Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ancestry Toolbar Screenshots

I have wanted to play around with the Ancestry Toolbar for awhile now but every time that I try, the family tree portion of Ancestry is not working. Finally today it worked! I think they have been doing a lot of work on the site lately and the trees get bogged down.

The toolbar lets you add information that you find on the web to your family tree, saved at It does not work with Family Tree Maker directly. It only works with your online tree. It is not very intelligent in that you cannot sync your online tree with the one you are working with in Family Tree Maker, at least not as far as I know. If someone knows otherwise, please let me know. I guess this tool is also useless if you do not have a family tree at

I started playing with the toolbar a few minutes ago and made some screen shots to show you how it least the save feature.

First you click the save button and get the following screen. It allows you to either save photos or text to a person in your tree or you can simply save the website bookmark to that person.

In this case, I selected to add text. It gives you a highlighted box that you can move around the screen and select sections of text or a photo. Just click on the section of text you want to save.

Once you select the text you want, and you can select more than one section, press the "Save Selected Items" tab at the top of the screen. It will ask you to choose a person from your family tree to save the information to. You type their name into the box and you will be shown any people with similar names. Once you choose the person you want, press the attach button and it will tell you when it is finished.

From this point, you see the normal version of the web page you saved information from. To see what you added, click on the "My Trees" portion of the toolbar and select the tree you saved to. From there, find the person in question and view their details. Any photos will be saved into their photo section and selected text will show up as a story.

The web address where you found the information will be cited with a click-able hyperlink back to that page, at the bottom of the saved story.

Instead of selecting text and/or photos at the beginning of these steps, say you selected simply to save the link of the page to your person. It would have been saved in the "Web Links" section of the right-hand column.

This tool is very simple to use and would be great if you keep only an online version of your tree. I mainly use Family Tree Maker and use the online tree only as a backup. I find it helpful if I am not at my computer and I need to pull up some information. I can always go online and see my file, at least as it was the last time I uploaded it to Ancestry.

If you have questions or comments, fire away, but hopefully this helped someone. I may review some of the other features later.

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