Help & FAQs

 Help & FAQs

How to create your family tree if you are new to family history?
Click on family tree on the home page and a blank tree will appear. To enter for example, your parent’s details go to that person and click edit and enter the details. Repeat for other members of the family whose details you know. As you get more information you can fill in the gaps on your tree.

How to change an individual’s details in your tree?
Just click on the edit button under the appropriate person’s name.

Can I make my tree private?
Yes you can. Just click on account at the top of the page and select the box “change my family tree visibility”.

This can be useful if you wish to keep your research and family tree private or you may have a notorious individual family member that you wish to keep private.

Why do I see blank names when I look at “all members” of my family tree?
Many of us have people in our tree as “unknown” such as, for example a spouse of a named member who we have no details of and no name. That is why they are there. 

Forgot Password
If you have forgotten your password pleas use the “forgot password box" on the Log In page and we will send it to you or the option to reset your password.

Can I print out my tree?
Printing a family tree presents a challenge as a tree can be very large. For example we have one single tree within our library that has over 54,000 names in that one tree. What we suggest is that you use the screen print command on your computer for any particular line you may wish to print.

Have your tree printed by profesionals.

Family Tree Printing.

Genealogy Printers are the leading family tree printers in the UK

You can be the designer of your own fabulous-looking, printed family tree

We can print:

An All-in-One full family tree
Every person on your tree
A single person ancestor tree
A Descendant Tree, back through all ancestry
A range of family tree prints containing just the people you want.
A wide range of Blank Family Tree wall charts

You can choose:

Font type and colour
Different background colours
Different background Wallpapers
Coat of Arms
The information contained in the boxes

Any amount of additional copies are printed for half price

An ideal gift for a loved one, their photograph can be printed on the tree FREE OF CHARGE

What is the Memory Box?
This is the place to upload those family documents, photos, birth, marriage and death certificates and any other documents such as copies of census reports or copies of newspaper articles. Click on memory box to upload any items.

UPLOADING YOUR TREE to  Ask The Ancestors:

Any family history tree can be uploaded to any other family history site including ours. It is very easy to do and takes only a few minutes. We have what is known as a dedicated server to host our site. This means your privacy is assured and no other persons or company can see what information we store.

Your tree is saved as a file which is known as a GEDCOM file(see below) but simply this is a way that family historians can save their tree and move it from one web site to another

Read on to see how easy it is to upload your family tree (GEDCOM file) to Ask The Ancestors web site. We do stress we  are also pleased to help if you do have problems. PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US via the "contact us button" on our website. You can email your GEDCOM file to us, once you have downloaded it from any other site and we can upload it for you. To do this we will need your USER Name for Ask The Ancestors and you password so we can log in to your account and upload your tree. 

Do note you can,if you wish mark your tree as private. 

What is a GEDCOM FILE?
GEDCOM (an acronym standing for Genealogical Data Communication) is an open de facto specification for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogy software. GEDCOM was developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as an aid to genealogical research.

A GEDCOM file is plain text (usually either ANSEL or ASCII) containing genealogical information about individuals, and meta data linking these records together. Most genealogy software supports importing from and exporting to GEDCOM format.[3] However, some genealogy software programs incorporate the use of proprietary extensions to the format, which are not always recognized by other genealogy programs, such as the GEDCOM 5.5 EL (Extended Locations) specification.

While GEDCOM X and several other files have been suggested as replacements, the current 1996 version remains the industry standard 20 years on.

The above taken from Wikipedia is the “official” explanation. In simple terms GEDCOM is a way of transmitting family tree files so that they will appear as a traditional family tree and not appear as lines of text that nobody can understand.

How do I import a GEDCOM file?
Just click on family tree on the home page and you will see the “upload GEDCOM” button. Just click on this button and follow the instructions.If your GEDCOM file does fail to upload please contact us using the contact us button on the home page.

The following link will take you to a video plus information on how to download your tree from Ancestry. Please do remember this is a 2 stage process: Your tree has to be downloaded to your own PC from wherever it is stored say on another family history site and it then at stage 2 has to be uploaded to Ask The Ancestors. Ours, we know is a very simple process. Just click on UPLOAD GEDCOM at the top of the Home Page and just follow the instructions.

This is the link to  download a GEDCOM from Ancestry:

Here is some information on how to download a GEDCOM from My Heritage:

Here’s the step-by-step instructions to download a GEDCOM file from MyHeritage:

  1. Go to
  2. Log into your family site
  3. Use your mouse to hover over ‘Family Tree’ tab up the top and click on ‘Manage Trees’
  4. If you have multiple trees, they will all be listed here, otherwise you will just see one
  5. Move to the righthand side, and click on the ‘Export to GEDCOM’ link on the relevant tree
  6. A new window opens up with a big orange button which says “Begin the Export”
  7. This is will download your file, usually to your Downloads Folder
  8. The file that downloaded when I tested this, changed it’s name to a big long random number .GED, not what my file was actually called, so keep that in mind when you go looking for it
  9. From here I suggest renaming it to something you’ll be familiar with, and moving to a “genealogy” or “Backups” folder, so you’ll know where to find it again whenever it’s needed
  10. Here is a link to My HJeritage on how to download a GEDCOM:

Here Is a link on downloading a Gedcom from Find My Past:



How can the “Community” help me?

One thing we have learned in over 15 years researching family history is that family history folk love to help others.

In the “Community” section you have a number of choices to help you and the 8 are headed and numbered in this section. Just click on the Community” button on the homepage to see the categories and you can post in all if you wish.

To find people researching your family name for example go to section 5 and [post a message like “looking for anybody researching the Smith family from Aberdeen. Similarly, if you are looking for Smith ancestors from Aberdeen go to section 6.

You can post a message say in the Genealogy chat that you are looking information about a particular ancestor who you may know about but cannot trace. Ask the community for help.

Finding your family via our search facility
You will see the name search on the home page so this is where you should start. Enter as much information you have but we strongly suggest that you visit regularly as we are adding new family trees to our library daily.

It is also very important to post messages on our community boards and please let us know about your success in tracing family.

We hope members will help one another by offering “look ups” in census records. Post a message saying what you need.

General chat is just that but remember please keep it polite.

If you would like to see a particular feature or you think the site could be improved please drop us an email as we are always looking to improve Ask The Ancestors.

Need Help?

If you need help go to our Help and FAQ page here

To contact us, please click here.

Click on Research in top menu bar 

to get our FREE GUIDE to see how to find millions of FREE records. 

Where to begin?

  • Enter the information you already know into your family tree.
  • Speak to your relatives to see if they can tell you more about your family history.
  • Search other members' trees and see if anyone else is researching the same family as you.
  • Use our historical records to find detailed information of ancestors from hundreds of years ago.