Technical Support

World Family Tree FAQs

How do I submit my Family File?

There are two simple ways to submit your file.
  1. Connect to the Internet and then start your Family Tree Maker program. From the file menu, select "Submit to World Family Tree.." Your file will automatically be sent to our World Family Tree Department for processing.
  2. Mail your submission. In Family Tree Maker, go to the "File" menu and choose "Backup Family File" to create a backup of your file on a floppy disk. Put your name and address on the floppy disk and then put it in a protective box or envelope. Send the package to:

    World Family Tree Submissions
    P.O. Box 760
    Fremont, CA 94537

What if I have additions or changes I have made to my Family Tree?

We always welcome resubmissions of your family tree. If you have contributed your tree recently and don't have many significant changes, you may want to wait until you do have significant changes or additions before submitting your file again. Our program may prompt you to resubmit your file after reaching various milestones (100 individuals, 200 individuals, etc.), however it is always your decision as to when you should contribute your tree.

Is Brøderbund planning to link any trees together?

Of course the names within each submitted tree are linked, but we are not making connections between the trees. You can find possible links by using the Family Finder Index and comparing the contents of different trees. If you find an individual who appears in two different trees and also belongs in your own Family File, you can merge those trees into your Family File.

How does Brøderbund verify the information in the World Family Tree?

Unfortunately, it would be next to impossible for us to verify all of the information contained in the thousands of family trees we receive. Because we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the information contained in the World Family Tree, please realize that it is meant to be a research tool, not a source of completely error-free material. The genealogical information in the World Family Tree should be a starting point from which you continue your research. Please take the necessary steps to verify all information before permanently adding it to your own collection of family information.

While we do not verify the information, we do want you to know that the quality of the information in the World Family Tree is very important to us. For example, we put all of the files we receive through an extensive error-checking process. In addition, there are several ways that we hope to maintain the quality of the World Family Tree at the highest possible level:

How does Brøderbund protect the privacy of living individuals in the World Family Tree?

Brøderbund Software is committed to protecting the privacy of living individuals in the World Family Tree, while at the same time preserving our submitters' family history and providing useful genealogical information to other family history researchers. There are two main ways by which Brøderbund hopes to protect privacy:

How is this different from what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is doing?

The LDS Church (Mormon Church) also collects family trees for inclusion in its "Ancestral File." This file contains approximately 15 million individuals and is accessible at the Family History Centers of the LDS Church. The World Family Tree differs from the Ancestral File in the following key ways:

Can I submit someone else's tree?

Only if you have the permission of the person who researched and compiled the information in the family tree. Even if you did the research for another person's family tree, you must have the permission of that person before you can contribute their family tree. We want to ensure that no one is surprised to find their family tree in the World Family Tree (unless it was contributed by a person who has researched common family lines!)

If another person researched or compiled the information in a family tree you would like to contribute, encourage that person to send the information to us. They may call (510) 494-2823 to request a copy of the informational pamphlet entitled "An Introduction to the World Family Tree." You may also print out a copy of the instructions for contributing to the World Family Tree Project to give to him or her.

Are you going to change any of the data in my file before you publish it?

We recognize the importance of preserving all of the information in your Family File just as you entered it. Therefore, we only make three types of changes to the original file.
  1. For privacy reasons, we exclude information about living (or potentially living) individuals, except for their names, sexes, and links to other individuals in the family tree. The words "Information hidden for privacy reasons" or "Private" appear in the fields of potentially living individuals.
  2. We eliminate profane words.
  3. We find deceased individuals who do not have a birth, marriage, or death date and make a 95% accurate estimate for the range of years in which the event took place. For example, "WFT Est. 1850-1870" means that there is a 95% chance that the event took place between 1850 and 1870. We include "WFT Est." to indicate that we made the estimate, not the person who submitted the file. (WFT stands for "World Family Tree.")

How will I know when you have my family tree?

We will notify you of the receipt of your family tree through our Family Tree Maker magazine. If you're not already receiving a subscription to this magazine, one will be started upon receipt of your WFT contribution. Look for your mailing address on the magazine, and just above that will be a statement indicating which volume of the WFT your tree will be on. It can take 3-6 months for your tree to be included on a CD, so keep checking for the info just above your mailing address on subsequent magazines. If your file is damaged in some way, we will request another copy of your family tree.

What if I don't want to give my name, address, and phone number?

Brøderbund must have your name, address, and phone number (the phone number is helpful, but optional) in case there is a problem with your file. In addition, while we are not including the names, addresses, and phone numbers of submitters on World Family Tree CDs, we have set up the Submitter Information Service whereby World Family Tree customers can obtain the address of a submitter to the World Family Tree.

What if my tree isn't done?

Most people think their tree could use more work. However, even a small tree is extremely valuable to someone who finds a connection to it. Therefore, we encourage everyone to submit his or her trees no matter how complete or incomplete, large or small. We will periodically give submitters the opportunity to submit updates.

What if my family tree isn't completely accurate?

