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Family History Corner No 4

Starting a Family Tree. Today I will assume that you have signed up to and that you wish to start a family tree. You do not need to be a paid subscriber yet.

Go to the “Trees” tab at the top left-hand side of the page and select “start a new tree”. If you already have a tree then you will need to navigate to “create and manage trees”.

It is usual for the starting person to be a living person – just in case you need to use DNA testing at a later stage. The public will not be able to view the details of living people.

The next step is to add the parents. If they are no longer living then their details will be visible to other users.

When you save the first parent you will be asked to name the tree and allow/disallow others to see it. To my mind part of the joy of genealogical research comes from sharing information and discovering new relatives. This is facilitated by allowing others access to your family tree. They will not be able to see living members. However, you may have reasons why you wish to keep your tree private.

Now we have 3 people in our family tree. Continue adding people. Most of us know the names of our grandparents and great-grand parents – but perhaps not their dates of birth and death. These are not necessary at this stage but can probably be found by free research on Familysearch. Use Familysearch and other sources to drive the boundaries backwards and sideways (looking for siblings of your ancestors).

In Ancestry it is possible to view your family in three different ways:

1. Pedigree View shows only the direct line of ancestors.

2. Family View shows siblings which means that it would normally contain many more individuals.

3. Profile. If you click on a particular person in your family tree you will be able to select “Profile”. This option displays the details of that particular person.

If you have not paid for a subscription then Ancestry will encourage you to do so. You will possibly be offered hints but when you try to view the hint you will be asked to subscribe.

Next week we will look at the benefits of a paid membership.

It is hoped to publish Family History articles for the duration of the Coronavirus lock-down period. I welcome questions relating to Family History Research and will do my best to answer them. I also welcome the opportunity to help readers develop their Family Tree.

My email address is

Happy Researching!

Roy Lupton.

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