Ancestral Quest

Ancestral Quest (AQ) family tree software is an easy to use and versatile genealogy program for Windows. Its format is perfect for the beginner and yet powerful enough for the most advanced genealogist. Easy data entry, keyboard shortcuts, scrapbooking, and excellent sourcing capabilities are just some of this genealogy software program's wonderful award-winning features.

Ancestral Quest 12.2

Download Version $27.95
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Create Family Trees Quickly, Easily, and Intuitively

Family View

The Family View

Add and link individuals into families and ancestral lines using the intuitive Family View. Access marriage as well as individual data. Navigate through the pedigree linked data.

Pedigree View

The Pedigree View

See the big picture. Quickly scan and navigate ancestral lines.


Individual Edit Screens

Individual Edit Screens

Edit all the vital information on an individual in these screens. Record the standard genealogical data and enter data on as many events as you need to fully document the individual.


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With the new AQ2Go! feature, the Ancestral Quest program can now be placed onto a removable drive, such as a flash memory ("thumb" or "jump") drive or portable hard drive. This lets you take AQ wherever you go. Just plug the drive into any compatible computer and start up Ancestral Quest from the drive.

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Document Your Sources Using CitePro™ Technology

Source Definition Screen

The Source Screen

Breakthrough technologies allow you to cite sources in ways never before possible.

  • Create source records.
  • Attach them to the whole event, or just to a date or a place
  • View all sources for an individual or marriage on a special summary screen

Click Here for larger view

Source Selection Screen

Organize Your Sources

  • Categorize sources by type
  • View a list of all sources, or just those matching a type such as Census or Birth Certificates
  • Sort this list by the Title, Author, Short Title or Abbreviate Author
  • Select from a special list of just those sources cited on records of immediate family
  • View all citations for a source.

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Events for a Source Citation

Administer Citations

Attach a single citation to multiple events and multiple records. View all events for a citation.

While editing a source, or viewing the list of sources, view a list of all places where the source has been cited.

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FGR Sources Image

Print Sources as Footnotes

On printouts, a single source citation will print only once, and show the same footnote number, regardless of how many events were found in that source.

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Documentation Screen - Notes Tab

The Documentation Screen

The Documentation screen allows you to view and edit all the documentation from one window, without having to jump back and forth between different parts of the program.

  • See all the notes and sources for an individual and each of his marriages on one screen. Use the tabs across the top to select the portion of documentation you want to review.
  • For notes, you can use the optional "tag" side bar to organize your notes.

Click Here for larger view

Documentation Screen - Source Tab

Organize Your Sources

  • View all citations for an individual or marriage
  • Use the optional Tools side bar to organize your sources
  • Add new source citations to any event while viewing the summary
  • Remove source citations while viewing the summary of sources for an individual or marriage
  • Edit a source citation right from this summary screen
  • Rearrange the order of source citations for a given event.

Note: This screen image shows the screen after the "Add" button has been clicked. You can choose which event to add a new source citation to.

Click Here for larger view

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Scrapbook Page

Kids Enjoying Scrapbook

Digitize your Scrapbook

Organize your photos, sound recordings, and video segments into scrapbooks for each member of your family. Preserve cherished memories.

Attach a sound clip to each photo -- have your grandmother describe the event to her great-great-great grandchildren.

Share your scrapbook with relatives on your web page.

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Slide Show at Family Reunion

Slide Shows

Organize your photos into timed, choreographed slide shows. Add music or narration to play while the slides are showing. Share these memories at family reunions or with your grandchildren.


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Research Your Family on the Internet

Highlight any name in your database, then with a click of the mouse, search a growing list of Internet search engines for this name. You can even add search engines you find to the list!You can optionally let AQ do background searches on** for information about individuals on your main Pedigree view. AQ will show the quantity and quality of the results in the name box. By clicking on a number, you will then see the details of what has to offer.

Search from such online powerhouse sites* as, and

*Many commercial websites require a separate subscription to be paid in order to access their content.
** may at any time stop processing requests from AQ for information from their databases. While we don’t expect this to happen, access to this information is not guaranteed.

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Share Your Family on the Web

Sample Web Page Screen

The Web Page Wizard

Create a web page to share your data with relatives around the world. Choose a page based on your ancestors, on descendants of an ancestor, or select any group of individuals and families to share.

