Pedigrees - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Pedigrees  

What is a pedigree?
The pedigree is your family tree, the ancestral information that tells who your ancestors were.  As used in Surname DNA Projects and on the project websites, the pedigree consists of a straight succession from the earliest known male ancestor in the participant’s surname line, continuing through the direct male ancestor in each generation, down to the present male participant.
Pedigrees for mtDNA Haplogroup Projects focus on the mtDNA maternal line, but are not as easy to trace, as female surname tend to change with each generation.  Maternal line pedigrees are not used in Surname DNA Projects. 
Autosomal DNA (Family Finder) looks at the group of surnames that make up your ancestry for the last 5 generations.   Family Finder test results do not trace a single paternal line.
Why should I provide my pedigree?
  • The pedigree is the paper trail that you have developed through the years.
  • By posting it on your project's Patriarch Page, you are making it visible to others who are researching the same surnames you are. 
  • When you are able to find the place in the pedigrees where your families come together, you have increased the knowledge for both branches. 
  • In this way, researchers can correlate the pedigree to the results on the Results page and can contact the pedigree poster to share information (change the AT back to @ and remove any spaces to send an email to the poster).
What should I provide for my project's Patriarchs' Page?
Your kit number, your contact email address and the name, birth date, birth place, and spouse of each male in your surname line, beginning with your earliest known ancestor(If you are missing any of that information, you can post any identifying information you have for that ancestor.) You can identify most ancestors by these four pieces of information.
If you have additional information, you can post it on the pedigree forum or one of the other forums. When we post your pedigree on the Patriarch page, we link it back to your posting on the pedigree forum.
Click here to send your pedigree to for posting on the Project's Patriarch Page. More about providing your pedigree for your project's website
How does my pedigree get on the Patriarchs' Page of my project's website?
  • The Patriarchs Page is the page on the website where the Project Administrator (or for the projects we administer or co-administer) posts the pedigrees that have been submitted by Project Members.
  • Click here to send your pedigree to for posting on the Project's Patriarch Page.
  • The Patriarchs Page arranges pedigrees in chronological order, linking pedigrees when appropriate, and showing kit numbers so that pedigrees can be correlated to test results.
How do does a Surname Project Member provide a pedigree for the project's Patriarchs' Page?
By E-Mail
Send the pedigree by email
in the simplified form we require for the Patriarchs Page.   It will then be posted on the project's Patriarchs' Page.
here to send your pedigree to for posting on the Project's Patriarch Page.
I'm not a Project Member.  Can I still post a pedigree on the Project's Website?
Yes, you can post your pedigree on the project's Family Pedigree Forum. (But only Project Members pedigrees will be posted on the Patriarchs Page.)
  • Go to the project's website and click the "Pedigree" tab in the menu bar.
  • Scroll to the last posting and click "Reply"
  • Be sure your posting includes  
    • Name, birthdate, birthplace, spouse for each generation (direct male line). [If you are missing any piece of this information, you can substitute another bit of identifying information.]
Can a Project Member post more information about a pedigree than is allowed on the Patriarchs Page?
Yes, you can post your extended pedigree on the project's Family Pedigree Forum
  • Go to the project's website and click the "Pedigree" tab in the menu bar.
  • Scroll to the last posting and click "Reply"
How do I register or log in to post my pedigree?
             To register:
  1. Under the login button in the left sidebar of this page (or any page on the website), click on "Create new account"
  2. It will bring up a new screen that will have a box that says:  "Register - Required Information" .
  3. You can choose any username and password you would like. If you want to hide your email from the public on the website, click on the box next to the blank for your email address.
  4. Do a "visual verification" by typing the scrambled letters you see.
  5. Read the usage agreement below it, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the square by "I agree".
  6. Click on "Register" below that.  You are now registered.
  7. Make a note of the username and password you chose in case you forget it the next time you visit the forum.
  8. After you have posted registered and logged in, be sure to click on "Track Project" at the project website, so that a link to the project website will appear each time you return to and log in.
If you have already registered and are having trouble logging in
  1. Type in your username or password if you know one of them.
  2. If you have forgotten your password, click on "Request new password" just under the log in box
  3. A screen will come up saying you didn't enter password.  At the bottom of that square is a small line saying "Forgot your password?"
  4. Click on "Forgot your password?"
  5. The next screen will give you a choice of typing in your email address so you can follow a link that will be sent to you in an email to reset your password, or you can check the box "Ask me my question" if you chose that option when you registered.
  6. If you choose to have the link sent to you by email, go to your email account, open the email, click on the link, and you will then be able to reset your password.
  7. Please make a note of the new password for the next time you log into the forum.
  8. If you have forgotten your username, go through the same steps as above
Why can’t I log in? I’m trying to log in with my FTDNA kit number and password, but won’t let me log in.
There may be some confusion about the Family Tree DNA website, and the Project website that is located at World Families.
There are two websites that have information about your DNA testing for genealogy and your surname project. 
  • Your personal page is located at Family Tree DNA (
    • When you log in at, you will need to use your kit number and the password they sent you when your kit was returned. 
    • The personal page will have all the information about your test results and matches. 
    • If you are unable to log in there, contact Family Tree DNA directly and they will help you log in.  Call (713) 868-1438 or email
  • The Project website is hosted at World Families Network ( .
    • You do not need to be registered or logged in to view any page on the website. 
    • You only need to log in to post on the forum or to click the "Make this a Favorite Project" button in the left column at the project website, and "join" so that each time you log in you will see a link to the project in the left sidebar
    • If you want to log in at, in order to post your pedigree, click on "Create new account" just under the log in box.  You will be able to choose your own user name and password (please make a note of them). 
    • If you have registered at Worldfamilies in the past but can't remember your user name or password, click on  "Request new password" just under the log in box. 
    • You can find your project's website by typing the surname in the search box in the top left corner and then following the link to the project's homepage.  The navigation menu for the project's website is in the project bar across the top of the project's webpages.

How do I find my surname project on this website?
Click on the link to "Surname Projects" in the navigation bar at the top of every page of the website.  This will take you to a page where you can search for the project by clicking on "Search for a project" or you can click on the letter that begins your surname and jump to the listing of projects that begin with that letter. Scroll down to find you project, then click on the link to the website.
How do I post ancestral information on my FTDNA personal page?
You will need to log in at, using your kit number and the password they sent you when your kit was returned.  On your personal page, there are two places to input your ancestral information:
  1. Most Distant Ancestor
  2. GEDCOM/Family Tree
How do I provide my Earliest Known Ancestor for the my project’s Results Page?
The information you provide on the "Most Distant Ancestor" page on your personal page at FTDNA will be in the information that will appear with your results on the project's Results Page.
More information about providing ancestral information at FTDNA

How do I contact a person whose pedigree appears on the Patriarchs' Page?
The name and email address for the pedigree provider is posted at the end of the first line of the pedigree. 
Change the AT to @ and remove the spaces to use the email address to contact him or her.  (We use the AT and spaces to prevent spam harvesters from stealing your email address from the webpage.)