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Help Topics

Main Help Page

Ancestor Tree

Descendant Tree

Descendant Cascade Tree

Index of Individuals

Search Tips

Help — Ancestor Tree

The Ancestor tree displays a primary individual at the left, with his or her ancestors extending to the right.

To view the descendant tree, click the View menu and select Descendant Tree or just click the icon in the toolbar.

Getting Around the Ancestor Tree

Click a box to edit an individual.

Add mothers and fathers just by clicking the boxes labelled "Click to add father..." and "Click to add father...."

To add other relatives:

  1. Click a person in the tree to bring up the Edit window
  2. Use the popdown lists at the bottom of the Edit window to add parents, spouses, siblings, or children:

More Ancestor Tree Questions and Answers

Why do boxes sometimes change color?
also: What does the little triangle mean?
The darker box indicates the currently selected individual (on some browsers, this is shown with a little triangle). You can select an individual by holding your mouse over his or her name. If you run a search or change trees, the selected person becomes the primary individual in the search or the view.

What is a Primary Individual?
The "Primary Individual" is the first person displayed in a tree. The rest of the tree is drawn in relation to this individual.

In an ancestor tree, this means that the primary individual displays with his or her direct ancestors.

How can I show the tree with a different primary individual?
Click the icon in the toolbar to switch to the Index of Individuals, select the new primary individual, then click the icon to switch back to this tree.

How can I get my tree to show more people?
First, you need to make sure that your primary individual is someone with a lot of ancestors to show. Click the icon in the toolbar to switch to the Index of Individuals, select someone recent in your tree, then click the to switch back to this tree with that person as the primary individual.

You can set the maximum number of generations to display in trees by clicking the Format menu and selecting "Number of Generations in Tree." This setting applies to all trees – ancestor, descendant, and descendant cascade trees.

Why can't I see other relatives such as uncles, aunts, and children?
This tree shows only direct ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) of the primary individual. It does not show uncles, aunts, siblings, or children.

Other views show different sets of individuals:

How can I switch to a different tree?
Click the View menu and select another tree, or click the Descendant Tree icon or Descendant Cascade Tree icon in the toolbar.

Why is the ancestor tree on its side?
This left-to-right design is traditional for ancestor trees (or "pedigrees," as they are often called by genealogists).

How can I see everyone in my file?
Click the View menu and select Index of Individuals, or click its icon in the toolbar.

How many people can I add to my family?
Currently, the limit for Family Tree Maker Web Edition is 200 people. You can also download your tree to a desktop copy of Family Tree Maker, which can handle up to about 10,000 people! (Click the File menu and choose "Download to my PC.")
Note that not everyone in your file will display in a single tree!

How can I save my file?
Click the File menu and choose Save. Your tree will be saved to your private "My Genealogy" page at Genealogy.com (if you don't have a "My Genealogy" page, one will be created for you).

You can also share your tree with others by publishing it to a free personal home page – just click the Share menu and choose "Publish to my Home Page."

Why do I keep getting a message that "A script on this page is causing Internet explorer to run slowly"?
Internet Explorer displays this message whenever a program tries to run a lot of code in your browser. This may occur when your tree gets quite large. It is harmless (though annoying). You should click "No" when the message asks if you wish to abort the script.

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