Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ancestry Announces the We're Related Mobile App - Post 1 has released their mobile app called "We're Related" which will use your Ancestry Member Tree to determine if you are related to a famous person, or even your Facebook friend.  See the We're Related website at  

You can download the mobile app at the Apple App Store for iOS devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.

The website says:

"Find the fame in the fam.  Are you related to someone famous or one of your closest friends? We’re Related can show you the surprising, significant, or boast-worthy connections in your tree. Your coworker could be your cousin. Or your cousin could be an icon."

I downloaded the app last night, and was able to link the app on my iPhone 6 to my Ancestry Member Tree.  Here is the process I used from the mobile app:

1)  The opening screen after opening the app:

2)  After tapping the "Get Started" link, I chose to receive "New Relative notifications:"

3)  I tapped "Yes" and was asked if I have an Ancestry account:

4)  I tapped "Yes" and was asked to sign into

5)  I managed to sign in and then saw the list of my Ancestry Member Trees:

6)  I selected the Tree I wanted, and had to identify myself in my tree:

 I also moved the button from off to on for the "Use this tree to find relatives" action.

7)  I identified myself in my tree, and then this screen appeared:

8)  I tapped the "Active Tree" listed and the "insights" screen appeared, with the rotating icon indicating that the system was working, apparently trying to find famous distant cousins.  It never got out of this mode for over an hour.  I finally tapped out of the mobile app.

This morning, I was able to download the app again and it quickly identified me and my tree and showed me five distant cousins, including President Bill Clinton (who knew?).

I will have more later about this mobile app.

Disclosure:  I have a paid subscription, but have received compensation from in the past for travel expenses.  I was a Beta tester for this mobile app and received a gift card compensation for that effort.  These factors have not affected my objective analysis or opinions about this product.


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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Keith Riggle said...

Interesting, the login process for Android is different. Instead of logging in directly to Ancestry, you first log in to Facebook. Then the app matches you to an Ancestry account; make sure you switch to that account. Seems a little backwards, but I guess they capture your Facebook friends that way (assuming you don't opt out). After that, the steps are pretty much the same as you outlined for iOS. So far I haven't been able to get my tree to load; the app keeps crashing, and then I have to switch accounts, log back in to Ancestry, and select my tree. I guess there are still a few bugs!

leslie rubinson said...

I haven,t been able to getpast the page where i select myself to match to. Guess i,m not related to anyone famous. Using ipad.

Enno Borgsteede said...

For some odd reason, I can't download the app here in The Netherlands. On the play store site, it tells me that none of my equipment is compatible, and on my tablet, it tells me that I'm in the wrong region. The Ancestry tree app works fine here.

I sent a complaint to Ancestry and asked for an explanation.

BES said...

Sorry to say, this app has greatly lowered my respect for Ancestry. They've given me connections to quite a few famous people, but when I attempted to verify the links they'd created from my ancestors back to the supposed common ancestor with the celebrity, many if not most of them fell apart. One generation after another was constructed on the basis of obvious and egregious errors. They are the kind of mistakes that we warn all beginning genealogists about -- deciding that a person in some source must be your ancestor because they have the same name, despite their being in different states, with different origins, different spouses, etc.
Because of the fables being invented by this app, thousands of Americans are going to start believing in more of the fairy tales that serious genealogists who respect facts and evidence are always having to deconstruct. Ancestry cleverly leaves themselves a way out to cover their shameless behinds by calling these "possible common ancestors". But the average casual user will neither notice that nor care.
Despite my delight in being related to Janis Joplin, both that and the claim that I was related to Thomas Jefferson quickly had to be discarded, as they were based on nonsense.

Keith Riggle said...

@BES, I'm pretty sure the data for the We're Related app are taken from Ancestry's public member trees, and we all know how accurate those can be. It's unfortunate that Ancestry didn't use well documented family trees for this app. But how much did we pay for the app? $0. I say take it for what it's worth. If nothing else, it might help us discover an interesting new cousin—not the celebrity we're supposedly related to, but the one whose tree the app links us to. I still find Ancestry to be an indispensable resource for their ever-growing number of historical records. I've always taken the public member trees with a healthy dose of skepticism, and the We're Related app doesn't change that.

Unknown said...

Though I am just starting to try to verify the connections mentioned on this app, I have been able to verify one famous ancestor (Bill Clinton, welcome to the cousin club). I have known for years about the existence of this ancestor, who is on my tree based on real research- but not of course about Clinton's connection to me or to this common ancestor. I was also able to trace Clinton's connection to this ancestor as well, and how my line connected to his. Many of my ancestors are documented to have been residents in a particular county, including the ancestor I share with Clinton. One of the common ancestors I reportedly may share with a SECOND famous person also was born in the same county. I feel that my posted trees on Ancestry have been carefully put together and are not just spur of the moment efforts to connect to what everyone else says. Some public member trees are carefully researched as well. There are also some that are astoundingly inaccurate. Also, if one participates in DNA analysis, it is possible to get at least a sense of WHICH families one has in one's ancestry, though perhaps not always which individual ancestor, which could help as back up information with something like the Ancestry app. Of course, my comments do not prove that all the information on the app will be accurate, but suggests that at least some of it is provable.

Unknown said...

Ya I have trying to figure out how accurate this app is too. It says I'm related to both Bill AND Hillary Clinton. What are the chances? Crazy huh. I have had my DNA done.