There are two types of access you may want to share with other users at Ancestry, and specific times when you’ll want to do each.
If you have set your privacy selections to allow DNA matching, and tree sharing, your DNA matches will have access to that information. If not, they won’t.
Click the down arrow to the right of your signon page, then Account Settings.
Click on DNA.
Then, click on the little right arrow waaaaayyyy over there.
Scroll down until you see Tree Link, and be sure your test is linked to yourself in your tree.
Next, the Privacy section displays your selections in effect for both matching and your ethnicity estimates. Click on the little down arrow labeled “Change” to view other options.
If you do NOT have matching enabled, you won’t see matches and they won’t see you.
Granting DNA Sharing Access
If you don’t match with someone, they won’t be able to see whether you’ve tested your DNA or not.
- You can still share access to your DNA, even if you don’t match.
- If you do match, and you’re collaborating with someone, you can share more with them, in essence, letting them “drive.”
Next, click on Sharing Preferences.
You’ll click the down arrow to see who you’ve shared your DNA results with. These people may or may not be your DNA matches. For example, there are a few people that I’ve collaborated with for years that I’ve shared my DNA results with because I’m really, really HOPING they will make a breakthrough for both of us.
Plus, not to be morbid, but you just never know when you’ll be meeting the ancestors and I want my DNA to go on working for my genealogy partners and family members after I’m no longer doing the work myself. That’s also why I write my 52 Ancestors stories, but I digress.
You might be wondering what kind of information other people could be looking for. Let me give you an immediate example. Even though we don’t personally match, my cousin Greg has been looking for people that he matches, and I match too, that he knows descend from our common ancestor, Peter Johnson.
Any tests you own are listed first here, along with anyone you’ve granted access to your DNA results.
If you click on “Add a person,” you can add someone else to your share list.
You always get to select the level of access people you share with have.
If your cousin George tested for you, has no interest himself, you’ll want to ask him to grant you the ability to manage his results. Just understand that manage means just that – entirely.
Typically, I grant view because they can see everything I can see, but they can’t change things.
Sharing DNA does NOT mean you’re automatically sharing your tree.
Sharing trees is important for three reasons.
- DNA matches
- For people who don’t match your DNA but are researching the same ancestors and find your tree through hints or ancestor searches
- People you specifically want to provide access to your tree
One of my cousins kindly shared his DNA results with me, but he did not share his tree and now I can no longer get in touch with him. Unfortunately, he’s not well, so it’s unlikely that I will ever be able to contact him.
Let’s look at Tree management, sharing and invitations.
Your Tree Privacy Settings
Go back to Account Settings and select “Trees.”
Next, you’ll see your trees and trees that others have shared with you.
Select your tree you wish to view, share or work with.
Then, select Privacy Settings at the top of the page.
You can review your tree privacy settings. As you can see, mine is public. I firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all ships. I realize that this is a controversial topic, but I share my work freely and hope others will as well. I’m providing quality breadcrumbs. At least my research and information is available among the copy/paste misinformation abominations.
My cousin who shared his DNA with me has a private tree, and even though I can see how he matches people, I cannot view their common ancestors because his tree is private and he didn’t realize he needed to grant me separate access to his tree in addition to his DNA results.
Furthermore, if your tree is private, your DNA matches can’t view your tree and the DNA match has limited utility without tree access.
Invite People to Your Tree
My tree is public, so it’s available for viewing in searches and by DNA matches. However, I still need to grant specific access to people to directly access my tree without them having to search around to find my tree in their ancestor search hints and matches.
Click on “Invitations.”
You’ll be able to see who you’ve granted access to, their Role, and if they can see living people.
To invite someone to your tree from here, click on “Invite People.”
Don’t forget to click “save” at the bottom of the page.
An Easier Tree Invite Location
There is no easier way to invite people to view your DNA results, but there is an easier way to share your tree.
On your main Ancestry page, click on Trees, then on the down arrow by the name of the tree you wish to share. Select “Invite” which will take you to the same Invite page as above.
Now is a good time to review your settings and be sure they are the most beneficial to your genealogy goals.
Furthermore, you’re going to need this article for my next “In Search of…” article in a day or so.
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DNA Purchases and Free Uploads
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
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- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
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- Newspapers.com – Search newspapers for your ancestors
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- DNA for Native American Genealogy – by Roberta Estes, for those ordering the e-book from anyplace, or paperback within the United States
- DNA for Native American Genealogy – for those ordering the paperback outside the US
- Genealogical.com – Lots of wonderful genealogy research books
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – Professional genealogy research