What are Ancestry MyTreeTags?

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a way to label our ancestors so that we can find people in our tree who have things in common or jump to your current research tasks on Ancestry? Ancestry MyTree Tags offers subscribers a way to do just that.


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MyTreeTags is Ancestry’s solution to a problem that many people have developed created hacks to solve. Additionally, a subtle intent for MyTreeTags is to reduce how users are using the platform in unintended ways.


The Problem Ancestry MyTreeTags May Solve


In a previous blog post entitled “Your Ancestor isn’t a flag, a flower or a ship.” The number of graphic markers on Ancestry Member trees is exploding. It’s A HUGE hot button issue for folks who use these graphics to decorate their trees. It’s ‘THEIR TREE’ after all.


What these folks don’t realize is that by using these creative workarounds, it negatively impacts the experience of themselves and others on the platform. Their nonsensical name fields make in-tree name searches nearly impossible.


With such decorative graphics, users waste website resources and negatively impact the experience on the platform for other users bombarded with these photo hints.


These annoying photo hints reduce the positive experience subscribes have on the platform, which could decrease subscriptions. So yeah, what you do on ‘your tree’ impacts the greater genealogy community.


How MyTreeTags Solves The Problem


MyTreeTags™ are labels that can be attached to people in your tree. Once tags are attached, they can be used as filters when searching in your tree.

WIth MyTreeTags, you no longer need to add:

  1. Anything in the suffix field other than MD, Jr, Sr, or PhD

  2. Use graphics to help you remember details about your ancestor


Adding MyTreeTags Dramatically Improves Your Access to Your Ancestors


By using MyTreeTags, you’ll add the magic of FILTERING your ancestors to those labels.


If you want to view the names of Ancestors who were immigrants, you can filter to that list (once you’ve tagged your tree).


If you want to see the list of Catholics who served in the Civil War after participating in the Gold Rush, you can do that too, though these tags are “Custom Tags” and I’ll discuss how to add such tags in a different post.


You can add up to 20 tags per individual in your tree. Also, you can use multiple tag combinations to filter your family tree.


What you currently can’t do is print out a list of names that appear on the filtered list. That could be a cool feature if enough Ancestry subscribers request it.


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Learn How To Add MyTreeTags

Once you know how to add MyTreeTags, let’s cover a few questions about the feature.


Who can view your MyTreeTags?


Do you worry about who can view your MyTreeTags? If you do, these are the restrictions currently in place for who can view the tags:

  1. For public trees -- other Ancestry members can see the tags

  2. For private trees -- only you and people you’ve invited to your tree as editors, contributors, or guests can see your tags.

  3. Living Persons in a tree -- are treated as private regardless of public access to a member tree

Current Limitations of Ancestry MyTreeTags


Several things make embracing MyTreeTags with full gusto rather challenging.

  1. You can’t sync tags with genealogy software: If you use RootsMagic or FamilyTreeMaker, you can not sync your MyTreeTags with these platforms.

  2. You can’t tag in batches: If you have a family with two parents and four children who were immigrants, you can’t tag them in bulk. Currently, you have to tag each person individually.

  3. The MyTreeTags could disappear: If users do not adopt the tags and you can not back up your tagging effort to a genealogy program, Ancestry may remove the tagging system and waste all of our efforts.

I’m not sure if Ancestry and genealogy software developers can resolve these limitations this year to overcome these limitations.


The Usefulness of Ancestry MyTreeTags Depends on You


The usefulness of this feature will depend on users adopting the practice of adding tags to their trees. And, if users follow the same standards with the tags they use, which is the subject of a future post and video. Stay tuned.


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