We realize that much of the information in people's family trees was probably collected by speaking with relatives. For this reason, we do not expect complete documentation of family information. If you did get information from sources outside of your family, we encourage you to record those sources in Family Tree Maker' Source fields (see "Recording Sources" in your Family Tree Maker manual).

We also understand that the potential for data errors exists, even in the most careful genealogist's family tree. We encourage you to research carefully, and to try to avoid submitting confusing or misleading information. If you have Family Tree Maker for Windows version 3.0 or later, the Family Tree Maker Deluxe CD-ROM Edition version 3.0, or Family Tree Maker for DOS version 4.0, you can check for potential errors by printing a Data Errors Report. To find out how to create a Data Errors Report, refer to your Family Tree Maker for Windows version 3.0 manual or DOS version 4.0 supplement.

At the same time, those who use the World Family Tree should recognize that it is meant to be a research tool, not a source of completely error-free data. The genealogical information in the World Family Tree should be a starting point from which to continue researching.

I submitted my tree, but it's not on a World Family Tree CD. Why not?

There are four reasons that someone's family tree may not have made it onto a volume of the World Family Tree:
  1. We did not receive the submission in time for inclusion in the latest volume. If there are no problems with the file, it may be on a future volume of the World Family Tree.
  2. The file was damaged. We will notify you if we need a replacement file.
  3. The submission contained too many errors. We put each of the submitted family trees through an extensive error-checking process. While errors are inevitable, some trees contained an excessive amount of errors (such as illogical dates) and were rejected. We will notify you if your family tree was rejected for this reason.
  4. The submission was compressed. If you contributed a family tree that was compressed with a utility such as PKZip, the family tree may not have made it onto the latest volume. Compressed files require more time to process, and we may not be able to use them right away.

If I contribute to the World Family Tree Project, are you going to put my name and address on the CD?

Submitter names are available free through the Submitter Information Service at www.familytreemaker.com. However, there are two reasons why we do not put the names and addresses of the submitters on the World Family Tree CDs themselves.

First, to keep submitter addresses as up-to-date as possible. By keeping all submitter addresses in a central, up-to-date database rather than putting them on the CDs themselves, we are able to provide more accurate information.

Second, to protect the privacy of our submitters. By keeping names, addresses, and phone numbers separate from the World Family Tree CDs, we can minimize the number of letters and phone calls the submitters receive, especially from direct mail marketers.

If I contribute to the World Family Tree, will others who find a connection to my tree be able to contact me?

We believe that one of the best reasons to put your family tree on CD is the chance that you will help distant relatives with their genealogical research, and that these distant relatives will be able to help you in return. We therefore have set up the free Submitter Information Service that allows World Family Tree customers to get the name and address of a submitter. You can find the Submitter Information Service at www.familytreemaker.com., or contact Brøderbund software if you do not have access to the World Wide Web.

How can I contact a World Family Tree contributor?

You can easily request the name and address of a World Family Tree submitter by using our online World Family Tree Submitter Information Service at http://www.familytreemaker.com/cgi-bin/subinfo.cgi. There is no additional charge for this service.

What if I find an error in my file after I submit it to the World Family Tree? Can you make a correction?

Most submitters are bound to find errors in or make additions to their family tree after they have already submitted it to the World Family Tree. Unfortunately, it is impractical for us to make these changes or additions to every submitter's file. However, you will periodically have the opportunity to submit and updated for your file.

How can I access the information in the World Family Tree?

To view the information in the World Family Tree, you must own version 3.02 or later of one of the following four programs: For more information about these products, please visit Family Tree Maker Online at http://www.familytreemaker.com or contact Customer Service.

How do I know which World Family Tree CD is for me?

Before purchasing a World Family Tree CD, you can search in the Family Finder Index to find matches for your ancestors' names. If you do find matching names, then you will know which World Family Tree CD or other Family Archive CD may contain more information about your relatives.

All of the individuals on our World Family Tree CD's along with other names from our data CDs are indexed in the Family Finder Index, which is included with Family Tree Maker and the Family Finder Index and Viewer. The Family Finder Index is also available online, so you can search the index of the World Family Tree CDs using your modem and phone line!

How much do the World Family Tree CDs cost?

The World Family Tree CDs sell for $19.99 each. We also offer special value-priced bundles. In addition, you can purchase a monthly or an annual subscription to the complete World Family Tree online collection.

Can I access the World Family Tree if I don't have a CD-ROM drive?

If you do not have a CD-ROM drive, you can purchase an online subscription that allows you to access the complete World Family Tree collection online.

How often will additional volumes of the World Family Tree be released?

Because the World Family Tree Project is in its infancy, we cannot predict how frequently we will release new Volumes. If the excitement about the World Family Tree continues at its current pace, we will release additional volumes frequently.

Will Genealogy.com pay for my family tree?

Genealogy.com does not pay for submissions to the World Family Tree Project. However, we do reward submitters with a $10 coupon which is good on selected Brøderbund products, including any World Family Tree CD, Family Archive CD, or Family Tree Maker purchase.

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