Q. How much does it cost to use the website?
A. Basic membership is absolutely free. This includes all searches for ancestors
and the ability to record your own ancestors and associate yourself as a
descendant of any ancestor. Full membership requires payment of a small annual
fee (£7.99 for a year in the UK). This will allow you to also email other
members and to obtain additional information that we hold about some ancestors
but which is not visible to basic members (this includes information such as
occupation or other people associated with the ancestor e.g. who they lived
Q. What details about my ancestor do I need for a search?
A. You need to know at least their surname and approximately when they were born
(the exact year is not required, just a range of years). For more common
surnames you will also need to know their first name, initial, middle name,
approximately when they died or places which they were associated with (i.e.
were born, lived or died). The more you know then the easier it will be to find
them. If you don’t know much information you may still be able to find them by
searching through lots of ancestors looking for a likely match. If you do not
provide sufficient information in a search then you will be asked to provide
more information. This can happen when too many ancestors would be returned by
the search or when the search would take too long to carry out (the limit is
currently set at 30 seconds but we may vary this depending on the current load
on the system). Generally searches which don’t provide a name are the ones most
likely to exceed the time limit e.g. if you just provide a place name.
Q. Can I do wildcard searches (alternatively called a fuzzy match)?
A. Yes, the wildcard character to use is a % which represents any number of
characters e.g. if you thought your ancestor was called ‘Hitchen’ but could be
‘Hitchon’ or ‘Hitcher’ then you could supply ‘Hitch%’. Wildcard characters can
be used in both the names and places. Note: You should supply as much of the
name as possible. In the above example if you just supplied ‘H%’ you are likely
to get too many matches.
Q. How does searching using place names work?
A. You may supply a single place name or multiple place names separated by
commas. If you supply a single place name then any ancestors associated with
that place (and matching the other criteria you have supplied) will be
returned. If you supply multiple place names then any ancestors associated with
at least one of these places (and matching the other criteria) will be
returned. Note that place names are present at multiple levels e.g. England,
Lancashire, Blackpool. If you include England in your place search then you
will find all ancestors associated with England even though you may also have
included say, London. If you just want ancestors associated with ‘London’ then
you will need to supply just the single place name, ‘London’. Also note that it
is advisable to also include abbreviations e.g. for England supply ‘England,
Eng’ or ‘Eng%’, for Texas supply ‘Texas, TX’.
Q. How can I be sure that a particular ancestor is related to me?
A. You can look at all the details we hold for this ancestor including names,
when born/died and places with which they were associated. You can also view
the names of any other descendants already associated with the ancestor and in
turn you can view ancestors of these descendants and so on. This information
will often be sufficient for you to confirm with a reasonable level of
certainty that this is your ancestor. If you are a full member you also have
the option of emailing any descendant or of viewing any additional information.
However, if after all this you are still in doubt as to whether a particular
ancestor is your relative then you can associate yourself anyway – if
information is later recorded which makes you doubt that this is your ancestor
then you can always dissociate yourself again.
Q. Can I change the details of any ancestor that I find?
A. No, ancestors are normally ‘owned’ by the member who first recorded them as a
new ancestor (and became the first descendant recorded for that ancestor) and
only this member may change their details. However it is possible for an
ancestor to be recorded who does not have any associated descendants. This will
happen for any ancestors pre-loaded by www.linkmyfamilytree.com. In this case
the first member to associate himself or herself with the ancestor will
automatically take ‘ownership’ and will be able to change the details for that
ancestor. If you think that the details of an ancestor are incorrect and you do
not own that ancestor then you can either email the owning member to inform
them of the problem (providing you are a full member) or alternatively you can
email email@example.com and
we will deal with the discrepancy for you.
Q. I have recorded a new ancestor but have later realised that this ancestor
already existed on the database. How do I get rid of my duplicate ancestor?
A. A delete option is provided on the ‘Show Ancestors’ page. You can only delete
an ancestor which you own (see previous FAQ) and with which no other
descendants have associated. If other descendants have associated and you wish
to inform them of the problem then you can email them directly (full members
only) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will inform them for you.
Q. How is this website related to census websites such as the UK 1901 census
A. You can use the census website to obtain information about your ancestors.
You can then input this information to www.linkmyfamilytree.com in order to do
further research including extending your family tree further backwards and
outwards and to find out about and contact your current day relatives.
