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Guide: For New Members

Posted in Categories / Groups:

The aim of this Guide is to help new members familiarise themselves with the Ancestorian website.  It highlights some of the important things that members may need to know when using Ancestorian.

Your Display Name

Your display name can be a username or your real name.  It can be useful to set your display name to your real name. For example, where it helps your friends to identify you from other genealogy forums and social networks.

The following links can be used to change your display name and/or add your real name:

Change your display name - Add your real name

Manage your Notifications

An important consideration when you join Ancestorian is to decide what types of notifications you want to receive, what aspects of the site you want notifications for and how often you want to receive them. 

Everyone has different preferences.  Ancestorian lets you choose.

Follow this link to manage your notification settings 

Use this link to read more about Managing Notifications 

Join Some Groups

Another important thing to do is to check out the groups and join any groups that are of interest to you.  

If you want to share information or seek information from others, you will often get a better response if you post from within a relevant group(s).

Ancestorian has a large number of groups which you can join.

Most of the groups are ‘Open’ so you will see the posts even if you aren’t a member but you won’t be able to post or comment in the group unless you join it.  A few groups are ‘private’ so only members can see the posts and comment on then.

Use this link to find groups   

This link will tell you more about how to find, join and use groups  


  1. Some groups were automatically set up when the website first started and are in need of some care and attention. If you join a group that doesn't have an owner and/or appears to be inactive, you can become a manager of it. If you would like to do this, please let us know via a ‘New Ticket’ here:
  2. If you have a particular research interest but there isn't already a group for it, please feel free to create a new group.

Discussion Posts and Blog Posts

‘Discussion posts’ and ‘Blog posts’ on Ancestorian are intended for different purposes.  Use the following links to find out more:

What to Post where - The Difference between Discussion posts and Blog Posts. 

Discussion Posts – How to Post and How to Find your Post later 

How to Create a Blog Post 

Other Tips and Tricks

Informational needs identified by Admins from time to time or occasional questions from members are sometimes pulled together as Ancestorian Tips and Tricks. 

Individual Tips and Tricks are posted from time to time under the hashtag #AncestorianTipsandTricks as a memory prompt.


Your privacy is important to Ancestorian.  You can access Ancestorian’s Privacy Policy here:

Please help us to maintain privacy by respecting other people’s privacy when you post! Don’t post information about living people in public spaces on Ancestorian!

Other Policy Documents

Other policy documents e.g., Terms and Conditions of Service, can be found via the ‘Support’ Tab at the top of the Website

Getting Help or Reporting a Problem

There are a number of Guides listed above.  These may be added to from time to time.

You can check for Guides under the Support Tab at Guides and Tutorials

If what you need to know isn't covered by a Guide or if you want to report a problem with the website, please request a support ticket here:

About the author: JaneChapman Admin Icon

I am one of the volunteer Admin/Moderators at Ancestorian and a hobby genealogist. I have been researching family history since the early 1990's. Since 2013, I have been using autosomal DNA-related information, in conjunction with traditional sources of evidence, to support, or challenge, the paper trail and further my research.

Since retiring I have had more time for research. I balance my time between tackling brickwalls and digging deeper into the life and times of ancestors to try to better understand them in the context of their own time and place. Some of my research has been written up as biographical narratives on my blog pages at:

Get involved!


Thank you for the welcome x
Thank you Jane for the hot welcome (Phil HAD to be different) Nice to see a Kiwi in charge. I collect NZ stamps
Thank you! I’m looking forward to delving deeper.