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  • Originally posted by efgen View Post

    There are 3 privacy categories:

    * Living people
    * Deceased people born within the past 100 years.
    * Deceased people born more than 100 years ago.

    Each of these can be set to either Public or Private.

    I believe (need to verify) that the first two are private by default, and the last one is public by default.

    So if you have a deceased person without a date of BIRTH, then the system doesn't know if the person was born within the past 100 years or not, and errs on the side of caution by assuming less than 100 years. (I need to check on how this works if the date of death is already more than 100 years -- hopefully we assume the DOB is too!)

    If you have a deceased person without a date of death, then we don't know they are deceased. (Similar to above, I need to check on how this is handled if we have a DOB more than 100 years ago.)

    And I've submitted a request to IT to recognize words such as About, After, Before and Between for non-exact dates, since I don't think they are recognized at the moment.

    Elise each one of these can be set to Public, Matches or Private. What is the difference between Public and Matches?


    • Best thing about the new tree for me : People that don't understand Gedcoms can build a tree here without needing a genealogy program.

      Worst thing about the new tree for me is that large percentage of people born hundreds of years ago that are shown as private. This is more than 50% on some tress I looked at.

      Personally I prefer the old system to be reinstated. I won't be using the new tree system going forward.


      • Originally posted by efgen View Post
        If your sister's name on her kit and her name on your tree match up, then you should get a purple link icon next to her name in the tree, suggesting that you link them.
        Thanks for the information. The names do not match up. I use a maiden name naming convention on my tree. My sister does not use her maiden name.


        • Originally posted by Earl Davis View Post
          Personally I prefer the old system to be reinstated. I won't be using the new tree system going forward.
          I never used the old gedcoms because I found them almost impossible to navigate. I will be using this new tree system.


          • Is there any community benefit to adding collateral lines? For example, I can fill in the generations to the common ancestor for my known third cousin, but I already do that in my personal genealogy file. Would this information help somebody else when they look at my FTDNA tree?


            • PITA to find a person's birth/death location. If I'm looking for who may be from a particular area, I have to click on a name and then click again to dismiss the dialog with the information. Having the basics appear on hover would be welcome.


              • You really have to change the view so the locations are shown without having to click on each profile. It's way too troublesome now. I liked the old tree better. It was much more efficient to look at.


                • Reasons Why

                  Many people have posted about what they DON'T like and why. (And I have to say I pretty much agree with all that has been said. The new format seems pretty, drag and drop is neat, but I don't see how it is helpful.)

                  For those who like the new tree format, what specifically do you like about it?
                  How does it help you find common ancestors with a match?
                  What is it that is actually helpful if your match has a large tree and you are not close known kin?

                  I am always looking for things to make it easier to find how I connect to a match. Maybe I haven't played with it long enough to find the tricks that make it work best.

                  I guess I am trying to reconcile in my mind the resources and effort that went into developing a new tree from scratch when it doesn't go to the core of what I am doing or make my life easier in some way.


                  • Former Aerial View with Family Tree on One Page Was More Practical to Use

                    A primary purpose and usefulness of Family Trees at FTDNA is to search for connections to unknown cousin matches. In most cases, the common ancestors lived well over 100 years ago. I always considered FTDNA's family tree format to be superior and uniquely ideal for that purpose.

                    The beauty and uniqueness of the former family tree was that the entire tree was miraculously on one page. It allowed an 'aerial view' of the tree, which made it very practical and efficient to use in looking for connections to distant and semi-distant matches. I could scroll through a tree while visually scanning dozens of names at a time. Even if I didn't see a familiar name, I might get a clue as to which branch of my family a connection was on. At a glance, I could see German lines - Finnish lines - Norwegian lines - English lines, etc., and could quickly skim past any groups where I knew I would not find a common ancestor, and then scroll more carefully though the sections where a connection was more likely. There is no way, I could run a separate search for every ancestral surname I have, and the former layout didn't require me to do that. Whenever, I found a name of interest, I could click on it to see dates and places. It was a PERFECT lay out in my opinion.

                    The new tree layout contains male/female pictures that take up a lot space on the page without adding useful information. The tree seems to get bogged down with unnecessary detail and gets stuck in a given family unit, which hampers the ability to meaningfully do a global search to find a branch with a connection. When I first look at someone's tree, I don't need to see someone's great aunts and uncles... I just want to get an overview of the ancestral lineages contained in it.

                    Cutting out middle names from the main view makes searching more difficult too. For example, a majority of German men had the first name Johann and then went by one of their middle names - with similar naming conventions used for many girls. Middle names are also very important in areas, such as Norway, that used patronymic names. These middle names indicate the name of the father, which are especially important for identification when surnames reflected the farm of residence and were subject to change. It looks like the new layout requires clicking on a name to see the full name, which would be tiresome and time-consuming compared to being able to scan all this at a glance.

                    It would be great to have the old layout ('aerial view') available as an option, so people can continue to efficiently hunt a vast number of names and lineages within each tree to find connections to their matches.

                    Martha Hicks


                    • I'd like to see a third option, maybe something like a quick view, for when we get new matches and want to quickly scroll through their trees.

                      Alternatively, I think I would be able to do the above with the Ancestry view if it were easier to move through it. The addition of scroll bars would help, or even better, turn the highlighted area in the little box in the upper right into a slider instead of having us click to a new location. Also darken the highlight box so we don't have to squint to see it.



                      • In all the trees I open everything is private!!

