Ancestry.com Search Hints

Your best bet is to search first on the ancestor's and the spouse's names. If the spouse is female, just use her first name. Quite a few researchers omit the maiden name. So it is best to not try to find it. If you get too many responses this way, add the father's name of the ancestor. If you get too few responses, omit the spouse's name and use only the father's name with the ancestor's name.

How to Search Ancestry.com® for Family Trees

  • Public Member trees are available at Ancestry.com. The Best Way to Search Public Member: Go to Active Searches for easier searching. At the Active Searches page, you need only to enter your ancestor data once to search all the websites. Active Searches is a free service that creates the optimal searches for your ancestor data.
  • Manually search Ancestry.com: Ancestry.com Public Member Trees yourself. This will open a new window so you can refer back to the search hints above.

Public Member Trees Capabilities at the Ancestry.com® Website

These are trees submitted to Ancestry.com by users who have indicated that their trees can be viewed by all Ancestry members. These family tree can, however, also be searched by non-members as well. See the definition of terms for any questions on the meaning of the entries.

x free searches
  free viewing of pedigrees
x paid viewing
  free downloads of pedigrees
x paid downloads (you can copy people from a tree to your own member tree)
x contact information for submitter
  ability to see all the names submitted by a particular researcher
x ability to restrict searches to updates since a specific time
x searches with spouse's name
x searches with parent's names
x searches by place of birth
  searches by place of marriage
x searches by place of death
x searches by country
x searches by state, province, or political subdivision
x searches by date
x ability to specify date ranges for searching
x searches by exact spelling of name
x searches by metaphone
x searches by soundex
x ability to automatically find possible matches in your ancestry