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Family Trees at Ancestry

 One of the easiest ways to put your family tree online with minimal technical expertise is at Ancestry.com.  You do not have to subscribe to Ancestry to use this feature…it's free, but you do have to create a user name and password.  If you do not subscribe you can't use the hints (leaves) feature, but as long as you use the same name and password, you can subscribe for a period of time, then cancel your subscription.  This doesn't effect your tree, which will remain there until you remove it.   

   To begin, you can either type the information about your family into Ancestry Family Trees, or, if you have a genealogical database, you can create a GEDCOM file and upload it.  Make sure you read the submission agreement.  By placing your tree online at Ancestry, you agree that Ancestry "may reproduce, compile and distribute, all information about non-living individuals in your submitted GEDCOM file."  For this reason, you may not want to include sensitive information or notes and when you create your GEDCOM select only the fields you want to include.  Since you want other people who are searching the same family to find you, you should use names, dates, locations and sources for the events in a person's life.  You also have a choice to make the file public or private.  If the file is public, everyone will be able to see your tree and the information it contains.  If it is private, Ancestry will indicate a possible match, but the individual will have to contact you for permission to view your tree.  Personally, I keep my files private so people have to contact me.

   A word about Sources…please, please make sure you include your sources in your online tree!  Many people complain about the incorrect information that floats around in online trees, and in fact, it's not unusual to see the same incorrect information in multiple trees.  It's sometimes hard to figure out who put the original information up because it's been copied so many times.  If you are an Ancestry subscriber, information added through their databases will be sourced, but information you've personally added needs to have a source citation.  The only way to incorrect information that's out there is to provide the correct information with a source.  Any serious genealogist will then be able to evaluate the information by viewing the original documents.  Perhaps you are the individual with the family Bible and can share that information.   Have you come to a conclusion based on indirect evidence and written a proof argument?  You can add that document to the event by clicking "Add Media."

   There are times when I think I have a correct document for an individual, but may not be sure.  Using the Decription field, I'll add a note stating my reasons, but also indicating that additional records are needed to confirm that this is the correct person.  By doing this, others can come to their own conclusions and know that I don't consider this to be a fact, but rather a working hypothesis.  

   Ancestry is not the only place to put your family tree.  Here are some other sites (not a complete list) for placing your family tree online:

Geni.com
FamilySearch*
Family Tree Guide
Mocavo
My Family
My Heritage
One Great Family
Tribal Pages

*I'd suggest waiting until their new Family Trees becomes available to the public later this year.

      There is no reason you can't upload your tree to multiple sites, but do try to keep tract of where you've placed it.

   Happy Hunting!


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© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013