You select from a wide array of options, including whether to make a GEDCOM file for download, and whether to include your scrapbook.

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Create Elegant, Functional Reports

Report Options Screen

The Options Screen

Select from dozens of predefined reports, or create your own report layouts using the Custom Report.

Print most reports directly to the printer or PDF file or a text file. Some reports can be printed to RTF or WordPerfect format.

Most reports have an impressive list of options to choose from, so you can get just the information you want in a desirable format. Use the 'Preview' option to see whether the options you have selected will produce the end result you are after.

You can even print reports in any language in the world, once you create or obtain a language module for that language.

Click Here for larger view

View any of the following sample printouts:

  • Pedigree Chart -- The Pedigree Chart is easy to read and informative. Charts can be 'cascaded', so that you can print your entire ancestry on a series of charts.
    Exclusive! Print documentation pages to support the information on these charts. More samples, created as PDF files by AQ:

  • Fan Charts -- The fan chart is simply a circular format of a Pedigree Chart. You can print up to 13 generations, and on paper sizes as tall and wide as you can find a plotter (look to your local high-tech copy store).
    Some examples in PDF format:

  • Family Group Record -- The Family Group Record can be customized to show just basic information, or all your additional events, notes, sources, etc. You can cascade these to print sheets for all your ancestors' families, or all the descendant families of an ancestor.
    Another example, with documentation and source images, in PDF format (2.1 MB)

  • Standard Ancestry Chart -- fits one page wide, for as many pages as it takes to display all of the ancestry of a person. Optionally, include siblings.
    More examples, in PDF format:

  • Ancestry Wall Chart -- displays on as many pages as needed. You can send the output to a plotter to take advantage of pages up to 10' tall and wide.
    More examples, in PDF format:

  • Standard Descendants Chart -- fits one page wide, for as many pages as it takes to display all of the descendants of a person.

  • Descendants Wall Chart -- displays on as many pages as needed. You can send the output to a plotter to take advantage of pages up to 10' tall and wide. (See Ancestry Wall Chart for basic layout.)

  • Descendants Drop Line Chart -- displays on as many pages as needed. You can send the output to a plotter to take advantage of pages up to 200" tall and wide. To focus on certain family lines, you can mark individuals for family lines to be excluded from the report, as we have done in these samples in PDF format:

  • Drop Line Chart -- Line of Descent. This chart shows the line of descent between an ancestor and a descendant, optionally with siblings. Here are some examples in PDF format:

  • Book Reports -- Both ancestral (Ahnentafel) and descendant (Modified Register) book reports. These can be printed beautifully directly to the printer, or can be sent to text file, .rtf format, or WordPerfect format, so that you can make any personalized adjustments prior to publishing your book. Lots of formatting options allow some changes in basic layout from this sample.
    More examples, in PDF format:

  • Individual Summary -- Print out all the information on an individual. If you want, include address and phone number.

  • Birthday and Anniversary Calendar -- Select a group of people, like descendants of your father and of your spouse's father, then print a calendar of events to remind you of important dates.

  • Sorted Place List -- Choose your fonts, titles, and which individuals (or All) should appear on the report. See all the events that occurred in that location, and find misspelled place names to correct.

Other Reports and Lists

Scrapbook pages -- print all the attached multimedia scrapbook objects for an individual to scrapbook pages.

Custom Lists -- define any group of people, and select any data fields. Sort the list and print it or send it to a file for import into other software.

Other Lists include:

  1. Sorted Individuals

  2. Sorted Marriages

  3. Possible Problems

  4. End-of-line Individuals

  5. Duplicate Individuals

  6. Unlinked Individuals

  7. LDS Reports

There is also a special Family Reunion Contact list. Get a list of all addresses, email addresses, or phone numbers for living relatives. The address list is ready for printing to labels.

From the Source screens you can print lists of sources and citations.

From the Relationship Examiner you can print the full relationship between any two people.

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Publish a Family Book

Choose from many of AQ's charts and reports, such as Pedigree Charts, Family Group Sheets, Narrative "book" reports, scrapbook pages, ancestry charts, descendant charts, and more. Combine them such that you can have a master table of contents and master index.
You can design your title page using AQ's templates, or use your word processor or page layout program. Combine the pages created using AQ with pages, chapters, biographies, histories, etc., that you have created with other software. Use the "Placeholder" capability to insert your other pages into the book. AQ will adjust the page numbering so that the pages created for this book will account for the extra pages you create using other means.
The end result will be a series of pages you can take to your printer and actually publish your family history.

