FAQ

Your Data and Privacy

Why do I get so many emails from Ancestorian?

Ancestorian sends you emails when someone writes a post in a group that you are a member of.When you add a place or surname that you research to Ancestorian, you automatically become a member of the group related to that place or name. The notification e-mails are a great way to find out when someone new has joined the group or has something to say.If you are getting too many, you can control your emails for the whole site here: Notifications Settings

What happens when I upload a GEDCOM?

A GEDCOM import initially looks at all individuals. These are saved to our database temporarily while we extract all unique surnames and places.At this point, all living individuals are deleted from the temporary database store.We use some careful maths to determine somewhere between 10 and 20 places and surnames that are most prevalent in your research. These are added to your account as research interests and you are automatically joined to the appropriate groups.

Are you going to sell my data?

No.

Any data you provide to Ancestorian is only used for the services that we offer on site. This means, to help you identify the places and names you research and to make connections with other family historians.

Do I Have to Register to Use Ancestorian?

No. You can use Ancestorian without registering and still search for names and places. You can also access some community groups and posts.But to get the most out of Ancestorian - that is, to find and contact other family historians with the same interests as you, or indeed for them to find and contact you - you need to register and add your research interests - join groups and start chatting.Don't worry, registering is free and painless.

How What Who Where Why When

My GEDCOM is too Big. How can I split it?

GEDCOMs are often large and we are unable to upload anything bigger than 10mb.

Luckily, many software systems enable you to download a part of your tree. As we find instructions for each, we will add links here to help you out.

What happens when I upload a GEDCOM?

A GEDCOM import initially looks at all individuals. These are saved to our database temporarily while we extract all unique surnames and places.At this point, all living individuals are deleted from the temporary database store.We use some careful maths to determine somewhere between 10 and 20 places and surnames that are most prevalent in your research. These are added to your account as research interests and you are automatically joined to the appropriate groups.

Why won’t my GEDCOM upload?

There are a few reasons why a GEDCOM won't upload to Ancestorian.

Some things to try/check are:

  • Is your GEDCOM file smaller than 10Mb?
    This is important because the server will not accept larger GEDCOMS
  • Is the GEDCOM file encoded with the UTF-8 character set?
    Look on the first few lines of your GEDCOM file for a line something like "1 CHAR UTF-8" (the number in front of this may be different to 1...). If you see one with "1 CHAR ANSI" or "1 CHAR ANSEL" then you should ask your software to export the GEDCOM as UTF-8 encoding or character set. This might very well solve your problem.
    Please see the special notes for Family Historian users below.
  • Do you have any special characters / illegal characters in your GEDCOM?
    Examples include:
    • Date fields with arrows or brackets - 2 DATE (<1880>)
  • Is there a problem with your connection?
    Does it take a very long time for your file to upload and then your screen freezes up somewhere?
  • Is your GEDCOM correctly formatted?
    Hopefully it is. But alas, some software spits out GEDCOMS with strange information or formatting. Feel free to contact us with a copy of your GEDCOM and we will look into it for you

If this hasn't helped, please contact us with a copy of your GEDCOM so we can look into this further.

Family Historian Users

We found out the following with a little searching online:

The reason many products no longer accept FH GEDCOM files is that they are now encoded using UNICODE UTF-16 format, which is the easiest way to support all UNICODE accented characters and symbols, but is not universally accepted by all products.

The built in command File > Import/Export > Export > GEDCOM File allows other formats such as UTF-8 and ANSI to be created, but the best solution is the Export Gedcom File Plugin, which has dedicated export modes for many genealogy products, and in the latest version now includes an (ANC) Ancestry Family Tree option. For Tribal Pages try the (Std) Standard GEDCOM 5.5 option. Check the Plugin Help & Advice pages for further details.

I’ve just joined. What now?

For Ancestorian to work best, you need to add at least three places or surnames (more is better) that you are researching. This also joins you to the groups for those places and names.If you have one, uploading a GEDCOM file will automatically add you the names and places that are most important to you.

What Can I Do at Ancestorian?

The main idea behind Ancestorian is to bring family historians with similar research interests together.


We do this by making lists of the names and places that members are researching. When you join Ancestorian, you add your research interests to the system and are then able to connect with other members with the same. The quickest way to add your names and places to the Ancestorian system is by importing a GEDCOM. But don't worry, if you don't have a GEDCOM, you can also add places and names manually.


Best of all, you remain in complete control of your data and privacy the whole time.


 

About Ancestorian

Where can I contact you?

The easiest way to contact us, at the moment, is by visiting our Facebook page at fb.me/ancestorian

Who is behind Ancestorian?

Ancestorian was born out of a conversation between admins of a Facebook ancestry group.

Group members, naturally, wanted to find other members who were researching the same places or people as them. This resulted in lots of timeline messages reaching out - and many of these messages would be for the same names or places yet they were often not being seen by the right people. We also managed documents with lists of names and places members were researching but the management of these was cumbersome and they weren't being used efficiently.

We needed a solution.

One of the admins, Greg Scowen, had an idea about how a community-centered website could provide such lists and connections by using crowd-sourcing techniques. He sat down for a few hours each night (after his day job) and built Ancestorian. The site was initially presented to the members of that original Facebook group and they joined as the first users. Other admins from that group joined Ancestorian as part of the admin team.

I use/subscribe to Ancestry, FindMyPast, etc. Why would I use Ancestorian?

Sites like Ancestry and FindMyPast are superb at providing records and for hosting family trees. The founders of Ancestorian subscribe to both.

At Ancestorian, we don't keep records like this. Our purpose is communal - connecting you to other researchers. We leave the supply of records to other sites, like those named.

In fact, you will find links to records at these in our upcoming community library and you may also see adverts for these sites on Ancestorian. Any action you take on those sites after clicking on those adverts helps pay for Ancestorian to keep running and developing new features.

What Can I Do at Ancestorian?

The main idea behind Ancestorian is to bring family historians with similar research interests together.


We do this by making lists of the names and places that members are researching. When you join Ancestorian, you add your research interests to the system and are then able to connect with other members with the same. The quickest way to add your names and places to the Ancestorian system is by importing a GEDCOM. But don't worry, if you don't have a GEDCOM, you can also add places and names manually.


Best of all, you remain in complete control of your data and privacy the whole time.


 

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