Q. Where do you expect me to obtain the information about my ancestors (born
pre-1931) that I need to input to www.linkmyfamilytree.com?
A. From your older relatives still alive today and from other sources of
genealogy research such as the UK 1901 census website
Q. How many ancestors are there on the www.linkmyfamilytree.com database?
A. We have pre-loaded details of 6,000,000 ancestors from various sources in
order to give the database a head start. We expect this figure to grow
exponentially as members join and start adding details of new ancestors. We
will also be continuing to load more ancestors in the background, whilst
ensuring that we don’t create duplicates. So the chances of you extending your
family tree will grow as time goes on.
Q. Do I have to become a member to use the website?
A. Yes, this is necessary so that we can identify you and email you when new
descendants associate themselves with your ancestors. However basic membership
of the website is completely free. Also we guarantee never to divulge your
email address to any other organisation. You also have the option of never
receiving emails from us regarding new facilities or other services we provide
(this option can be selected when you register as a new member). However, by
registering, you will be liable to receive emails from other full members who
wish to contact you.
Q. What if I do not wish to receive emails from you when new descendants are
associated with my ancestors?
A. This is an option that can be selected individually for each of your
ancestors. So you can decide to never be emailed or just to be emailed for
Q. Can I find my ancestors from other countries?
A. Yes, www.linkmyfamilytree.com is intended to be a global resource. The
pre-loaded ancestors are mainly from US, UK and Germany but new ancestors are
being continually created.
Q. Can I guarantee that all the information on the website is correct?
A. As with any massive shared resource such as this there is no way that this
can be guaranteed. We expect most of the data to be accurate but you need to
remember that there are a great number of people involved in maintaining this
data (all the members) and there are bound to be some errors. We hope that
members will communicate with us and with other members to ensure that errors
Q. After registering as a new member what would be the first thing I should do
with the website?
A. After registering as a new member you should find out as much as possible
about your ancestors born before 1931. You can do this by asking your living
relatives (e.g. parents and grandparents), looking at old documents you already
possess or by visiting other genealogy sites such as the 1901 census at
www.censushelpdesk.co.uk. Find out as much as you can about your ancestors,
particularly their full names, approximately when they lived and where they
were born, lived and died. Armed with this information log onto
www.linkmyfamilytree.com and click on ‘Find Ancestor’ to check whether your
ancestors have already been recorded by us or by another member. If they are
already recorded then associate yourself with them otherwise click on ‘Add
Ancestor’ to add their details to the database. Once you have added ancestors
to the database you can view details of these ancestors by clicking ‘My
Q. I am unsure of my exact relationship to an ancestor. What relationship should
I select when adding a new ancestor or associating myself with an existing
A. ‘Cousin’ should generally be selected to denote some distant relationship
where you do not know the exact relationship. Cousin is not meant to denote
first cousin (generally unlikely for your relationship to an ancestor born
pre-1931) but any level of cousin e.g. (third cousin fourth removed would also
be denoted as a cousin). If you do select an incorrect relationship you can
always amend it later (just click on the ‘Associate’ button again and you can
change the relationship). Note: If you do happen to know your exact
relationship to this ancestor (e.g. is third cousin fourth removed) then you
can always enter this information in the comments box if you wish.
Q. I cannot see all the details on the screen and have to scroll horizontally to
read the text on some of the pages. What is wrong?
A. LinkMyFamilyTree has been designed to fit a screen resolution of 1024 by 768
pixels and higher. At lower resolutions, not all of the text can fit on the
screen. Your computer may be running at a resolution of 800 by 600. Most
computers bought since 1997 should be capable of running at higher screen
resolutions. Try changing this:- make sure all your programs are minimised, or
preferably none are running and right-click on the desktop. Select properties
from the menu which appears. Then select the tab entitled 'Settings'. Within
the frame titled 'Screen area', you should see a slider bar indicating the
range of resolutions supported by your computer's graphics card. Try and move
this to a greater value and click 'OK'. You can always set this back to it's
orginal value if you have any problems.
Q. I like what I have read above and wish to become a member now. I understand
that this is completely free. What must I do next?
A. Click here to register.