Search Hints, Suggestions, and Review

Hints and Suggestions for Searching Family Trees at®

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.

Ways to Search® Public Family Trees

  • The Best Way to Search Family Trees: Go to Your Active Family Tree Searches on this website for easier searching. At Your Active Family Tree Searches page, you need only to enter your ancestor data once to search all the websites. Your Active Family Tree Searches is a free service that creates the optimal searches for your ancestor data to help with researching your genealogy.
  • Manually search Public Family Trees yourself. This will open a new window so you can refer back to the search hints and suggestions above as well as the review below.

Review of® Public Family Trees

Highlights: These are trees submitted to by users who have indicated that their trees can be viewed by all members. Use the links in the prior section to search these trees. At the time this review was written, requires either a membership or a free-trial membership to view the detail in the family trees. Overall, is one of the few sites that offers a broad range of features for researching you ancestry. In addition to family trees, you can search and view original documentation, along with attaching that dcoumentation to a person in your family tree. does an excellent job of visually associating the facts about an ancestor with the supporting documentation. This is particularly true if you access through a browser on your desktop. You can also purchase a DNA test and associate it with your family tree. AncestryDNA will also notify you of any DNA cousins.

For more features, see the table below.

See the definition of terms for any questions on the meaning of the entries in the table below.

Features of® Public Family Trees
  Feature Comment
x free family tree searches  
x paid family tree searches Paid searches show more detail and allow you to view sources.
x free viewing of pedigrees Paid viewings show more detail and allow you to view sources.
x paid viewing of pedigrees  
x free downloads of pedigrees GEDCOM downloads for only the family trees you create.
  paid downloads of pedigrees  
x any supporting documentation shown with the family tree  
  free viewing of supporting documentation  
x paid viewing of supporting documentation Supporting documentation is clearly associated with the related facts.
x contact information for family tree submitter Using Ancestry's messaging system.
x ability to share editing of your family tree with others Multiple roles allowed for sharing both public and private family trees.
x ability to see all the trees or names submitted by a researcher  
  ability to restrict searches to updates since a specific time  
x searches with name of spouse  
x searches with names of parents  
x searches with names of children  
x searches by place of birth  
x 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 of birth  
x searches by date of marriage  
x searches by date of death  
x ability to specify date ranges for searching  
x searches by exact spelling of names  
x searches by similar sounding spellings of names  
x uploading of your family tree  
x interactive editing of the online version of your family tree  
x ability to delete the online version of your family tree  
x ability to keep your family tree private, should you prefer that You can also share a private tree with other members should you wish.
x automatic suggestions for matches in other family trees or documents based on your family tree attaches hints to people in your family tree.
x Your DNA results can be attached to your family tree® Search Hints Context

Other Family Tree Search Hints, Suggestions, and Reviews