Help:My Trees


My Trees - A way to identify pages of personal interest

When you contribute to WeRelate, you share information with everyone else. Therefore, it isn't appropriate to tag individual pages to indicate how they relate to you - e.g., using an asterisk to identify direct ancestors, or tags to distinguish between a paternal line and a maternal line. WeRelate allows you to define user-specific trees (called My Trees) to group people and families in whatever way makes sense to you. My Trees are similar to Categories, with extra navigation features.

Categories are intended to define groups of general interest - such as early settlers of an area or soldiers in a particular war. Users are discouraged from using Categories for groups of limited interest, such as their own ancestry. They should use My Trees instead.

Like Categories, My Trees are lists of WeRelate pages that you want grouped together. They don't contain any extra information - all the genealogical information is still on the Person and Family pages you share with the rest of the WeRelate community. While Categories have their own wiki pages (where extra text can be added), My Trees don't - all they have is a name. Also unlike Categories, My Trees can't be changed by other users (although other users can see and navigate your trees).

Why create My Trees?

Here are some of things that My Trees can help with. If any of these situations apply to you, you might want to consider creating one or more trees.

  • You wish to distinguish between your own ancestors/relatives and your spouse's ancestors/relatives. When you get an email saying that a page has been changed, you wish to see quickly which family is affected.
  • You have relatives on both sides of your family that might be interested in the family tree. You wish to share your paternal family tree with some relatives and your maternal family tree with others.
  • You contributed a lineage to WeRelate and your oldest ancestor matches a page already in WeRelate. Someone else added parents for that ancestor, but you haven't had a chance to review the sources to determine whether or not you concur. Or you know that these parents are speculative, and you are neither convinced to accept the speculation nor have sufficient evidence to remove the parents. You want to distinguish between the parts of the lineage that you accept and the parts you are skeptical about.
  • Similar to the previous situation, you want to expand your family tree with information others have provided, and you are slowly working through reviewing pages others created, adding information to your desktop software when you are satisfied with the evidence. You want to distinguish between pages you have reviewed and pages you haven't got to yet.

In all the above cases, you can use My Trees to identify your lineage(s). Create a tree for each of your family lines, or, if you have a small tree, use your default My Tree (created automatically) to distinguish the pages you want to focus on from related pages.

When to create My Trees

If you plan to upload data from GEDCOM's, you should consider creating My Trees before doing so. WeRelate provides a default My Tree for every user, and if you don't create your own trees, your GEDCOM's will be uploaded into it. However, if you wish to distinguish between separate lines, it is far more efficient to create My Trees first and upload separate GEDCOM's into each one.

If you are creating WeRelate pages manually, feel free to create a few before creating My Trees. Once you feel comfortable with the site, creating My Trees early can cut down on work later.

Once data is created either manually or by uploading it, you can add pages to My Trees one at a time or by adding several generations of ancestors or descendants at once, but the latter gives you less control. You can only remove pages from My Trees one page at a time.

How to create and populate My Trees

Select My Trees from the My Relate menu (top left-hand menu).

Click the Create a new tree link. Provide a name for your tree and click Add. The name can include spaces, but if you include special characters (e.g., &) some of the functionality might not work.

Once your tree is created, you can add pages to it in 3 ways:

  • By uploading a GEDCOM
  • Select Import GEDCOM from the Add menu. Then select the tree to import into.
Image:Import GEDCOM and select tree.jpg
  • Alternately, if you select My Trees from the My Relate menu and then select Import a GEDCOM beside a tree name, you will get the same screen as above, but the tree name will already be filled in.
  • When creating or editing a page
  • Before you save a newly created page or one you are editing, check the box(es) at the bottom of the screen beside the tree(s) you want the page to be in.
Image:Add page to tree on save.jpg
  • From the Update My Trees page
  • Select Trees from the menu on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Check the box(es) beside the tree(s) you want the page to be in.
Image:Add page to tree in Update My Trees.jpg
  • Note that this page allows you to add not only the Person or Family you are on, but ancestors and/or descendants of this Person or Family. Please read the Warning first. Note: 1 generation is the page you are on. 2 generations adds the immediate parents (ancestors) or children (descendants).
  • Don't forget to click the Update button at the bottom - your changes won't be saved unless you do.
  • Note: When you add one or more pages to your tree(s), they are automatically added to your watchlist. However, if you remove a page from your tree(s) by unchecking a box, it is not automatically removed from your watchlist.

