Growing Your AncesTREE

Start with what you know

If you have a GEDCOM file but didn't add it when you signed up for AmericanAncesTREES, you can still upload it by starting a new tree. Otherwise, select "Start a New Tree" and enter the information you know about your family members. This gives you a solid foundation to work from and people to attach research to as you discover information from various sources.

Research your family online

Turn on Hints to get suggestions for where to begin your research. Read our introduction to using Hints

FEATURE COMING SOON: You can also enter information into your tree quickly and easily using the WebClipper browser extension. This allows you to research and build your family tree from multiple genealogy sites across the Internet. For example, if your family is from the United States, you might start with USA collections from FamilySearch. If they came from Canada, you could use their Canadian sources. (Or England, or Mexico, or other locations around the world

FamilySearch is free and doesn't require a subscription, so we recommend you start there. However, with the WebClipper extension, you're not limited to research on any one website. You might also search Find A Grave, which is also free, or if you have a subscription to other content providers, you can clip information from, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, American Ancestors, etc. This allows you to do research on any site without having to maintain a tree at that site just to get their sources. 

When you use WebClipper, we pre-process as much information as we can so you can easily add information to your tree. We're "teaching" WebClipper how to understand information indexed by different providers. If you come across a site we haven't indexed yet, you can still use the Clipper. You'll just want to add the source information, then add event information by hand, the way you would if you were adding it to someone's timeline.

Create a to-do list with Leads

You might want to make a to-do list of sources you want to search for information about your family at a later date. You can do this by creating Leads for people.  When you create a Lead for someone, it will appear on their person page and also in the Leads list for your tree.