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How to Use myFamilyTree on FTDNA

The myFamilyTree tool on Family Tree DNA is a relatively new tool that helps you combine your DNA results with your family tree research.  In this post, you will learn how to use the myFamilyTree tool, and tips for how to build your family tree on Family Tree DNA.

There are some very nice benefits to building your family tree on Family Tree DNA and linking your DNA matches to your tree.  I always recommend to work through your DNA matches one-by-one, starting with the closest person on your list.  This works out perfectly with Family Tree DNA and their Family Tree tool, since you can easily add people to your tree directly from your Family Tree tool.  Once you add someone, the relationship will automatically be calculated and displayed when you scroll through your DNA matches.

Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do all of these things in this post!  Let’s get started.

How to access family tree on FTDNA

The family tree or myFamilyTree tool is accessible from your main dashboard page when you log in.  There is a link to it in the section above your Family Finder DNA results.  In the image below, you can see where to click on the screen to access your results:

Where to access the family tree on FTDNA

Alternatively, you can access the family tree by clicking the “myFTDNA” tab at the upper left of the screen.  A drop-down menu will appear, and you can just click the “Family Tree” link, as seen in the image below:

Alternative method to accessing family tree on Family Tree DNA

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Starting your family tree on Family Tree DNA

When you click on the family tree link, or the myFamilyTree tool link, you will be taken to your family tree.  If you haven’t started one yet, the only person in your family tree will be you.  Adding more people to your tree is really easy.  Just click on the circle with your name in it, and add your parents.

I’ll walk you through the steps for adding more people to your tree.

In order to add a parent, spouse, sibling, or child, just click on the “add relationship” link in white:

How to add relationship on FTDNA

Then, choose the relationship of the person who you would like to add.  For example, if you clicked on your dad’s circle, and then want to add one of your uncles, you would click “son”.  Then, click confirm to continue adding this person.  The image below is what this process looks like:

How to add an uncle on Family Tree DNA

Once you click “Confirm”, a popup will appear where you can enter the details about your new person.  Enter in as much detail as you can in the fields, and make sure that you choose whether you choose whether the person is deceased or living.  In your privacy settings, you can choose whether living people are shown in your tree as private or not, and the information of deceased individuals is always displayed.

In the image below, you can see where you should click to choose whether your new person is living, and where to click to save your new person:

How to add a new person to your tree in FTDNA

You can continue building your tree in this manner until you have added all of the people that you can.  Once you are done, the fun part starts – linking people who have taken DNA tests to your family tree!

How to link people from DNA match list to family tree on FTDNA

In order to add someone to your tree and link them to their spot on your tree, you will need to make sure that you first have someone with a direct relationship with them, and then add them directly to your tree (using the process I described above).

For example, if I have a second cousin on my DNA match list, I will need to make sure that I have added my great-grandparents.  Then, I will need to add the child of my great-grandparents who my second cousin is descended from, and then the parent of my second cousin.  Then, I can add my second cousin, and link his spot to his name in my tree.  Ideally, I can go ahead and add all of the children of my great-grandparents while you are doing this, and their children, too, if I have that information.  This will save me time in the future as new DNA matches pop up – I can just add them immediately to my tree.

As I am adding my second cousin to my tree, I should see a little notice pop up as I type in his name.  I can then verify that this is the same person who I would to link to my tree by clicking the “Link” button.   You should also notice the little tiny box where it says “When I click ‘Link’, e-mail that person about being added to my tree”.  If you leave this box checked (which is the default setting), the person who you added to your tree will be notified that they have been added.   If you leave it unchecked, they will not be notified. The image below shows this process:

How to link someone to your family tree on Family Tree DNA

Alternatively, you can link someone to your tree directly from your DNA match list on Family Tree DNA.  Just click the plus sign in the “Linked Relationship” column:

How to link someone to my tree from my DNA match list on FTDNA

If you click the plus sign, you will be taken to your family tree and anyone with the same name as your DNA match will be displayed in the search results, and you can verify that you want to link the two (i.e. the person from your tree to the person from your DNA match list).

Calculated relationship will show up for linked relationships on your DNA match list on FTDNA

Once you have linked your DNA match to their spot in your tree, their exact relationship to you will be calculated and displayed on your DNA match list.  This is helpful because when you are sorting through your DNA matches on Family Tree DNA, you will be able to more easily figure out which lines of your family your matches are on based on your linked relationship with shared matches.

This is what you will see once you start to link relationships:

What do linked relationships look like on Family Tree DNA

Linking relationships on FTDNA is also a great way to keep track of which DNA matches you have researched, and how thorough your family tree is.  The bigger and more complete your family tree is, the more DNA matches you should be able to easily link within your tree.


I hope that this post gave you an idea of how to get started building your family tree on Family Tree DNA, and how to take advantage of building your family tree on the same website where you have your DNA results.  I’m excited about this tool, and I hope they continue to develop it further.

If you have any questions, comments, or want to share anything that you have learned by building your family tree on FTDNA, I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Thursday 26th of May 2022

how old is this information? FTDNA looks very different now


Sunday 5th of June 2022

Thanks for the reminder to update the post! FTDNA has certainly updated their results interface significantly, but the general information is still applicable. I'll get to work on revamping this article in order to make sure it is as helpful as it can be to the new users of the site. Sincerely, Mercedes

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