RootsWeb:Working with WorldConnect Family Trees

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This article originally appeared in The Official Guide to by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG and Tana Pedersen Lord.

Downloading a WorldConnect Family Tree

Anyone who adds a tree to WorldConnect can decide whether or not other users can download their family tree file. If this option is available, you will see a “Download GEDCOM” link at the top of any tree page. (If the tree you want isn’t available for download, you might want to send an e-mail to the tree’s owner—they might be happy to share with you on a more private basis.)

Note: The file you download will begin with the individual whose page you are viewing. If you want the file to start with a different individual, choose the “Download GEDCOM” link from their tree page. The number of generations you can download varies depending on the size of the file and the number of generations the submitter will allow you to access.

To download a tree, click the “Download GEDCOM” link at the top or bottom of the family tree page. You can choose whether the file contains the ancestors or descendants of the selected individual, the number of generations in the file (the maximum is ten), and more.

Adding a Post-em Note

Post-em notes are the electronic equivalent of a sticky note and let you add your “two cents” to trees you find. For example, if you find a discrepancy in your ancestor’s birth date in another individual’s tree, you can create a Post-em note that attaches to your ancestor in their database. You can include the date you think is accurate, your e-mail address, a link to another website, or anything you think would be useful. If a note has been added to a tree database, you will see a “View Post-em” link towards the bottom of the page. Click the link to access the note.

Post-em notes can also be a useful tool for your own trees you’ve added to WorldConnect. Because you cannot “edit” your family tree once it is in WorldConnect (you must submit an updated file), Post-em notes help you add corrections or additions or fill in missing pieces of your tree until you have a chance to update it.

To add a Post-em note, click the “Add Post-em” link at the top of any family tree page. For more information, click the Help tab and find the “Post-em Notes” section.

Contacting the Owner of a Tree

At the top of every tree page you will see the tree owner’s name and e-mail address. The Contact field shows the owner’s name. Next to this you will see the owner’s e-mail address in a speckled gray graphic. This graphic has no special meaning—it simply helps protect e-mail addresses from unethical websites that try to steal e-mail addresses from other sites. If you find that the e-mail address is hard to read, you can click the Refresh button on your browser to reload the Web page.

Submitting Your Own Family Tree

By submitting your own family tree, you may help others extend the branches of their family tree. And you may find some great people to collaborate with. You will always retain ownership of your tree, which means you are free to update it or remove it whenever you want. And you can submit as many family trees as you would like.

Before You Begin

Take a few minutes now to prepare your file in your genealogy program; this can save you from having to make changes later on. Make sure the file is as accurate as possible—check for misspellings, dates that don’t make sense, anything that could send another researcher down the wrong path. You might want to remove or edit any information that appears for living individuals to protect their privacy (you can also hide this information during the setup process). Now, you will need to create a GEDCOM (.ged) file of the family tree. If you have any questions on how to do this, check the user’s manual for your genealogy program, or go here for instructions.

Submit the Tree

To submit the tree to WorldConnect, click the Family Trees tab, then click the “Start Here” link at the top of the page or on the homepage, find the “Family Trees (WorldConnect)” section, and click the “Submit Your Family Tree” link.

Note: If you don’t feel comfortable uploading a tree yourself and would still like your family tree to appear in WorldConnect, you can submit your file through the mail and a RootsWeb staff member will upload the tree for you. For more information, click the Family Trees tab. Then find the “FAQs and HELP” section, and click the “How to submit files via the mail” link.

User Codes and Passwords

The first step in uploading your file is to create a unique user code and password for your family tree file. User codes help you keep track of your files and also identify the file so that others can search for it. Enter a user code that has three to sixteen characters (letters, numbers, a hyphen, or underscore characters only); it cannot contain any spaces. Then, enter a password. You may want to write these down—in case you ever forget them.

Setup Options

You can now choose the standard or advanced setup. The standard setup gives you the opportunity to change a few display options (e.g., your page headers and footers) and determine whether other members can download your family tree. The first time you submit a tree, it is recommended that you choose the standard setup. The advanced setup gives you all the options of the standard setup with some added customizations; you can choose the number of generations that appear in reports and charts, and you have more flexibility in determine what information appears for “living” individuals in your tree.

On the page that appears, enter your name and e-mail address, then click the Setup button. You’re ready to set up your file. Change any necessary setup options, and click the Upload/Update button.

That’s it. You’ve just helped the community grow—and maybe you’re even on your way to finding a long-lost cousin! And remember, this is your family tree; you can update it or even remove the file at any time.

External Links