                        I cannot link Y-dna matches either.


                        • Originally posted by melmoth View Post
                          GEDCOM upload has been disabled since I joined, and it might as well still be. I can upload a GEDCOM, but it insists I am my own great-great-great-great-grandmother and won't let me change it. The only option on the screen that prompts you to identify which person in the file is you is my great-great-great-great-grandmother. Even if I cancel out, it selects her. Thereafter, it substitutes my name for hers, and shows me married to my great-great-great-great-grandfather; given the fact I'm male, this certainly makes 18th century West Virginia seem rather more progressive than I suspect it was.
                          I like it, just fine. However, I too am being forced to set myself as my mother; married to my step-father. Then when I try to delete; well that doesn't seem to work as well. All roll outs have bugs. I will try again tonight. Thank you for bringing the tree option back.


                          • I spent more time with the new tree after I got home from work yesterday. That's when I noticed the drop-down "Import Matches" list on the left. Still not crazy about having people add their matches without the matches' knowledge and consent, but will hope for the best. I can see why it's a nice feature for adding close family who've tested.

                            As I played around, I couldn't see any difference between the Family and Ancestry views until I came across a match who seems to have uploaded a GEDCOM that includes collateral lines. They disappeared when I switched from Family to Ancestry view, so I'm guessing that display of collateral relatives is really the only difference between the two views. Or are there others?

                            I hope the collateral-line surnames won't be picked up and bolded in the mini-list that appears when we scroll through our matches.

                            Anyway, bugs aside, things looked better after dinner and a glass of wine than they did over a fast-food lunch at work. Still holding out for an easy-to-navigate horizontal pedigree view, though - a la Gedmatch.
                            Last edited by WCoaster; 9 September 2014, 10:07 AM. Reason: typo


                            • What does it do?

                              What does dragging and dropping a match's picture to your tree actually do?

                              Is there some real function to it, or are you just posting a profile picture in your tree?

                              If it doesn't add their tree to yours, or show shared segments (toward segment mapping of common ancestors) or something actually useful, what's the big deal?

                              And, in the match menu, there is a place to designate what relationship you are with someone, and it's a long list. How is this being used? So now we enter it twice? Once on the tree, and again on the match?

                              What does it do?


                              • New tree not as bad as I originally thought..24 hours later

                                Initially, I was appalled at the new format for trees…huge profiles that filled up most of my screen, impossible to quickly scan for common names. Then I played with it for a little while and found some tricks that made it easier to use and I began to appreciate some of the new functionality.

                                Minimize and use ancestor tree view. The first thing to do is click out of the family tree view and click on ancestor view; then immediately minimize it down to where it shows you about one fourth of the full tree on your screen, with a nice layout with only the name of the ancestor. Since FTDNA only allows 9 generation view anyway, this will fit on one page and in the upper right side of screen you will see a thumbnail shot of where you are…you can fairly easily navigate the other four quarters of the screen. Not too bad for surname searching. (You can then open the profiles to get more information like dates, locations after you find a surname)

                                Editing. Now you can actually edit a profile that needs correcting instead of having to delete and upload an entire new gedcom. And you can add a parent to someone (only up to gen 9…above that, the option to add a relative is only children and siblings). This is a nice new feature. I only have uploaded a direct line DNA gedcom so I don’t think I want to clutter up my tree here with siblings etc, but extending a line up to another generation after you confirm parents is a nice new option.

                                Making dead people visible again. This an issue many people have noted already; the current program seems to make people born in the 1600s appear alive if their death date isn’t there (or inserted with abt or aft or something like that). I have two kits I manage so I could see what my tree looked like to my matches and was appalled to see that about a third were showing up as “private” even though they were pretty darn old to be alive. It was easy to just click on deceased on their profile to make them appear again, but you really need to have two kits to be able to do this easily (have them both open on different browsers helps to speed it up). If you have only one kit, it must be really hard to go thru and figure out which ones aren’t showing up.

                                PRIVACY WARNING RE NOTES! There is a new option to add stories or notes to ancestors in your trees. I certainly don’t want to add stories or pictures as I can barely keep up with my tree, but I thought the note section might be useful. However, I found that notes on trees on FTDNA become public to your matches, unlike where NOTES are private (unlike comments which are public on Just beware that they are public, not private here. I tend to write things to myself on my ancestry notes and would probably use different language if I knew they were public!

                                Query re “public” issue. I notice that there are new privacy options to keep things private, show to matches or show to “public”. I couldn’t figure out what the “public” option is about since currently FTDNA only shows your account to other matches. Are they considering going towards the 23&me model that everyone can see your tree and profile (if you haven’t marked private) (but only matches can see chromes or in the case of 23&me those who share chromes). I hope not as I know some people who have private trees on ancestry are willing to have accessible trees here because they are only shown to matches…I guess this will give us the choice of show to everyone at some point, show to matches or keep private, but I found it a curious options given the way FTDNA is currently set up. (There is also a privacy option for your profile that is either new or I never noticed before that allows your profile to be private, matches-only or “public”).

                                Things I miss: The old trees were so hard to navigate that I used to only use the surname search tool, opening it up to “all”, running down the list of all surnames to see if any were familiar, then going to the tree for more information. Right now, I miss that option, but will try to get use to the easier navigation on these new trees.

                                I haven’t tried any of the other new functionalities that people are looking at like dragging your matches into your tree (which I can’t imagine using), but I thought these basic tips might be useful.