Improvements to the Online Family Tree at MyHeritage

Improvements to the Online Family Tree at MyHeritage

We’re pleased to announce that the most popular view for family trees on MyHeritage has been improved with a new design — making it easier than ever to navigate your family tree and make new discoveries. 

It’s easy to get absorbed in family history research, and spend hours on the family tree. The new tree design, which is cleaner and more modern, helps improve the overall user experience and make discovering your family history easier and more enjoyable. We have added useful new features, and some nice touches.

The improvements also include a new Relationship diagram that enables you to visualize your relationship to other people in the family tree to easily understand how you are related.

Old design of the family tree (left) and new design (right)

Old design of the family tree (left) and new design (right)

Side panel old design (left) and new design (right)

Side panel old design (left) and new design (right)

Let’s dive into the details of the new design: 

Family tree cards

Whereas the previous design of the family tree showed cards where the male and female colors were either solid blue or pink, which is outdated, the new tree design differentiates between male and female cards with a more subtle thin color frame. 

If someone in your family tree has a birthday or anniversary coming up, or if it took place just a few days ago, a festive birthday cake or wedding ring icon will indicate the event. Take advantage of this reminder by clicking the festive icon to send a greeting.

Family tree cards in the new design have more subtle colors and new birthday and anniversary icons

Family tree cards in the new design have more subtle colors and new birthday and anniversary icons

Editing information

You can edit information by clicking the pencil icon on the bottom right of a person card. This opens a new page where you can edit details on the individual’s profile.

Edit icon

Edit icon

Click the camera icon on any person card to add a profile photo for any individual who doesn’t already have one.

Camera icon for adding a profile photo

Camera icon for adding a profile photo

Matches 

Record Matches match individuals on your tree with billions of historical records available on MyHeritage, and Smart Matches™ match individuals on your tree with other family tree profiles on MyHeritage. If available, view all Smart Matches™ and Record Matches of a person in your tree by clicking on the corresponding green or brown icon on their card to make exciting new discoveries about that individual. 

Smart Match™ and Record Match icons on a person card

Smart Match™ and Record Match icons on a person card

By default, we show a green icon for all Smart Matches™ and a brown icon for all Record Matches, regardless of whether the matches are confirmed. With this update, you can now uncheck the new option “Show icons for confirmed matches” under the settings panel, and the icons will be removed when all matches for that person have already been confirmed. This allows you to concentrate only on pending matches that you have not explored yet.

Adding People to the Family Tree

To add a new person to the family tree, click the “+” button at the bottom of any person card in the family tree.

“Add person” button

“Add person” button

A menu will open with options to add relatives of that person, such as parents, siblings, spouses, and children.  We affectionately refer to it as the “spider menu”.

“Add person” menu

“Add person” menu

As with the previous version, it is easy to add parents in the family tree. For any person in the tree, you can easily add a parent by clicking the “Add father” or “Add mother” cards and entering their details. In the new design, these buttons have been made more narrow to take up less space. If you don’t like these buttons, you can remove them in the tree settings.

“Add father” and “Add mother” cards

“Add father” and “Add mother” cards

Side panel

As with the previous design of the family tree, when you visit your family tree and select a person, a panel will automatically open on the left side of the screen and display detailed information about that person. 

In the side panel, you can view, add, and edit facts (events) for a person. The panel lists facts with dates and locations as well as photos and videos of the person.

We have improved the look of the panel.

The new side panel

The new side panel

Many of our users will be delighted to see that the new panel displays the current age (of a living person, if the birth date is known) and the age of death of a deceased person (if birth and death dates are known). The previous design did not have this. The panel now displays the place of birth and place of death at the top, if known.

Relationship diagram

In the panel, under the person’s name, your relationship with the selected individual is displayed.

Previously, relationships were calculated only for trees with fewer than 5,000 individuals. We have increased this to 10,000; and for trees between 10,000 and 20,000 individuals we now calculate most relationships too.

Your relationship with this individual

Your relationship with this individual

Now, you can click on the relationship to see a detailed diagram that maps out exactly how this person is related to you: 

New relationship diagram

New relationship diagram

Click the printer icon on the upper right corner to open a PDF of the diagram in a new window, where you can save the PDF to your device or print it. This is ideal for sharing with your relative via email, to show him or her exactly how the two of you are related.

