Setting up a Group in myGROUPS Format

How do I create a website for my group project?

Family Tree DNA provides tools that allow you to create a public website for your project. Your project website is important for both recruiting participants and for displaying your project members’ results. There are two main sections that must be completed to create a public group page, the Public Website and Project Profile sections.

To set up your public website:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Project Administrator ID and password.
  2. From your main GAP page, look for the blue Convert the _____ Project Now button on the right-hand side, then click on it. A pop-up message is displayed asking you to confirm that you want to convert to the myGroups format. Select OK. You have now converted from the classic format to the myGroups format.
  3. On the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION. A drop-down menu is displayed.
  4. On the drop-down menu, select Public Website to display the Public Website page.
  5. On the Site Configuration tab, you can select a variety of display options.
    1. You can change the name of the project, if you so choose, in the Title field; however, you cannot change the website address (how the website name appears in the Address bar).
    2. In the YDNA Options and mtDNA Options sections, select the results reports that you want to display on your site. You can also select who will see the reports. To learn more about test types and if you should include them, click here. For example, if it is a surname project, you will want to include Y-DNA reports, and you may not need mtDNA results.
      Note: While administrators can view Family Finder data for group members through GAP, this data does not appear on the public website due to privacy concerns.
  6. On the Background, Goals, News, and Results tabs, fill in the text boxes. These text boxes should have basic information about your project. You do not need to know HTML to use these fields. If you do, there is an option to switch to HTML view at the bottom of each text box. To learn about advanced options, click on the Need Help? icon at the top of this page.
    Important: Entering text in these sections is optional, but to have your contact information appear on the public website, you must at least enter information on the Background tab.
  7. Click Save Settings again on each section to update your public website.

How do I create a Project Profile page for my group project?

The Project Profile page is where you fill out the description of your project that prospective members will see. The information on the Project Profile page is entered on the corresponding Group Administrator Pages (GAP) Project Profile page.

To set up your Project Profile page:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Project Administrator username and password.
  2. On the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Project Profile from the drop-down menu. The Project Profile page is displayed.
  3. In the Description field, enter a description of your project. This should describe the scope and goals of your project.
  4. Select Allow Order without join request if you would like prospective project members to be able to order and join your project without going through a screening process. We strongly encourage you to do this.
  5. Select Allow Order without join request? if you would like prospective project members to be able to order tests and join your project without going through a screening process.
  6. Select Show project in Surname Project list? in order to include your project on the internal and external Project Index pages. If you prefer to keep your project private, you do not need to select this option.
  7. In the Surnames field, enter the Surnames for your project. You need to include all spelling variants you consider relevant, as well as the primary surname for the project. Think of this surname list as more like a list of keywords to make your site appear on certain searches. You may want to add the name of the project itself as well as the surnames, regions, and other topics your project will cover, so people searching for say, Anatolia-Balkan-Caucasus can find it, as well as people searching for Anatolia, Balkans, Caucasus, etc.

How do I make my Project Appear in the publicly searchable list of projects?

The Surname and Geographical Projects page lists all of the projects available to potential or existing FTDNA customers who are interested in furthering their research on a particular genetic or genealogical topic.

To get your project to appear in the Join Projects List, you need to have a few things in your GAP:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Project Administrator username and password.
  2. On the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Project Profile from the drop-down menu. The Project Profile page is displayed.
  3. Make sure that the Show this project in the projects list or Show project in Surname Project list (if this is a surname project) option is selected.
  4. You must have at least one group member. You can add yourself as a member to get started. To learn how to add project members, see the following How do I add members to a Project? section.
  5. On the menu bar, click MY ACCOUNT, and select Contact Information from the drop-down menu. The Contact Information page is displayed.
  6. On the Contact Information page, enter your name, email, and other contact information.
    Important: To have this contact information appear on the public website, you must have at least your name and email listed. Your name and email address will be the only personal information listed on the public website. To have this information display, you must also have information entered in the Background tab text box on the Public Website page. To display the Public Website page, on the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Public Website on the drop-down menu.

How do I add members to a Project?

