Did you see the new "Ancestors" and "Descendants" buttons on profiles?

+68 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

I'm excited to announce this new feature: You can now view family trees and descendant lists without leaving a person's main profile page.

Look for the "Ancestors" button next to the person parents' names and the "Descendants" button next to their children's names, e.g. on https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Whitten-20

Note that they will only appear if the person has grandparents or grandchildren. For example, my profile has an Ancestors button but not a Descendants button because I don't have grandchildren. A descendant list for me wouldn't show anything that isn't on the main profile page.

A little extra feature: putting your cursor over a parent's name will show the grandparents. Mousing-over a child's name will show grandchildren.

We are not changing the existing Family Tree and Descendant List pages (e.g. Whitten-Family-Tree-20 and Whitten-Descendants-20). The main content on those pages is the same as what you can now access on the profile page, but it's useful to have separate URLs.

What do you think? Are the buttons working for you? Are you experiencing any bugs or odd behaviors with them? Please post here if so. Thanks!

Onward and upward,


in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

@Philip van der Walt

See it as a new User Interface element and next time you maybe have

  1. The error report from Aleš
  2. The external links like FindAGrave, Wikipedia, Wikidata.... 
  3. The Rootsearch functions
  4. ???
Must say I agree with Philip. It's ugly and keeps yelling for attention.

Looking at the page for the purpose of savouring this, I also see a possible reason for the questions in G2G that aren't really meant for the forum but directed to an unnamed individual. That ASK QUESTION button is yelling for attention in the same way.

@Eva maybe things like this should be possible to customize in your own Special:Settings.....

Inside WikiTree you have different layout for mobile phone (not so wide devices) and when using desktop see video another pattern is that you design a web so that you can select different layouts example below....

  1. layout for people with poor eyesight
    1. G2G 259304
    2. G2G 145877
  2. layout for people with problem seeing some colors
    1. G2G 182204
    2. G2G 123994
    3. G2G 214532
    4. G2G 239289
  3. layout more focused on genealogy and less buttons...
I guess I can live with it. It's the same as the SAVE button - which you really do want to attract your attention.
I do love it, but I agree it is a bit in your face.
Very cool! Thanks. It speeds things up enormously.
This is awesome, but the share this family tree button is missing when this pedigree chart appears. But, thank you for adding these easy buttons to our profile pages!
Bravo - Thanks
I love the new buttons for Ancestors and descendants, saves me many steps. Thank you.
Thanks Chris. Great Idea.

18 Answers

+5 votes
This is great, when it works! But I find that it only works when the person is on my watchlist. (Using Firefox 53.0 on Windows 10.)
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Hi Ellen,

In what sense doesn't it work? Can you give me an example?

When I click on the Ancestors or Descendants button on a profile that isn't on my watchlist, nothing happens.

Same result in Google Chrome, also on Windows 10.
Hi Ellen. Try it again (five minutes later). I think we fixed what it was.
Still not working except on my watchlisted profiles.... Both browsers...
Hi Ellen. I assume you reloaded? Can you give me examples with the WikiTree IDs or URLs? Thanks!
I reloaded all the pages I checked. I haven't restarted the Firefox browser, but I did restart Chrome. I also tested this on my Android phone, where "Ancestors" opened a Google search page to search for the word "ancestors". Your example of https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Whitten-20 is one page where nothing happens when I click on a button. Another is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Flint-1045 (an ancestor of mine who's not on my watchlist), but the buttons work fine on her daughter's page https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Martin-22735 (where I'm the profile manager).
That's probably why the new buttons didn't work for me at first, several hours ago. *grin*

I have also made a discovery, because it seemed that pressing 'Back' on the browser took me to a totally different page.  If you click the little X in the top right corner of the list of Ancestors, it goes away, and you are back to the profile.  I think you need to emphasise that trick, because the X is not in bold and therefore not very visible.

Same experience see small test video 

example profile with problem Whitten-1

Works for me now!! Thanks -- and congratulations for fixing whatever it was...
The "X" is now a much more prominent "HIDE ANCESTORS" or "HIDE DESCENDANTS" button. Hopefully that will help with the back-button confusion reported by Susanna and Ros.
Terrific! Thanks, Chris!
+10 votes
Very cool!! Thanks!
by Anonymous Avaritt G2G5 (5.7k points)
+10 votes

Where is the LOVE button!!!

Thank you for the wonderful addition. Besides the ability to collaborate and learn as a member of WikiTree, I also love all the improvements that are being added!

The error reports have really helped me find my typos, copy/paste errors, or even the "I don't know where I got that information and can't find it now" errors. :)

Keep up the wonderful work!!

by Allison Mackler G2G6 Mach 4 (46.3k points)
Thank you for the great comments, Allison. I'll make sure Ales sees these kind words about the error reports. That's all him. 100% Ales.
+4 votes

New way of User Interface expand when you click!!!

