Welcome to the Ancestry Academy…

September is here and children all over the country are heading back to school. It’s the perfect time to dig out your pencil case and do some learning of your own – in the Ancestry Academy! Whether you’re a new starter or a top set whiz kid, this week’s lessons will help you develop your family history skills and make brand new discoveries.

Wednesday, Second Period, Chemistry

Member Community: Formula for success

Put two of our members together and you make a spark. Combine thousands of them and you create a powerful energy, capable of generating brilliant ideas and inspiring you to incredible new discoveries. That’s exactly what we’ve done with our member community.

Too easy? Join the Top Set
Take the advanced lesson

New starters

When you’re just getting started, the easiest and most helpful way to use our community is Member Connect. This will put you in touch with other people who are discovering your family, and let you benefit from what they’ve found out.

Member Connect works within your family tree. Rather than creating another one, we’ll use the Lesson One tree we made in Monday’s lesson.

  1. Too easy?

    1Select your tree from the Family Trees menu. In the main pedigree view, find William Bradshaw, hover over his name, and select View profile. This will take you to his profile screen, where you can see and edit all his information. Click ‘Member Connect’ on the right. You’ll see a list of Suggested Connections. These are other members who seem to have the same William Bradshaw in their tree. As we write this there are three, but who knows, by the time you read it there may be more!

  2. Too easy?

    2Read through the suggestions, looking at the details the other members have found. Any information that you haven’t already discovered is highlighted in green; anything that disagrees with your own discoveries is red; and details that match are white. Look for a member named family_historian_2011. You’ll see that they’ve found William in the 1841 and 1881 censuses and discovered two new children. Click the Connect button next to the member’s name.

  3. Too easy?

    3You’re now connected to their tree. You’ll see the number ‘1’ in brackets after ‘Connections’ at the top – click this option to review all the details they’ve found, and add any you like to your tree. For example, click the ‘New’ icon next to Mary A Bradshaw – a daughter we hadn’t yet discovered. Choose ‘Evaluate and save relatives’ and scroll through all the new information. Put a tick next to anything you want to save – let’s add all the new children for now. Then click ‘Save to your tree’.

  4. Too easy?

    4Back at the Connections screen, scroll down to family_historian_2011’s information again and click ‘Bradshaw Family Tree’. You’ll see the main view of this other member’s tree. You can move through the generations and view each ancestor’s Profile screen, just like with your own tree – although obviously you can’t make any changes. The only people that are hidden are living relatives. You’ll see far more discoveries on the Atkinson line – click the green arrows on the right of the names to go further back.

  5. Too easy?

    5Obviously this is just an example. But if it was real it would be hugely exciting. We obviously share many relatives with this member – it would seem we’ve found a long lost cousin! We would certainly want to get in contact – to do this, you would click on the name at the top of the family tree, and choose ‘Contact’. You could then type in your message, and send an email to their Ancestry.co.uk home page. Again though, please don’t do this now, as we’re not true relatives!

Start your homework
Download your homework book now

Too easy? See how you do in the Top Set
Take the advanced lesson

Are you finished? Start the next lesson


You can benefit from all kinds of discoveries through Member Connect – perhaps you’ll even be lucky enough to find another member with photographs of your ancestors! You’ll find connections for other people in your Lesson One tree. Can you use one for Alfred Bradshaw to find his 1881 Census record? What was his address at that time?

Note down the answer and keep it safe until the end of the week – you’ll be tested on your responses on Friday!



Monday's free period

Prize Draw 1

Family Tree Maker

Win 1 of 10 copies of our latest software

Be one of the first people to get your hands
on the new and improved version of our award-winning family history software. It comes complete with improved integration with your Ancestry.co.uk account, advanced charts and reports, interactive timelines and maps, and many more great new features.
We have ten copies ready to be won.

Enter the prize draw

Closing date 30th September

Tuesday’s free period

Prize Draw 2

WDYTYA? magazine

10 subscriptions up for grabs

Trace your family's past and discover your roots with Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. Brought to you by the team
behind BBC History Magazine, and the
official companion to the successful TV
series, WDYTYA? magazine's features
range from military to social history, telling
the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people and how they used to live. We have ten subscriptions to give away.

Enter the prize draw

Closing date 30th September

Wednesday’s free period

Prize Draw 3

Worldwide Memberships

Win 1 of 5 annual memberships

Our worldwide membership provides everything you need to trace your family history around the world. Scour the globe
with unlimited access to our entire library
of over 7 billion records, plus guaranteed access to all our new releases. We have
five annual memberships to give away.

Enter the prize draw

Closing date 30th September

Thursday’s free period

Prize Draw 4

National Trust passes

Win 1 of 50 pairs of tickets

We’re working with the National Trust to preserve our nation’s history, and help you uncover your family’s place in it. To
celebrate our partnership, we’re giving away 50 pairs of day passes to the National Trust property of your choice. Don’t miss the
chance to experience the history of Uppark, see the beauty of Fountains Abbey, or visit another of the Trust’s 350 properties.

Enter the prize draw

Closing date 30th September