Sharing a Tree on Ancestry

The purpose for many of us doing DNA testing is to identify common ancestors with our matches. It can be frustrating if you don't have both the DNA segment matching information and the family trees of matches. One has to have both to correctly identify common ancestors. It is not good enough for a person to claim a particular ancestor if we cannot verify the lineage. And we cannot leverage multiple descendants with matching DNA to identify common ancestors without seeing the matching segments. Sharing family trees is important also to be able to eliminate the possibility having shared ancestry in more than one way.  

The solution is for Ancestry testers to transfer raw data to GEDmatch and for testers on GEDmatch and Ancestry to share their pedigree information. Learn how to transfer your DNA data from Ancestry to GEDmatch here.  I understand that not everyone wants to make their family trees public to the world. You can share your family tree information in one of several ways:

  • Create a pedigree chart in pdf format from your genealogy software. Send to DNA matches. Unfortunately because Ancestry users are stuck using the contact forms at Ancestry, you cannot send a pedigree chart until you have shared email contact information. When contacting Ancestry matches, always try to direct communication to email by providing your email address. 
  • Upload a GEDCOM from your software into GEDmatch so that matches on GEDmatch can easily find your family tree. GEDmatch does not privatize living individuals, so you will need to select options to privatize the GEDCOM export from your genealogy software. 
  • Create a tree on WikiTree which is free and offers varying levels of privacy controls. When contacting a DNA match, share the link to your tree.
  • Create a tree on Ancestry. If you want to keep it private, share it with matches when requested. This is the purpose of this post. Some of these posts I am writing are so that I can share more information, particularly with Ancestry testers, than what is easily done via the available contact form. 

Sharing a Tree on Ancestry (detailed instructions)

DNA Tests and Tools Diagrams

The plethora of tools available for DNA analysis can cause confusion. The following are diagrams showing the inter-relationships of some DNA third-party tools.


Third-Party Tools

Third Party DNA Toolsthmb


Number codes are from "Third-Party Tools."



Number codes are from "Third-Party Tools."


Why GedMatch?

   I have done autosomal DNA testing from all three of the major testing companies (FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry, and 23 and Me). I spend most of my time with Ancestry matches trying to get them to transfer their results to GedMatch. This is to explain why and give me a place to give instructions without repeating them over and over again. 

   Ancestry only tells you that you match people. It attempts to tell you how you match, but it only does that by comparing your trees and finding a matching couple in both. Unfortunately that is not reliable because you may be related in more than one way and not know about other ways you might be related. Part of the reason we do DNA testing is to learn about ancestors we do not know about yet.  The matching is only as good as the genealogical work (whether good or bad) that has gone into constructing the trees. 

  The two other companies (FamilyTree DNA and 23 and Me) give tools that allow matches to discover on what chromosome and on what segment on the chromosome people match. It is then up to you to search the genealogies and attempt to discover the most recent common ancestral couple. If two people match on the same chromosome and segment and they discover a common ancestral couple, they can hypothesize

C. T. Lamson family of Greene, Butler County, Iowa

One of my favorite things about genealogy is finding people who might otherwise be forgotten. This is not my family, but I was touched by the article and how quickly a region could be decimated by disease.



An Incident of Sadness. -- Mr. 

C.T. Lamson, of Green, some

three or four weeks ago lost a

bright little girl by that dreadful

disease, diphtheria.

   In conversation with a friend at

Butler Center the other day, in re-

gard to the ravages of the disease at

Greene, Mr. Lamson related the fol-

lowing sad incident: One year ago

his little daughter gave a birth-day

party at which were present eight

of the bright, sparkling little girls

of Greene -- her intimate playmates

and associates. Now, every one of 

that joyous group, who were the

birdlings of parental love and the 

light of happy homes, are sleeping

side by side in the grave yard.

The severity of affliction which

Greene and its immediate vicinity

have been called to undergo, though

the prevalence of diphtheria is great

and evokes the heartfelt sympathy 

of all. -- Eclipse.


"An Incident of Sadness," Clarksville (Iowa) Star, 6 March 1879, 5th page, column 4. State Historical Society of Iowa microfilmed newspaper collection, Iowa City. 

Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Railroad Convention, Cortland, New York, 1836

Perhaps your ancestor attended a convention for "internal improvements" in his area. Mine did. 


"Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Railroad Convention," Cortland (New York) Republican, 5 January 1836, p. 1, c. 3; microfilm collection at Cortland Public Library, Cortland.

At a convention of delegates from the several counties on and adjacent to the routs of the proposed "Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Rail Road," convened pursuant to public notice, at the Court House, in Cortland Village, on the 24th of December; the Hon. William Bartlit, was called to the Chair, pro. tem., and Horatio Bollerd appointed Secretary. On motion of H.S. Randall of Cortland,

   Resolved, That a committee