Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Uploading Genealogy Information to Family Tree DNA

In my relatively short time working with Family Tree DNA, the biggest problem I'm running into is when my matches either don't have their ancestor family tree uploaded or it's set to not show all the pertinent information. If we have a match through our "paper" genealogy, I wouldn't know it because I can't see who their ancestors were. Most of my matches don't have a family tree posted whatsoever. For those that do have one posted, here's what I typically see when I view the family tree of one of my matches. Note that I've replaced all names with just the word "Name" so I'm not sharing anything they may not want to share.
See all of the people showing up as "Private"? This is likely because they didn't have a death date entered and the privacy settings are set to not show matches information regarding living people.

This post is a request to please upload your family tree information to your DNA testing web site and set the privacy settings in such a way that your matches will have a better chance of seeing how you're related to them.

Please Upload Your Tree!

To upload your family tree, go to your main Family Tree DNA screen, seen below, and click the Family Tree link.

After getting to your Family Tree section, you can upload your gedcom file by clicking the gear icon in the lower right corner of the screen or manually input your family tree information. I didn't have any luck uploading my gedcom. The web page didn't like mine. I ended up manually entering my family tree. Yes, it took longer than an upload should have taken but it really didn't take that long, especially considering the size of my tree. When I entered it, I entered living people only as "Private". I didn't enter their names or birthdates whatsoever. This way you're not relying on the website to keep private information private.

Once it's uploaded, change the privacy settings by going into your Account settings, then click on the Genealogy tab. Setting your privacy settings the way shown here:
With these settings, anyone at all can see people that have a death date entered that were born more than 100 years ago. Your matches can see your entire tree. Here's where the tip earlier comes in. Because I didn't enter any information about living people whatsoever, I just made my entire tree visible to my matches. This way there should be no problem with them seeing some of my most distant ancestors, even if I don't have a death date for them, yet no information will be seen regarding anyone still living.


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