routinely backup all files that are saved in our database, so even if you did not backup your file, we may have a recent copy saved that we can restore. We may also be able to help you correct the problem. You can email us at

. Remember, we can see your file, so please give us specific details, such as names and record numbers, to help us identify the problem.

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How can I restore the backup I saved before starting my Match/Merge?

If you used the "Make Backup" option in My Family Tree before starting your Match/Merge, you can easily restore your file to that point. First, make sure that that is what you want to do. You can not undo a restore. Once your file has been restored, you will lose any changes you have made since saving the backup. This should only be done if your file has become corrupted and can not easily be fixed any other way.

If you are sure that you want to restore your file, click the Restore Backup icon from the toolbar. This option appears when you are viewing your pedigree chart.

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Family Access


What is Family Access?

Family Access allows your family members and friends to view your file without needing to register an account with our site. When they login using your Family Password, they will be able to view your complete file, as well any personal history or family news items you have created in your account.

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How do I create a Family Password?

Follow these steps to create a Family Password:

  1. Select My Account from the menu bar at the top of our page and click the "Set Family Password" link.

  2. This will take you to an Update Personal Information screen. Locate the password area. There are two fields-one for your personal password and one for your family password. Enter a unique family password.
  3. Click the button to save the change.

Please note that your family password should be different than your personal password. In order to protect the personal information stored in your account, you should never give out the password that you use to login. It is, however, safe to give your family password to family and friends in order to allow them to view your family tree.

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Do my family members need to register an account in order to view my tree?

No, your family members and friends do not need to register an account with MyTrees.com in order to view your tree. They can view your tree, as well as any personal history or family news items saved in your account, by logging in with your account number and Family Password.

A Family Password is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a family password, click here.

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How do my family members login to Family Access?

Your family members and friends can actually use the same login screen that you use in order to log into Family Access. However, they will use your account number and Family Password, which is different than the password you use to login to your account. For instructions on how to create a Family Password, click here.

Once you have created a Family Password, you can send your family members these instructions to help them log into Family Access (they will need your account number and Family Password):

  1. Go to our homepage at www.mytrees.com.
  2. Click the "Login" link that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Enter the member's account number and Family Password.
  4. Click the LOGIN NOW button.
  5. This will take you to a File Selection page. Select the file you wish to view and click the SUBMIT SELECTION button.

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Will my family members be able to edit or add to my family tree through Family Access?

No. Family Access allows your family members and friends to view, but not edit your family tree. As the submitter, you are the only one who can edit your family tree. This allows you to maintain control of your file at all times. If a family member sees something that needs to be edited in your file, they can let you know so that you can make those changes.

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Will my family members be able to view information on living individuals in my file when they login through Family Access?

Yes. When your family members or friends login through Family Access, they will be able to see information on any living individuals in your file. However, since you control who has your Family Password, you control who sees that information. (For more information, see Will living individuals in my file be displayed to the public?)

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Printing


What records can I print from MyTrees Online?

The following types of records can be printed from My Family Tree:

  • Family Pedigree Chart - This is a text version of your family tree.
  • Descendancy Chart - This will list all of the descendants of the couple currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart. It is basically a text version of the Dynamic Descendancy Chart that you can view from your pedigree chart.
  • Birthday Calendar - This will produce a calendar for a specified year, showing the birth dates, including death years for those who are deceased, beginning with the left-hand family of your current family tree display and including their descendants down the specified number of generations.

    After creating your calendar (with or without pictures), use the arrows at the bottom of the currently displayed calendar to select the desired calendar for printing (or use the "View Display" entry with the numbers 1 through 12, representing the months January through December to bring up a calendar for a specific month). Then, use your browser's print capabilities (e.g. "File/Print" as in Firefox) to print that month's Birthday Calendar.

    If you want pictures in your calendar, use the "Birthday Calendar Photo Selection" at the right of the screen to select from standard pictures or upload your own pictures in jpg format. After uploading pictures, you can then proceed to create and print your calendar as described above.

  • Family Group Records - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get a family group record for each family shown on the chart.
  • Index - When you select this option when printing a Family Pedigree or Descendancy Chart, you will also get an index of every name shown on the chart.

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What options will I find on the print screen?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar to reach the print options screen. Here is a brief description of each of the options:

  • Select Display Type - This option allows you to select what type of record you would like to print.
  • Generations - Below the Select Display Type option, you will see a scroll box. This allows you to select how many generations you would like to include on your record. You can print out up to forty generations at a time. The print display will begin with the family currently listed in the first position on your pedigree chart.
  • Optional records - The next two options are additional records that can be added to your print display. They include Family Group Records and an Index. For more information on these records, click here.
  • Select Font Size - This option allows you to select how large the text will be on your record. The default font size is 3, but you can select 2 or 1 for smaller text and 4 or 5 for larger text.
  • - When you click the Create Display button, your record will be created, using the options you have specified. The record will be displayed in a separate tab or window.
  • Select Page - This option allows you to jump to a specific page in a previously created display. If you have already created a print display and now wish to view a particular page, simply enter the page number in the Select Page field and click the button.