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Collaborate with NetFam™

Collaboration Defined

By using the NetFam™ Collaboration capabilities of Ancestral Quest, you can work together with a group of people (typically relatives) on recording your family history.

To work with a “Collaboration File”, you place a family file on a central server on the Internet. You allow others to access that file. This means that you and your associates, anywhere in the world, can work together on a single, master file. For example, you would place a family database on this server. Then you would alert appropriate members of your family that this file is available, and give them rights to edit or simply view the data. You and the others then take turns updating this master file. When your cousin updates some information that she has found, you will be able to see that information the next time you view that file. When you update the family file with information that you have found, your cousin will have access to that information the next time she works with the file. This can eliminate the need to send GEDCOM files back and forth and Merge the two sets of information. Click Here to view Diagram.

The Mechanics

Registration. In order to use this feature, you must be registered with the collaboration service – a service provided on the Internet that makes the sharing of this database possible. So the first step is to sign up, or register. In order for others to work with you on this file, they must also register with the service.

Posting a Family File. Somebody in the group needs to place the initial family file on the server. You can do this in two ways.

  • Take an existing family database that you are currently working on with Ancestral Quest and “Publish” it to the server. For example, let’s say you have a family database named “” that you want to make available for coordinated, or collaborative work. You would first open this file as you always do in Ancestral Quest. With the file open, use the Publish option to start the Wizard that will guide you through the steps. At the end of the process, you will have 3 files: a) your “” file will still be there on your machine; b) a Master “Collaboration File” will now exist on the collaboration server with all the information copied from your “” file; and c) you will also have a “” file, which is called a “Local Working Copy” of the master file. While you could continue to use the original “” file, this would defeat the purpose of collaboration. You should now work with the “” Local Working Copy in coordination with the Master Collaboration File you have placed on the server.
  • Start a new database on the server, into which you and others can start posting information. For example, since you don’t already have a file to start with, or don’t want to work with one that you do have, you would use the “New” option in the Collaboration menu to create a new collaboration file. This will start a Wizard that will take you through the steps. At the end of this process, you will have 2 files: a) the new, empty Master Collaboration File on the server; and b) an empty Local Working Copy of the master file on your machine (with a .ac file extension).

Working with the Master Collaboration File.

You need to be aware of the check in/check out status of this file. If the file is NOT checked out to you, you can open the Local Working File to view information, print reports, produce web pages, or do any of the other typical things you can do, except that you can’t change any information in the file. If you want to make changes to the file, you must first check the file out. When the file is checked out, no one else in the group will be able to make changes to it except the person who has it checked out. (They WILL be able to open their current Local Working Copy in a checked in mode as described above.) This should not be a big deal. If you start to make changes without going through the Check Out procedure, you will be reminded that the file needs to be checked out, so you use the “Check Out” option on the Collaboration menu to check it out. Most likely, no one else in your group will have the file checked out to them, so this should be a quick step. You can set a preference option to automatically check the file out when you open it, so you don’t have to go through an extra step. When you check the file out, Ancestral Quest will verify that your Local Working Copy is up to date with the Master Collaboration File on the server, and download any new data if necessary.

Once you have made your changes, and are ready to close the file or exit the program, you will usually want to check the file back in. This process will post your changes from your Local Working Copy to the Master Collaboration File. You can set a preference option that will automatically do this for you as you close the file.

There are times when you may not want to use the Check-Out/Check-In process in the simple manner described above. For example, you may want to get the latest changes that others in the group have posted, but have no need to check it out. Use the “Get Latest” option on the Collaboration menu to have Ancestral Quest update your Local Working Copy to match the Master Collaboration File. You may also be in the middle of making changes with the file checked out to you, but you want to save those changes to the collaboration server without checking the file in. Use the “Update” option on the Collaboration menu to post any changes you have made to the server, but keeping the file checked out to you. Finally, you may decide that you have made some mistakes, and wish to start a session over. Use the “Undo Checkout” option of the Collaboration menu to set your Local Working Copy back to the state of the Master Collaboration File, thus abandoning all changes you have made since the most recent Check Out or Update operation.

