Sunday, June 30, 2024

Ancestry ProTools - Family Tree Fan Chart

 I finally subscribed to's Pro Tools two weeks ago, and worked on the Enhanced DNA Matches first (see AncestryDNA Pro Tools - Shared Matches of Shared Matches (SMOSM) Are Great!).

Today I took my first real look at the rest of the Pro Tools - the ones that work with your Ancestry Member Tree.   

1)  After selecting the "Fan" chart option in "View," the website shows you a 5-generation chart and offers several options in the dropdown menu shown in the chart below:

I chose the "Family Lines" setting.

The user can select up to 7 generations to show on the chart with the #1 generation being a person in your family tree.  I chose myself, and the chart above is my Ancestry Member Tree fan chart with 6 ancestral generations, back to 4th great-grandparents.  In the chart above, the different colors reflect different grandparent ancestry.  

2)  There are other "Fan Setting."  Here is the Hints" view:

The shade for each ancestor on the chart shows the number of "Hints" on the profile, from 0 (white) to 7 (dark green).

3)  Another "Fan Setting" is the "Photos" view:

The shade for each ancestor on the chart shows the number of "Photos" on the profile, from 0 (white) to 7 ( blue).

4)  The last "Fan Setting" is the "Sources" view:

The shade for each ancestor on the chart shows the number of "Sources" on the profile, from 0 (white) to 7 (orange).

5)  The Fan Chart is scalable, use your mouse wheel, or the plus and minus symbols in the lefthand margin  to increase or decrease the size of the tree image.

For any of these views, I cannot save the chart, except as a screen capture, as above. 

6)  I have suggestions for future use of this Fan Chart:
  • The lack of color on the Family view indicates where the user has reached the end of their research.  Research could be focused on finding the parents of the first in the line ancestor.  
  • The color indicators for Hints, Photos and Sources can show a user where they might concentrate their research.  
  • The Fan Chart could be added to by showing the spouse(s) and children in a fan below the key person.  Other fan charts do this routinely.
  • The Fan Chart could be expanded even more, out to, say, 15 generations to show a full ancestry back to the 16th century for most users.  
  • There is nothing "enhanced" about this fan chart - it is a standard display for every online and desktop family tree program.  
  • My opinion is that it should not be in the ProTools system.  Many Ancestry subscribers, who don't subscribe to the monthly cost of PtoTools would love to have this Fan Chart of their family tree, and think highly of Ancestry's prowess in making fan charts.

Disclosure: I pay for an All-Access subscription from In past years.  provided a complimentary All Access subscription and DNA test, material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City.

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1 comment:

Marian B. Wood said...

Haven't yet tried the ProTools but this fan chart feature is really useful! TY for sharing the examples and explanations.