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How can I print out records from MyTrees Online?

To print charts and records from your My Family Tree file, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Print Tree icon from the toolbar. This option will appear when you are viewing your pedigree chart.
  2. This will take you to the print options screen. Select which type of record you would like to print from the Select Display Type options.
  3. Use the scroll box to select how many generations you would like to include in the record. Please note that the record will start with the family currently displayed in the first position. If you would like to reset your pedigree chart so that a different family is listed in the first position, click here for instructions.
  4. If you would also like to print out Family Group Records or an Index, click the box to the left of these options. For a description of these additional records, click here.
  5. Select what font size you would like to use for the record. The default font size is 2. If you would like smaller text, select 1. If you would like larger text, select 3.
  6. When you have finished selecting your print display options, click the button.
  7. The record will then be displayed in a separate window or tab. You will notice that this is a text only version of the record, so that it can easily be printed. To print out a copy of the record, use your browser's print option. This can usually be done by clicking the File menu and selecting Print.
Please note that your record may have more than one page. At the bottom of the page, you will see "Previous Page | Next Page." If your record includes more than one page, the "Next Page" statement will be a link. If you selected the option to include Family Group Records and/or an Index, these records will appear on separate pages.

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Remake Indexes


What does the Remake Indexes icon do?

Clicking the Remake Indexes icon will update the indexes of your file to include any recent changes you may have made. The indexes are automatically updated throughout the day, but you can force an update at any time by clicking this icon. You would want to do this if you have just added a name to your file and are unable to locate it using the Find or List options.

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I just added new names to my family tree, but they aren't showing. What do I do?

Most likely, the problem is simply that your indexes need to be updated to include the new names. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes. Then click the List People icon . This will bring up a list of every name in your file. The new name(s) should now be showing.

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The pedigree chart I was working on disappeared. What do I do?

If you have logged into My Family Tree and your pedigree chart is blank or not showing the family you are interested in, you should reset your pedigree chart. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Remake Indexes icon from the toolbar to update your indexes to include any recent changes you may have made to your file.
  2. Click the List Families icon . This will bring up a list of every married couple in your file. Locate the couple you would like to display in the first position of your pedigree chart.
  3. Click the couple's names to be taken to their family group record.
  4. Click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar.
Your pedigree chart will then display with that family listed in the first position. If you are unable to follow these instructions for any reason, or if your pedigree chart will still not display, please contact us.

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Family Time Line


What is a family time line?

A Family Time Line is a graphic representation of a family unit's important life events (including birth, marriage, and death.) In My Family Tree, a family unit is a husband and wife and any children they may have had. You can open a time line for any family by clicking that family's surname from your pedigree chart and then selecting the "Family Time Line" link. This will open the time line in a separate pop-up window. Here's an example of what a family time line looks like in My Family Tree:

As you can see, each family member (beginning with the parents) is listed by name at the left of the time line. Each column represents a decade, progressing from left to right. Along the time line, vital life events are indicated by the following icons:

  • - Birth
  • - Marriage
  • - Death
When you are done viewing the Time Line, you can close the pop-up window by clicking the "Close X" button in the top right corner.

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How do I view the time line for my ancestor's family?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family time line by clicking on the family's surname. This will bring up an Edit Family menu. From there click the "Family Time Line" link. The time line will then appear in a smaller pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a time line for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

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How do I use the time line links?

When you are viewing a time line for a specific family, you can use the following icons to view a time line for the families of either the parents or married children:

  • - If parents have been listed for either spouse currently displayed on your time line, a blue up arrow will appear next to his/her name. Click on this arrow to be taken to the new time line.
  • - When you are viewing a time line, you can click the marriage icon for any child to be taken to the time line for his/her family.
While viewing a time line, you can jump to any family member's individual record by clicking his or her first name. That will cause the individual record to appear in the main window, allowing you to view or edit his/her personal information.

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How can a family time line help my research?

Time lines are an excellent way to keep track of what information you have already gathered about an individual or family, and what information you still need to find. The first rule of genealogical research is to start with what you know, so that you don't end up duplicating research that you already have. The new Family Time Line feature makes it easy for you to see, at a glance, what vital information you still need to find for a specific family.

