Ancestry.com is currently (Feb-Mar 2019) making available as a public beta feature MyTreeTags, which lets you “add labels to people in your tree to highlight personal details or to clarify your research status.”
- What is beta software?
- How do I enable (or disable) the beta feature?
- Are my tags visible to others?
- Can I assign more than one tag to an individual?
- What happens to my tags if I disable the beta feature?
- What happens to my tags when the beta ends?
- Are tags saved in the GEDCOM file for a tree?
- Where can I learn more about MyTreeTags?
Q1. What is beta software?
A. Here is a good description of beta software from TechTerms.com.
Q2. How do I enable (or disable) the beta feature?
A. You can enable and disable the feature on the ancestry.com website—NOT from within the iOS or Android apps.
- Log in to your ancestry.com account.
- Navigate to the Ancestry Lab page (top menu bar > Extras > Ancestry Lab) which is equivalent to going directly to www.ancestry.com/beta.
- Under the heading MyTreeTags, click either Enable or Disable.
With MyTreeTags enabled, when you navigate to the profile page for an individual in your tree without any tags, you will see the below add tags button in the header of their profile. Click the button to add one or more tags.
After you add one or more tags to an individual, you will instead see the tags and an edit tags button replace the above button. In this example below, the Direct Ancestor tag has been added to this individual.
Q3. Are my tags visible others?
A. According to the Ancestry support page and a seminar conducted by Ancestry, the rules for visibility and editing of tags are the same as for the rest of your tree. See the last FAQ (learn more) at the bottom of this page for a link to Ancestry’s detailed answer.
It seems likely Ancestry hopes its users will use the Research Tags in others’ public trees as one more factor in deciding what weight to give to the information there, or as an indicator to consider offering assistance (e.g. with brick walls) to the tree owner.
You can also imagine Ancestry using the Research Tags as one of many factors it considers in assigning what weight to give to information in our trees for other features, like beta feature ThruLines.
So we should not expect the MyTreeTags release to include an option to make the tags in our public trees private.
Q4. Can I assign more than one tag to an individual?
Yes, click away to your heart’s content. And you can create as many custom tags as you want.
Tags are not mutually exclusive and can be in conflict. For example, under the Research Tags, you can assign Actively Researching, Complete, Unverified, and Verified at the same time.
So you are responsible for only assigning the correct tags if the tags are to have any meaning.
Q5. What happens to my tags if I disable the beta feature?
A. If you disable MyTreeTags, the MyTreeTag edit buttons are NOT displayed and your tags are NOT displayed.
Your tags are currently (1 Mar 2019) saved when MyTreeTags is disabled. You can re-enable MyTreeTags, and the edit buttons and any tags you previously assigned are displayed.
Q6. What happens to my tags when the beta phase ends?
A. Well, the nature of any software beta phase is that the feature is under development and evaluation for possible future incorporation into the production software as a standard feature. The feature may change before production release, or may disappear. Certainly there is an expectation for a public beta that there is some level of maturity for the beta feature, and that we can expect it to continue to production with a relatively smooth transition. Our mileage may vary.
You probably should not go tag all 13,640 people in your tree during the beta phase.
Hopefully, Ancestry will clarify this as the beta phase progresses.
Q7. Are tags saved in the GEDCOM file for a tree?
As of 1 Mar 2019, tags are not saved into the GEDCOM file you can export from your tree.
This would certainly be another useful feature to add, particularly for standard tags like: Direct Ancestor, Never Married, No Children, etc.
Q8. Where can I learn more about MyTreeTags?
Here is the Ancestry support page for MyTreeTags.
Here is a video on Facebook of an Ancestry seminar presented at RootsTech Salt Lake City 2019.