Members can add themselves to a project by first clicking on the name of a project found in the project list, and then clicking on the orange Join button found on the group’s description page. If you have not selected the Allow Order without join request? option on the Project Profile page in your GAP, this will prompt prospective members to fill out a join request that will then be approved by you in the Join Authorization section of your GAP found under the PROJECT ADMINISTRATION drop-down menu. Administrators can also send email invitations to prospective group members. To do this, on the menu bar click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Join Authorization on the drop-down menu to display the Join Authorization page. Click on Send Join Request, and enter the appropriate information.

What is a Join Request?

A Join Request is a request form that prospective group members must complete and send before being able to join a group. This request usually includes the reason they believe they should be allowed to join a group. The requirements to join are at the (reasonable) discretion of the group administrator. For example, if a person wants to join the Smith Surname project, they may be required to provide genealogical information proving or indicating a believed relationship to the Smith name. The group member can send a request to the administrator, and upon approval, the administrator can send the group member an approval email or the join link or returning join link (explained in the section below) in order to join. Join Requests are not mandatory and are at the discretion of the administrator.

What is a Join Link/Returning Join Link?

The Join Link and Returning Join Link are found on the Project Profile page. The two links are similar but distinct.

Join Link

This is for prospective members hoping to join a project who have not tested with FTDNA before.

To send a Join Link:

  1. On the Project Profile page (on the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Project Profile from the drop-down menu), look for the Join Link, which looks like the following example:
    http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?Group=TestA&code=L89306
  2. Send the link to your prospective member, instructing him or her to paste the link in the Address bar of their browser and press enter on their keyboard.
  3. Have the prospect order their DNA test from that page to be automatically included in your project.

Returning Join Link

This is for prospective members who have previously tested with us before.

To send a Returning Join Link:

  1. On the Project Profile page (on menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Project Profile from the drop-down menu), look for the Returning Join Link, which looks like the following example:
    www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?act=groupjoin&group=TestA
  2. Have the prospective member paste the link in the Address bar of their browser, press enter on their keyboard, and then click Join.

How do I add members to a Family Finder project or private project?

Because Family Finder projects currently are not searchable and private projects by their nature are not searchable, you will need to use either the Join Link or Returning Join Link found in the URLs section of the Project Profile page to add members.

How do I create a welcome email for my project?

Family Tree DNA provides a Welcome Email template that allows you to create a welcome message for your project. Welcome Emails are sent to new project members when they join the project. These help your project by assuring new members that they have successfully joined your project and by establishing project expectations.

To create a Welcome Email:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Project Administrator username and password.
  2. On the menu bar, click PROJECT ADMINISTRATION, and select Welcome Email from the drop-down menu. The Welcome Email page is displayed.
  3. In the Subject field, enter the title for the message.
  4. In the Body field, enter the text of the message. Be sure to include your name and email address.
  5. When you are satisfied with your message, click Save Email.
  6. Click Send Sample Email to have a copy of the message sent to your associated email account.

Below is an example of a Welcome Email. You are welcome to modify it for your project:

Subject: Welcome to the Smith Surname Project

Body:

Hello,

Thank you for joining the Smith Surname Project. My name is Betty Jean Smith. I am the lead administrator of the project. My email address is BJANDTHEBEAR@EXAMPLE.COM. If you have questions or concerns, I respond within one or two days. However, I do not check my email on Sunday.

I have been researching the Smith family and all spelling variants using traditional genealogy for twenty years. I started the Smith Surname Project five years ago to confirm my research and find new links between different lineages. The use of Y-DNA has completely changed our understanding of some branches!

So that the project co-administrators and I may help you, please send us your pedigree information. We will then guide you through adding it to your account and the project.

Best wishes,

Billie Jean & Bobby Joe Smith


Where is the best place to find others with an interest in genetic genealogy?

Family Tree DNA has a customer and project administrator forum. This is a good place to find others who share your interests in genetic genealogy. Please note that it is a public forum. You should not discuss your project members’ private information there.

Are there any societies or professional organizations related to genetic genealogy that I should join?

Yes, we recommend that you join the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). ISOGG is dedicated to promoting the use of genetics for genealogy. To learn more, visit the ISOGG website at http://www.isogg.org or contact isogg@msn.com.

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