Help:Compact Family Tree

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Compact Family Trees display eight generations on one page. You can access them from the "Compact Tree" link on person-related pull-down menus.


Icon Links to Trees and Descendants

The tiny green icons to the right of every ancestor's name are shortcut links.

The pedigree icon tree-link.gif links to a Compact Family Tree that starts with that ancestor.

The second icon descendant-link.gif links to a descendant list for the person.

Confirmed with DNA and Uncertain Indicators

You may see DNA check marks or "uncertain" next to some names. These are Relationship Status indicators. See Confirmed with DNA and Uncertain for more information.

On the Compact Family Tree, these indicators apply to the relationship to the child. For example, if a man has a Confirmed with DNA indicator by his name, it means that his relationship to his son or daughter has been confirmed. In other words, it's the position on the tree that is confirmed.

Disappearing Blue and Pink Lines

If you hover your mouse over different sections of the page, you will see pink and blue lines appearing and disappearing. It won't be immediately clear what these are doing.

These lines connect all the ancestors of a person. They're not the brackets you see on a traditional tree view.

The darkest blue line is the starting person's father's side. The darkest pink line is the mother's side. As the generations go deeper the lines get shorter and lighter.

They are meant to highlight one section of the tree at a time, and draw attention to incomplete areas. A short or unbalanced line is a quick visual indicator of missing ancestors.

If you prefer not to see these lines just keep your cursor in the margins.


Compact Family Trees are ideal for sharing, especially with autosomal DNA test matches. See DNA Matches for more information.

Packed with information

Compact Trees fit as much ancestor information in as little vertical space as possible. This makes them easy to scan for familiar names or locations.

These trees are not especially good for many genealogical purposes. There are better tree views on WikiTree for understanding relationships, seeing what information is missing, etc. But they are ideal for quickly seeing what you know about eight generations of your ancestors.


They are privacy-controlled. Anyone can view a Compact Tree page but what they will see depends on privacy settings and Trusted Lists of every single person on the tree.

If you, the starting person, don't have a public tree, people outside your Trusted List will see an empty page — just an explanation that it's a private tree.

If you have a public tree but your mother does not, for example, the line for your mother will say "[private]" unless the viewing user is on her Trusted List. Her parents will appear as normal, unless they have private trees or the viewing user is on their Trusted Lists, etc, etc. The privacy settings and Trusted Lists for every single ancestor are checked.

Full dates and locations will not be displayed for private people unless you're on the person's Trusted List. Outsiders will only see the birth/death decades.

The bottom line: Feel free to share your tree!

To share your tree, copy and paste the URL from your web browser's address bar. It will look like this but with your WikiTree ID instead of Roberts-7085.

Ahnen Numbering

You will notice numbers next to each person in the tree. Advanced genealogists who use the "ahnen" numbering system may find these helpful.

You may just want to think of them as placeholders. Unlike conventional tree views, the Compact Tree doesn't have blank spaces. For example, if your father is unknown you won't see an empty area on his side. You will just see your mother's side. This, of course, makes it more compact.

Although the Compact Tree doesn't hold a space for a missing ancestor, it does hold a number. All 255 people in the eight generations have their own number. The number signifies the position in the tree.

  1. is for you
  2. is for your father
  3. is for your mother
  4. is for your paternal grandfather
  5. is for your paternal grandmother
  6. is for your maternal grandfather
  7. is for your maternal grandmother, etc.

If your father is missing, for example, there will be no #2.

When you become familiar with these numbers, you'll notice patterns that make them handy. For example, even numbers are men and odd numbers are women. A father's number is twice his son's number, etc.

This page was last modified 16:57, 26 January 2023. This page has been accessed 124,062 times.