Getting Started

This is your guide to getting started with Ancestral Forest. We recommend that you read this guide before creating your first tree.

Don't worry if you can't remember everything straight away - you can refer to this guide from various parts of the system so that you have constant support whenever you need it.


Firstly, a brief introduction to the terminology used by Ancestral Forest.

There are two types of membership:

  • Full member
  • Guest

A full member can create up to 3 separate family trees. Each tree can have as many individuals attached as the member wishes to add. We refer to individuals as "leaves". Get used to this term, you are going to see it a lot!

A guest is entitled you to view the contents of family trees for which they have an authorisation code (provided by the member that owns the tree).

Finding Your Way Around

The primary pages are generally divided into 4 areas:

  • Main Navigation Menu
  • Navigation column
  • Main Panel
  • Footer

The Main Navigation Menu is displayed horizontally across the page just below the Ancestral Forest banner at the top of the page. Simply click on any of these options to activate them.

Having selected a Main Navigation Menu option and displayed the appropriate page, further lower level options relevant to the page are displayed in the Navigation column on the right hand side of the page. Additionally, a "Save Changes" button is displayed in the Navigation column whenever there are changes to your data which have not yet been saved.

The main panel is where the primary content of the selected page is displayed.

The footer contains links to the most commonly accessed pages for your convenience.

Registering With Ancestral Forest

To either create your own tree or to view someone else's tree, you must first have registered with Ancestral Forest.

To register as either a full member or guest, click the "Register" link on the Ancestral Forest home page.

Because Ancestral Forest has a number of system requirements to operate efficiently, we check that you are using a web browser with appropriate settings so that you can take full advantage of Ancestral Forest's facilities. You don't need to worry about the technical detail. If your system is configured appropriately, registration is straightforward. If we think there is a problem with your web browser or its configuration, we will tell you at the start of registration and suggest action you can take to remedy the problem.

Once you have submitted the registration form, we will send an e-mail to your registered e-mail address to check that we can reach you when necessary (either to notify you of any significant changes to the service or to provide support should you need it). The e-mail will contain a link back to the Ancestral Forest web site. You need to click this link in order to complete registration (it tells us that your e-mail address is correct). At this point, your registration is confirmed and you can sign in to Ancestral Forest.

Signing In

To sign in, click the "Sign in" link on the right hand side of the Main Navigation Menu.

You will be transferred to the "Sign in" page to submit your user name and password.

On successfully signing in, you will be transferred to your personal home page ("My home page").

Note that your user name will be displayed on the left hand side of most pages, just below the Ancestral Forest logo, so you can immediately see if you are signed in.

Signing Out

To sign out, click the "Sign out" link on the right hand side of the Main Navigation Menu.

On signing out, you will be transferred to the Ancestral Forest home page.

Contacting Us

Should you need to contact us (either to provide feedback about Ancestral Forest or to request support), click the "Contact" menu item on the Main Navigation Menu.

Member Activities

Advice and guidance on how to create and maintain your family tree and use the other features of the Ancestral Forest service are provided in our user guide which is available to registered members and guests when signed into the member area.