How to change an Ancestry tree name

Do you want to change your family tree name on Ancestry? Did you name it something like “my family tree”? When you first created your tree, you may not even have noticed how it was being named. Here’s how to go back and change the tree name on Ancestry.com.

To change your Ancestry family tree name, you should open the Tree Settings page. There are three tabs on this page, but the first tab you land on is the one you want: the “Tree Info” tab. You will see the Tree Name setting toward the top of the page, above the Tree Description box. Here, you can overwrite the name entry. Be sure to save the new name by clicking on the “Save Changes” button.

Two ways to find the tree name setting

So how do you find the Tree Settings page? There are two ways to get to it.

If you’re working within the tree you wish to rename, you will find it listed in the drop-down menu under the current name of the tree.

Click on “Tree Settings” and you’ll jump to the administration page for this tree. The page will open on the exact tab that you need: the “Tree Info” tab. Here is where you can overwrite the name of the tree, and add a description if you want. Just be sure to click on the save button to make your changes take effect.

The other way to jump to the Tree Settings pag is to use the Tree Management page which lists all the trees to which you have access. These are trees you’ve created or have been invited to access. The Tree Management page is the last item in the Trees menu at the top of the Ancestry website.

From here, use the “Manage Tree” link in the far-right column of the trees listing. This will jump you straight to the Tree Info page with the name setting.

Is there a recommended way to name your Ancestry tree?

Of course, you can name your tree any which way you want. But if you end up creating several trees, it’s easier to follow a naming convention to keep yourself organized. A common pattern is to name the tree after the main family you are researching. This helps if you’re also creating trees for a partner or friends.

Here are some names from my tree management page. You can see that these trees start with a capitalized prefix of “RESEARCH”. This is for my own benefit, I use this moniker to tell me that I’m still researching this tree. I probably haven’t found enough sources to be completely sure of my facts.

I also set these research trees to be private, and I make sure they don’t turn up in Ancestry searches. If you’re not sure what this means, check out our tutorial on how to check if your tree is public or private.

How did that tree get that name?

You may be looking at your Tree Management page, and wondering why in heck that particular tree is named “Humperdink family tree”. You’re sure you didn’t type that! You probably didn’t – explicitly.

When you start a new Ancestry tree through the Ancestry interface, Ancestry pops up a simple dialog box inviting you to save the tree. If you quickly hit the save button, you may not have noticed that Ancestry gave your tree a name. Basically, it takes the surname of the home person and tacks on ” family tree” to name this tree. If that’s not what you want, you should overwrite what you’re offered here. Of course, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. Follow the instructions on this page to rename it afterwards.

Looking for an e-book on building your Ancestry tree?

Check out our e-book on building your family tree with Ancestry.com. It’s available on Amazon now! Content includes:

  • Setting up your DNA-linked tree
  • Using your tree to find connections with DNA matches
  • Best practices for entering names, dates, and locations
  • Strategies for getting the most benefit from Hints
  • Tips for using powerful Search features

A video walkthrough on how to change the name of a family tree on Ancestry.com

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