We plan to soon add this useful diagram to many other locations throughout the family site, such as the Smart Matches™ section, in the coming months. The “Relationship report” feature, found under the “Family tree” tab in the navigation bar, will soon be revamped to use this new diagram.

Profile actions

“Research this person” searches for records pertaining to this individual, among the billions of historical records available on MyHeritage.

“Profile” opens the Profile page, which displays all the information known about the individual, including biography, sources, citations, and more. 

“Edit” opens a page for editing the main fields in the individual’s profile. 

“Add” opens a menu for adding relatives of the individual such as parents, siblings, spouses, and children.

Under “More”, the following options are available: Viewing that person’s tree, editing their profile photo, adding or removing connections, inviting them to the family site, or deleting the person.

Discoveries

A section has been added that displays discoveries related to the individual. It includes confirmed and pending Smart Matches™ and Record Matches.

Smart Matches™ and Record Matches on the side panel

Smart Matches™ and Record Matches on the side panel

If the individual has taken a DNA test, a link to their DNA Matches is displayed.

DNA Matches on the side panel

DNA Matches on the side panel

Consistency Checker

The Tree Consistency Checker is a tool that scans your family tree and identifies mistakes and inconsistencies in your data, so you can make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.

In this update, we now show when there is a consistency issue found by the Consistency Checker for that person that you may want to correct. Some issues found are factual mistakes (e.g. the birth date is after the death date, or the birth date is before a parent’s birth date), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Clicking on the entry will take you to the Tree Consistency Checker page where you can see all the consistency issues found for this person.

Consistency issues on the side panel

Consistency issues on the side panel

Photos & Videos 

The Photos & Videos section displays photos and videos that have been associated with this individual. Click on any photo thumbnail to view it in a larger size. The button with the camera and the “+” symbol is for adding new photos: it opens an overlay on the current page where you can drag and drop or browse to select photos and videos on your computer that feature this individual.

Photos and Videos section on the side panel

Photos and Videos section on the side panel

Biography

The Biography section allows you to add a short bio to your ancestors’ profiles.

Immediate family

This section shows all immediate family members of the individual selected and is collapsed by default. Expand it to see a list of all immediate family members.

List of immediate family members on the side panel

List of immediate family members on the side panel

DNA testing

At the bottom of the panel, you’ll see the option to purchase a DNA kit or upload DNA data for living individuals. 

New “Order DNA test” and “Upload DNA data” buttons on the side panel

New “Order DNA test” and “Upload DNA data” buttons on the side panel

Managing the family tree display

New: Vertical cards 

Some users asked us to add the option to display person cards vertically, so that the cards take up less horizontal space and more people can be displayed on the screen at once. We liked this feedback, and we’re pleased to let you know that the updated interface now includes that option. To display vertical cards and access other family tree settings, click on the Settings icon. 

Accessing family tree settings

Accessing family tree settings

Tree settings, including the new: “Show vertical cards” option

Tree settings, including the new: “Show vertical cards” option

Vertical cards allow a tighter family tree display showing more people

Vertical cards allow a tighter family tree display showing more people

The settings allow you to customize the family tree display in other ways.

Number of generations shown

You can simplify the display of the family tree by reducing the number of generations to display around the main person. This option is not new, but was previously under the tree settings. The “Generations” slider has now been moved to the main tree page, at the top right corner of the screen.

New “Generations” slider

New “Generations” slider

Compacting the display

We’ve included a new option in the settings that lets you choose whether to show cousins of the main person or to hide them. Uncheck “Show cousins of the main person” to hide cousins in your tree. This will give you a more condensed display with less need for panning. 

Zooming in

The zoom feature that allows you to zoom in or out of the tree, or the zoom slider, has been updated. While the old slider was at the top right of the tree, we now have buttons to zoom in at the bottom right of the tree. We also moved the full screen button and put the main person at the center button there as well.

Zoom buttons: old design (left) and new design (right)

Zoom buttons: old design (left) and new design (right)

Additional updates

The black ribbon that was displayed on the card of a deceased individual has been removed. It was nicknamed “ribbon of death” and we received complaints about it, so we “killed” it. Instead, person cards for deceased individuals include their death date, if known, or the word “Deceased,” if the death date is not known.