My Tree Functionality

Most My Trees functionality is accessed from a list of your trees. There are 3 places to see such a list:

  • Select My Trees from the My Relate menu (top left-hand menu)
  • Select Dashboard from the My Relate menu (top left-hand menu)
  • Go to your User page if you created one


When you click the search link beside any tree name, you are taken to the normal WeRelate search function, with a keyword that restricts results to the selected tree.

Other users can also search your trees by going to your User page (if you created one) and selecting search beside one of your trees. Similarly, you can search the trees on anyone else's User page.


When you click the explore link beside any tree name, a clickable list of tree pages shows up on the left-hand side of the page. The list is in order by page title, grouped by namespace (Person, Family, Article, Image, etc.). The main part of the screen displays the first page in the list.

You will stay in "exploring" mode until you click the Exit link (or your session is timed-out). That is, you can navigate (from the main part of the screen) to a source, place, sibling, etc. and the list on the left will remain there. Some screens (such as "What Links Here") don't show the list on the left, but as soon as you return to a screen that supports the list, it will show up again.

Scroll the list using Next and Prev, or jump directly to entry number N by entering number N and pressing Enter.

You can filter the list by selecting a namespace.

Navigate as a tree

Every person and family page has a Family tree link immediately above Facts and Events that allows you to see that person's or family's ancestors and descendants in tree form.

Image:Family Tree diagram - link.jpg

When you click this link, you will see a few generations of the person's ancestors. (If you started with a family, you will see ancestors for both spouses, as well as their children.)

If you are exploring a tree (see explanation above), any persons showing in the diagram that are not in that tree are noted - see the boxes above that say "not in tree". This makes it easy to see whether there is opportunity to expand your tree by adding pages contributed by other users.

Whether or not you are exploring a tree, whenever you are signed in and select the Family tree link, if you hover over the box for a person or the dash between generations (which represents a family), the popup will give you a list of all your trees that person or family is in.

Other My Tree actions

Select My Trees from the My Relate menu (top left-hand menu) to get to the Manage My Trees page. There are a number of actions you can take here.

Import a GEDCOM

Import a GEDCOM to add pages to the indicated tree. The tree can be empty or not before you import a GEDCOM. Be sure to read the GEDCOM instructions before importing GEDCOMs.

Export a GEDCOM

If you select export, WeRelate will create a GEDCOM for you and notify you when it is ready.

Rename / Merge tree

To rename a tree, select rename / merge and enter a new name for the tree.

To merge two trees, select rename / merge beside the tree name you don't want to keep and enter the name of the tree you want to merge this tree into. It doesn't matter if you already have the same page in both trees - it will occur once in your tree after the merge.

Related pages not in tree

Select related pages to see a list of pages not in your tree that are linked to by pages in your tree.

Other watchers

Select watchers to get a count of watchers (including yourself) for each page in your tree.

E-mail (share)

Select e-mail to e-mail a link to your tree to a relative. You will be prompted for their e-mail address. The email invites the recipient to collaborate with you on your tree, and provides both a link to your tree and the instructions to "save the tree as their own" (that is, to create their own tree with the same pages as yours). You can change the text of the email before sending it (if, for example, you don't expect the relative to want to create an account and collaborate), but be sure to keep the first link intact so that they can explore your tree.

Copy a tree

This action is available only from the User page, since it is expected that users will only want to copy a tree from someone else. Select copy beside a tree on someone else's User page and provide a name for your own copy of the tree. Your tree will have the same pages as the tree you copied. You can add and remove pages from your tree without impacting the tree you copied from. Remember that trees are only lists; all the pages in your tree are shared with everyone else at WeRelate (that is, you don't get your own copy of the pages).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have the same page in more than one of My Trees?


Can I delete My Tree?

No. You can manually delete individual pages you created, whether or not they are in a tree, subject to certain restrictions.

Can I import a new GEDCOM into My Tree and replace existing pages?

You can import a new GEDCOM into an existing tree. You cannot replace existing WeRelate pages, but you can merge new GEDCOM information into existing pages, subject to certain restrictions.

How can I see which of My Tree(s) a page is in?

Select Trees from the menu on the left-hand side of the page. This will show which tree(s) the page is currently in. It might also propose a tree to add the page to, if you have been recently working on a tree.