Maybe also have a button Same As and show external links to this person on other system - default hidden

  • Wikipedia
  • Wikidata
  • FindAGrave
  • GEDMatch
by C S G2G6 Pilot (274k points)
edited by C S
+3 votes
It finally just began on a smartphone.....yahoo!  Thank you Chris and staff.
by Cynthia Rushing G2G6 Mach 3 (33.0k points)
+2 votes
Oh, this is definitely going to save time! Since I'm usually adding ancestors or descendents to relatives, I'll now be able to go back and forth to get to where I want to be with only a few clicks. One thing I did notice, which problem was likely already existing is that if a profile has multiple spouses it may be difficult to figure out which child belongs to which spouse.  It's only likely to be a minor annoyance, but it'd be nice to have a way to know which spouse to click on if you wanted to follow that line.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (407k points)
+3 votes
Very interesting.

I like that I don't have to go to a different page now to see it, but otherwise it just feels redundant with the Family Tree tab above it.
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (535k points)

It's not redundant. With these links, you can display a person's basic ancestral tree or descendants list without leaving the person's profile.  That reduces the need to open new tabs or switch back and forth between different views.


While we are on the subject of buttons, is there a way to do an auto when going from the main profile to media. When you go back to the profile part you were working on isn't there and no amount of hitting the back button will bring it back. This would save a lot of time for us who are just young at heart. If not, maybe a reminder to save at that point.



Jon Czarowitz
+5 votes
Awesome! This will make research much easier.

It even makes a great pdf file to back up your work.

I think we need a big THANK YOU badge for Chris!
by Pat Credit G2G6 Pilot (145k points)
+8 votes
Love the new buttons!  What a great idea!!  Thanks Chris!
by Cindy Lesure G2G6 Pilot (111k points)
+4 votes
Do you have to be on the profile's trusted list for these buttons to work?  If so, why?  I know there are times the buttons don't work.  I'm trying to determine the reason.   If the buttons don't work for visitors then they might think WikiTree has "broken" links which is something we want to avoid.

I strongly recommend these buttons work for visitors who are not logged into WikiTree.  Otherwise it gives visitors the wrong impression.

Thanks and sincerely, Peter
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
edited by Peter Roberts
Apparently the feature still isn't working quite like it's supposed to. When Chris first announced it, I found that I could only use these buttons for people on my watchlist (that is, only if I was on the Trusted List for the profile). Something got fixed and I started being able to use these buttons for non-watchlist profiles, using Firefox. But today I see that it still doesn't work under Google Chrome (tested today on Windows 7 and on my Android phone), except for watchlisted profiles.

And I do see the buttons when I'm not logged in, so website visitors would indeed conclude that the buttons don't work.
PS - I tested this with Internet Explorer, not logged in, and the buttons worked as intended (that is, I saw the Ancestors and Descendants displays).
+4 votes
Great new feature, love learning new shortcuts!

I use two screens with my desk top, reading from one and typing on the second one. Now I can scroll over names to see information I need to make corrections, without clicking, copying information, then clicking to go back to the profile I am working on.

This feature will make for less clicking, which is a good thing!

Great Work, Chris!
by Bettye Carroll G2G6 Mach 4 (46.2k points)
+5 votes
Another awesome sauce feature on WikiTree!  I know you will be working out the kinks for a little while, but I love the hover feature (where you can now see more) and the new buttons.  I also love that when you search for a name, it now shows whether that person has DNA on their profile.

So much good going on here!!
by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (701k points)
+4 votes
Nice feature additions, thank you.

Can it be set up to Right Click and open in a separate tab?
by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (395k points)
for that... I would assume you can still use the otherwise redundant Family Tree tab above it.

I also did not scroll down and see that I was not taken to a new page but rather this is added to the top of the profile page.  So I am understanding better but realizing I am getting slower on getting a full understanding of these changes.   

I ain't as sharp as I used to be.
+3 votes
I think this is a good feature for newer users like myself who might be unfamiliar with the way descendants and ancestors are listed on the profile pages.
by Shirley York G2G2 (2.8k points)
+3 votes
Yes, this is a great feature!

I've been sourcing a colonial family who used the name "Moses" in more than one generation, AND in the same generation, all in Massachusetts.  It's reassuring to double check on them to prevent duplication, etc.

Thank you!
by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (170k points)
+4 votes
I love it!  Really useful.  Really great way to drill through different branches of your tree.  Thank you so much!
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (646k points)
+4 votes
As An Ancestor and Descendant .. Tres Bien Magnifique !
by Gerald Baraboo G2G6 Pilot (962k points)
+1 vote

As noted earlier in response to Peter Roberts' answer, this isn't working properly on Google Chrome. I've tested this with Chrome on three platforms (Windows 7, Windows 10, and Android smartphone) and the buttons only work if I'm logged in and viewing a profile on my watchlist.
by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Thanks, Ellen.

I'm inclined to think this is a caching issue, i.e. your Chrome browser has saved some of the Javascript code. Sorry for the confusion. I do appreciate that you spotted the problem and helped resolve it. Now I think you've got the problem saved in your browser.

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