In addition to pointing out what information you do or do not have about a family, a time line can also point out incongruities in your research. For example, if you look at the sample time line above, you'll notice that the first child, Samuel, is shown as having be born eight years before his parents were married. Since that would make his mother only eleven years old at the time of his birth, we can assume there is some kind of error. In this case, a typo switched his birth year form 1821 (a year after his parents' marriage) to 1812.

Also, if you look at the pattern of childbirth in this family, you will notice a gap of eight years between the third and fourth children. While it is possible that there were simply no children born between those years, it is likely that we are missing a child or two. It would certainly be worth looking into.

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Family Map


What is a family map?

Family Map is a feature that uses the information in your file to display your ancestors' important life events on a current world map. When you are viewing your file in My Family Tree, just click on the surname of any family and select the "Family Map" option. A separate pop-up window will display a Google Map of the world. Vital life events for each member of the selected family will be marked with a special icon.

This is a sample of what you might see on a Family Map:

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How do I view a family map?

When you are viewing your pedigree chart, you can bring up a family map by clicking on the surname of any family. This will bring up a Edit Family menu. From there, click the "Family Map" link. The family map will appear in a pop-up window.

If the family you wish to view a family map for is not currently displayed on your pedigree chart, use the List Families icon from the toolbar at the top of the pedigree chart to locate them. Once you have located the family in the list, click their names to be taken to their family group record. From there, click the Reset Tree icon from the toolbar. That family should now be shown in the first position of your pedigree chart.

Here is a sample family map:

Once your family map is displaying, you can move around and view details using the following navigation icons:

  • Map type: You can select whether to view your Family Map as an illustration or as an actual image taken by satellite.

  • Arrows/mouse: You can move around the map either by using the arrows in the upper left or by clicking and dragging anywhere on the map.

  • Street view: If you grab the icon of the little orange man and drop him somewhere on the map, you will be shown a street view of that location. A fun way to see what your ancestor's hometown looks like today!

  • Zoom: You can zoom in or out by using the slider on the left side of the screen. You may need to zoom in to see all of your event markers.

  • Event marker: Each of these markers indicates a vital life event for at least one family member occurred at that location. Click on the event marker to see details of what event(s) took place at that location.

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Why won't my family map display?

If you have clicked on the family map option but either nothing happened or the window that popped up was blank, here are a few suggestions:

  • If a window pops up, but the display is completely blue, you are looking at the ocean. Check to make sure that you have included place information for vital life events for this family. The family map feature uses the information that you have entered into your file to chart a map of your ancestors' lives. If you have not entered any place information for the family's births, marriages, and deaths, there are no events for the program to chart and your map will be centered over the ocean.
  • If a window pops up, but remains blank and you have included place information for life events for this family, try closing the pop- up window and clicking the Family Map link again. If you have tried several times and still can not get the map to display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.
  • If no window pops up when you click the Family Map link, check to see if you have blocked pop-up windows. There is an option in most browsers that will allow you to block all pop-up windows. If you have selected this option, you will need to change it so that pop-up windows are allowed for our site. Once you have done that, try again.
  • If you do not have pop-up windows blocked for our site and no map pops up when you click the Family Map link, try minimizing your browser window to see if the map has popped up in the background. In the upper right-hand corner of your browser window, you will see three small buttons: a "_", a box, and an "X". Click the "_" button to minimize the window.
If you have read through these suggestions and still can not get your Family Map to correctly display, please Contact Us so that we can look into the matter.

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How can a family map help my research?

Maps are an essential part of genealogical research. Here are just a few ways that the Family Map option in My Family Tree might be useful to your research:

  • Family Map utilizes the Google Maps tool, which is a comprehensive map of the world that can be used to see the entire globe or a view of one individual street. This means that you can easily see what other cities, counties, and even countries border the area where your ancestor lived on the same map that you can use to see what part of town their house was in. This can save you the necessity of having several maps (a city, country, and world atlas for example) at hand for reference.
  • Being able to see the life events of all family members marked on an individual map can help you to identify the family's pattern of migration. If you have been unable to find the birth of a child, visualizing the family's movements in this way might suggest other possible locations to search.
  • Most, if not all, genealogists will eventually run into the problem of trying to identify an ancestor among several candidates of the same name. A good place to start is to consider which of the individuals lived in or nearby the same areas as known members of the family. To determine that, you need to be able to have in mind all of the places where members of that family lived. Being able to instantly bring up a family map, which pinpoints the exact locations of vital life events, makes that much easier.
  • And finally, it's always interesting to learn more about the area where your ancestors lived. Wouldn't it be fun to see if the house where your great grandmother was born is still standing? Or just "take a walk" down the street where your great-great grandfather raised his family? The Family Map tool, by utilizing Google Maps, allows you to do just that without ever leaving the comfort of your computer chair. The "street view" feature allows you to see exactly what your ancestor's hometown looks like today.

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