Add A Tree to AncestryDNA Test

Let's face it: genetic genealogy needs GENEALOGY to be successful. There may be several things holding you back from adding your pedigree to your AncestryDNA account. The number one thing I hear is that you don't feel like you will be helpful as you don't know very much about your own family history. Let me reassure you: whatever you know is helpful. So let's start with what you know and build out from there.

Remember that the particular tree you link to DNA test results should reflect the genetic heritage of the tester as far as you know it, since this is for the purposes of genetic matching.

Log in to your account (you can create and manage trees even with a FREE account). Then choose among the options below:


Link your DNA to your existing Ancestry tree

AncestryDNA link tree 2.jpg

Go to your DNA home page (under the DNA tab, select Your DNA Results Summary). Choose the appropriate DNA test, if there’s more than one linked to your account. Then go to Settings (click the gear box in the upper right). Click Link to Tree, as shown here.

You’ll next be asked to select a tree from those you have on Ancestry. You can’t link to a tree that’s been shared with you; it has to be your tree. Next, you’ll be asked to confirm your identity (or that of the tester, if it’s not you) within that tree.

If you don’t have a tree on Ancestry

If you don’t have a tree on Ancestry with the tester’s genetic relatives, go to the TREES menu and choose Create & Manage Trees from the dropdown menu. At the bottom of the list of trees on your site, you’ll choose from among the following options.

Ancestry upload tree.jpg

Create a new tree

If you select this option, a screen like this will appear. Just follow the prompts to begin adding what you already know about your family history.

After you create this Ancestry tree, follow the above instructions to link this tree to your DNA profile.


Import tree from FamilySearch

If you participate in the FamilySearch global Family Tree and it reflects your genetic heritage (or that of the tester), choose the option to import a tree from FamilySearch. Sign in to FamilySearch, name your family tree (something like “Harrison family from FamilySearch Tree” will help you identify it easily) and choose the option to allow others to view this tree so that you and your matches can both see it. The system will import a tree that’s up to 4 generations deep.

After you add this tree to Ancestry, follow the above instructions to link this tree to your DNA profile.

Upload a GEDCOM file

If you have a pedigree chart in a genealogy software program like RootsMagic or LegacyFamilyTree, you’ll first have to export a GEDCOM file from that software. GEDCOM files are universal file types for trees.

Then in Ancestry, select the Create & Manage Trees item from the TREES menu at the top of your account page. Choose Upload a GEDCOM file and follow the prompts to select the file from your computer.

After you add this tree to Ancestry, follow the above instructions to link this tree to your DNA profile.

Now you’re ready to start working with your genetic matches!

So…you may want to pick up a copy of my quick reference guide, Organizing Your DNA Matches. This is an inexpensive but (I think!) essential tool to help you figure out and keep track of your relationships with your matches.