Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Trying Ancestry's Pro Tools Suite: Tree Checker

Ancestry recently introduced their new Pro Tools which is an add-on subscription. As a current subscriber to Ancestry with a US Discovery Membership, I was given the option to add the tools which I did for a monthly fee of $9.99. My plan is to cancel the Pro Tool add-on before next month's charge.  This will allow me to test drive the tools and see if they are an option for which I can justify spending money. 

I have a good number of trees with my main tree containing 18000+ people.  It took it awhile to index my main tree.  

Tree Checker--I am all for anything that allows us to make corrections more easily.  Possible Errors had only two tabs on mine:  Possible Duplicates, and Other Possible Issues.  You can further filter the list by clicking on More Filters 

Family Line
    Direct Line
    Paternal Line
    Maternal Line
    End of Line
Events & Places
    Lived In
    Any Event
Possible Errors
    Possible Duplicates
    Other Possible Issues
    Has Hints

I noticed that once I corrected or merged I was given the option to View All Errors.  This was not helpful.  It had opened the selected issue up in a new tab(I'm on Chrome.) An option to close this window and refresh the previous screen would have been more helpful for the process. 

Beyond the duplicates, the error that I noticed the most in my tree was caused when I'd added the 1940 census.  Some of the children who were under 5 in 1940 had gotten a residence fact associated with their profile.  I believe this was corrected at a certain point and it's no longer necessary to remember to uncheck that box when adding those under 5 from the census record.  It would be nice if there was a way to work on specific errors other than have them all lumped in the "other possible issues" category.

It discovered a "floater" in my tree and displaced this error when I clicked on the  "!"

Sometimes my floaters are intentional--other times they are from me sloppily deleting a parent, spouse or child of that person and losing them within the database.

We can expect to see changes in how the tool works these next few weeks errors and bugs in how it works are reported and modified.  It is hard to get a workflow going for the error connection process. I don't feel that the Tree Checker should be part of a paid tool suite, mainly because of the value it brings to Ancestry's tree database when people use it and make corrections. It should be available to anyone who is building trees at Ancestry because the accuracy of those trees help to improve the Hints, Thrulines and Suggested Records etc.

The Tree Checker is just one of the tools in the Pro Tools suite.  I will be trying out some of the others in the next few days and share my thoughts on those.  I am excited about the Map Views but that's a topic for another day.


  1. Thanks for the information about Tree Checker...I too don't agree that it should be behind a paywall. When the Tools get rolled out to Canada, like you I might try for a month, but that would be it - way too expensive and my software, Family Historian along with Family Tree Analyzer produce charts and report, fact check, and allow me to filter. As for the mapping, I prefer to do it myself using historical maps - yes, it takes a long time, but it helps cement locations in my head and really visualize the areas my family lived.

  2. Do you, still have to pay extra, if you have the World subscription?

    1. yes it's an add-on to any of the subscription tiers from what I can tell. Even for those who have All-Access. Really makes the name of the subscription tier misleading.