Example of deceased individuals on a family tree

Example of deceased individuals on a family tree

We have also removed the old navigation radar from the new design of the family tree.

Old navigation radar that has been removed

Old navigation radar that has been removed

Conclusion

Building and maintaining a family tree is the bread and butter of genealogy. It’s important to us to keep improving the family tree tools on MyHeritage and make them easier to use and navigate, so that our users will have a better experience growing their family trees.

The new design of the family tree has been in the making for a long period, during which we released it gradually to early beta users and collected their feedback, and kept iterating it. It includes new features such as the relationship diagram, vertical cards, the ability to hide cousins to compact the family tree, and much more.

If you don’t like the new design, you can switch back to the previous design by clicking the “Settings” icon and selecting “More actions,” but please be aware that the previous design will be retired in the future as it is not practical for us to maintain two interfaces. 

We hope that you’ll enjoy and love the improvements!

Comments

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  • PP

    Patricia Peoples

    August 5, 2021

    Wow! I am blown away with so many of these improvements but perhaps my favorite is the new Relationship Diagram! I’ve had to put that together myself for so long and now you’re doing it for me – amazing! Also love the new cleaner look of the site and the ability to adjust the family tree views to eliminate so much scrolling. Just a couple of my favorite changes among many! Thanks, MyHeritage!

  • MH

    Marie Hausch

    August 7, 2021

    WOW!!!! A new learning curve to keep my mind active.

  • RR

    RD Reske

    August 7, 2021

    Looks great! BUT, why cannot I print the extensive and detailed directions on these “23 pages?”

  • D

    Doron

    August 7, 2021

    Looks great!
    And finally all the connections, even the very complex ones are working, even for large family trees!
    Great Job!

  • DI

    David Ireland

    August 9, 2021

    I like the old look better, but I guess with all forced upon us updates I’ll have to get used to it. Why were the photo’s in the cards changed from the nice sized square into the circle that crops too much off the photo?

  • RF

    Robyn Franks

    August 9, 2021

    I think it would be wonderful if we could all print these easy to read and understand instructions – please allow same to happen, thank you

  • O

    Oleg

    August 10, 2021

    I like new style – thank you !
    I have few suggestions:
    1Relationship diagram – sometime we have few conntection (relative) and system only show closest (it will great if can choose which one – as right now a have got dna share – but system show it for me it is marriage connection
    2 it will be great if I can create link to cards – and share – as many people working – at same tree (right now it is screen shots and then search
    3 we have got more the 11 generation it is not useable for as to operate with only 5 generation
    4 We can’t Zoom tree mouse or trackpad – it is only buttons + and – – this is very uncomfortable

  • AB

    Anita B

    August 10, 2021

    Thank you – great information – but impossible to view and utilize – I really, really, really need a pdf of this, and my usual ‘pdf printer’ is not allowed to capture this – so sad!
    Please – make it possible for us to actually practice using all these wonderful innovations, so your hard work will not go to waste!
    Thank you, again, for all you are providing.

  • LC

    Lynn Cremona

    September 1, 2021

    I haven’t gotten around to each new feature, but I love what I see so far especially the relationship diagram. I can see how much easier it is going to be to navigate around the tree.
    Thank You

  • KS

    Keith Sears

    September 1, 2021

    Your updates caught me by surprise, but pleasantly. Many of the new features have eliminated the frustrations of the original version, particularly navigating between an individual’s profile and smart/record matches. Thanks.

  • GA

    Gloria Antypowich

    September 1, 2021

    wow!! Sounds impressive! now for me to learn! Thank you

  • EG

    Eddie Greatrex

    September 1, 2021

    I have not tried accessing the family tree to review these changes/modifications, but reading the email they all look to be excellent updates – Thank you.

  • R

    RW

    September 1, 2021

    This redesign is much easier to read the words, and see the hints, I like it. For the vertical, I suggest moving the picture closer to the top like (much like the other view) and pull the top edge closer in – that way we can fit more generations on a page.

