After using Ancestry.com for research for several years, I decided to upload my family trees. I had been hesitant in the past due to privacy concerns, etc. I know there are safeguards in place to hide information on living people, but I was hesitant just the same. But, I decided to export my tree, doing one for reach grandparent and back and using the grandparent as the starting person; only ancestors, no descendants. This way there’s less of a problem with privacy as I did not use any living people. I decided to divide my trees rather than upload one large one so I can track them better. And I can name them with the primary surnames for that line. For me, it makes looking at connections easier.
Well, now I wonder why I waited so long! I have connected with cousins I haven’t been in contact with for years and have met some new ones I didn’t know I had. I’ve found information I didn’t have that would have taken many hours researching in various databases by individual.
I kept seeing the commercials for ancestry and the references to the little leaf. I didn’t know what they were talking about. Well, DUH! That’s because I didn’t have a tree in there. Once you upload your tree, ancestry does a search and finds documents and sources that may go along with the people in the tree. Many are census records, but there are matches to items in all their other databases as well. Also, it shows you other people who have the same person in their tree so you can connect with them or just follow when they have uploaded something new.
One great feature is the ability to attach photos and documents from other people’s trees to your own. I found some stories and pictures I didn’t have so added them. My mother checks ancestry now and then and she saw a picture I had added and asked me, “Where did you get a picture of Grandma Jenny’s headstone?!” It was wonderful to share that, and other finds with her.
So, I encourage anyone who has not uploaded a tree to ancestry, to do so and see what treasures you may find.