For those of us interested in ancestry, we are fortunate to have some really good tools, both online and for use on almost any platform. And they are all becoming increasingly capable. But if you just want to view a tree, perhaps something we are working on for you, there are two best options currently:

Ancestry LogoYou may have heard it is expensive to join, and they do have plans that accommodate everyone from the mildly interested to the professional. But if you get a link to a public tree, there is no need to pay. It isn’t publicised widely, but anyone can join with a free account using this link. So if I’ve sent you an invitation to view a tree, simply head over there and create yourself a free account. You can immediately view the tree. What’s more, you will probably have a lot more detail about your particular part of the family than I do, so be sure to let me know what is missing.

If you really get the bug, and assuming you are comfortable doing so, I can make you an editor on a tree, as well. All I need is your Ancestry user name that you used when you created your account.

Family Search logoThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have made it their life’s mission to accumulate family data from across the world. Their latest innovation in this effort is a great website, called Family Search. This is good for us, because they maintain the most extensive data base in the business. And, they connect now only with but also with all the other major ancestry websites. And, like, they have apps for your mobile devices. They also have some great templates for viewing and printing your tree.

There are a couple of downsides, however. Firstly, the site takes a little getting used to. It is not quite as user-friendly as And it is a “wiki”, which simply means that anyone can change anything without having a good reason to do so. Not that they would do anything untoward – after all, they are just trying to help. But not everyone’s information is correct, and once your tree is “polluted” it takes some time to fix it.