  • RR

    Raul R de Brigard

    September 1, 2021

    I wish there were multiple ways to print reports, charts, books, directly from the Web page, rathe than relying on the MyHeritage app on one’s computer. This would be especially helpful to those that access & work on more than one family tree, since the software for my computer only handles (and syncs) one tree at a time.

  • DR

    Diane Rogers

    September 1, 2021

    These are terrific; however, I must second the comments about needed to print the new procedures. Someday soon my daughter might like to “carry on” the work, given my age of 76. A paper guide would be easier for her (and me) to work with. Can’t wait to dive in!

  • ER

    Edmond Robert Greaney

    September 1, 2021

    Improvements sound good – would be better if you could tell if the person was on maternal or paternal side of the family as my family members are only interested in people on their side of the tree.

  • J

    Joan

    September 1, 2021

    I am able to print the instructions. Just do File / Print!

  • CD

    Charles D. Carter

    September 1, 2021

    These enhancements have improved user’s ability to access data.

    Thank you,

    Calhoun, GA

  • JS

    Judy Schulte

    September 1, 2021

    These are fantastic. I have a request – knowing there are so many blended families, it would be so nice if we had the option to include non-blood relatives in a Family Tree, Family Book or Report.

  • YS

    Yaacov Slizak

    September 1, 2021

    “With this update, you can now uncheck the new option “Show icons for confirmed matches” under the settings panel, and the icons will be removed when all matches for that person have already been confirmed”

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!! This was one a truly annoyance in the old version. Great improvement!

  • NC

    Nancy Carman

    September 1, 2021

    I love the new features!

  • B

    Brena

    September 2, 2021

    Fabulous! Thank You

  • Y

    Yosi

    September 2, 2021

    I think it would be wonderful if we could all print these easy to read and understand instructions – please allow same to happen, thank you

    Agreed!

  • KB

    Kenneth B Dorn

    September 2, 2021

    The new format has its pros but the thin color outlined cards are too difficult to differentiate – the contrast between male and female is too faint. PLEASE consider adding an option in the settings to toggle an option to “display cards with tint fill”. Thank you for your consideration and keep up the great work – I love MyHeritage!!

  • RJ

    Russ J Gaspard

    September 2, 2021

    For those asking for a copy to print or save, send an email to walter.gaspard@yahoo.com with PDF in the subject line.

  • RA

    Ray Anderson

    September 2, 2021

    I will miss the navigation radar – I used it a lot. The rest looks great.

  • AC

    Anna Cope

    September 2, 2021

    When will this update appear on my screen?

    • E

      Esther

      September 2, 2021

      Hi Anna,
      it’s already live!

  • SG

    Shirley-anne Greenhalgh

    September 2, 2021

    Looks like a much easier layout….can’t wait to try it out. Well Done!

  • GA

    gillian ashford

    September 2, 2021

    I love the new designs an the info on how to do things i didnt know how to previously. Thankyou to all those who are doing a great job to help us in our tree efforts

  • S

    Sergei

    September 2, 2021

    Dear MyHeritage team!
    Universal thanks for you and wish of all the best and wonderful! You are making one of the most useful product for people’s life and history. Keep it on!

  • BM

    Bernard Machanik

    September 2, 2021

    History of Machanik family

  • JL

    Jim Larsen

    September 2, 2021

    It’s mostly what I’ve been asking for!

  • I

    ilanaeshel1@gmail.com

    September 2, 2021

    I like the new improvements, and I have a suggestion.
    I don’t like to see 3 candles all the time on the cake.
    Put one candle and give us the possibility to choose
    the number of years written on the cake. Thanks!

  • VB

    Vince Bowes

    September 2, 2021

    I second the recommendation of Kenneth B Dorn below. Having the option to show full color tinting would be appreciated and I don’t understand the comment in the article indicating that coloring scheme is outdated. Thank you.

  • FC

    Fay Carr

    September 3, 2021

    I have used some of the new changes and I like it! What I also hope for is to be able to print all photos and/or photo albums at the end of my family books when I print them

  • KN

    Karen Nordin

    September 3, 2021

    These changes sound great, but is there a way to actually print your family tree? Some of us are still old school and like to see things on paper.

  • МВ

    Марфа Васильевна

    September 19, 2021

    Exellent!!!