If you, as the owner of the file, decide that some recent changes to the file should be undone, you can use the Roll Back function to reset the Master Collaboration File to the way it was before a recent update from you or another member of your group.

You may find that another user in the group is monopolizing the file. After sending some e-mails or other communication to have them check the file in, if they won’t or can’t (perhaps because they left on vacation), the Owner of the group can force them off by using the Unlock option in the Owner/Admin sub-menu. Use this option with care, as it will force the changes made by the monopolizing user to be lost.

Group Administration.

If you are the owner of the file, you also control the nature of the group. No one can see this Collaboration File unless you give them rights to do so. And no one can make changes to this file unless you give them rights to do so. Go to the “Admin/Owner” sub-menu, and use the Rights option to give or remove rights to others for this file. You can set a fellow collaborator up with view only rights to this file, with edit rights to this file, or with administrator rights to this file. If you give administrator rights to this file to another user, that user can in turn adjust the rights of others in the group. As the owner, you can also terminate the group by removing this file from the Collaboration server.


To use the collaboration service, each participant must use the appropriate version of Ancestral Quest 2002 or later, or one of the other products on the market licensed by Incline Software to work with this service. Some fellow collaborators, who only want to view the data rather than participate in updating the data, may use the AQ demo program as a viewer.

The key factor is that all collaborators must use the version of AQ that works with the collaboration database. An AQ 3-11 database can be used by collaborators using AQ version 2002 (10) or 11. An AQ 12 database must be used by collaborators working on version 12.

Initially, the collaboration service will be available without charge. Incline Software may decide, with appropriate notice, to charge for this service in the future. Current information will be available when you sign up for this service.

Breaking Away.

If you want to leave the group, and not be tied to the constraints of the check-in/check-out procedures, you can convert a copy of the Master Collaboration File to a standard Ancestral Quest (.aq) file. Use the “Convert to Local” option of the Collaboration menu to do this. At this point, you will be able to make changes to the file without worrying about the other group members or coordination with the server. But you will also no longer be able to receive the changes that the other members make without resorting to the older methods of exchanging GEDCOM files and doing merges.

Other Advantages.

There are other advantages to using the Collaboration capability, besides the ability to work with others. When you Publish your file, you now have an off-site backup. Should your computer crash, you can restore your local copy by using the “Get Latest” or “Check Out” options of the Collaboration menu. You should still make backups in case the Collaboration service encounters a catastrophe, but this feature can give a first line of defense against problems on your machine.

Use of the Roll Back feature also allows you to return to a prior state if you should find you have introduced a problem into your family file.

Another use of the Collaboration feature is for a professional genealogist to publish this file, and sign up clients to be able to view their work over the Internet.

Scrapbook Issues.

In the initial release of this feature, the main family data file is placed on the server, including any links to scrapbook items, but the scrapbook items themselves are not placed on the server. Fellow collaborators can do one of two things with scrapbook items: 1) disable the display of scrapbook items, or 2) have the database owner send them copies of the scrapbook items. If items are sent, they must be placed in the same folders on the recipient’s system as on the database owner’s system in order for the links to be valid.

Any of the collaborators can add additional scrapbook items to the master file, but if they don’t then distribute copies of these files to the other team members, the other members will get warnings about missing items when they try to view or play these items.

If you are using version 12 of Ancestral Quest, there is a new feature that allows you to add scrapbook items that are being stored using an online media storage service. So, if you have an account with sites like flickr or shutterfly or similar services, you can link to those photos from within Ancestral Quest 12. Than, anyone collaborating with you can also see the images, as is possible by the sharing capabilities you have setup on such service websites.

Privacy and Service Usage Policy.

Ancestral Quest NetFam™ Collaboration is a service provided by Incline Software. Any and all data uploaded to this service belongs to the user who uploads it. The only other people in the world who will ever know about that data are those that are personally invited to have access to the data by the owner of the database. The only time that any Incline Software employees might access your data is when there is a technical issue, and may need to correct such technical issues. We would never, in any way, claim any ownership of the data or make it public or even use it internally for any other purpose than technical troubleshooting of the Collaboration service.

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Examine Relationships

Relationship Examiner Screen

Select any two people in your database and get a complete reporting on their relationship.

Notice in this screen that Lillian and Frederik are related in two ways. Frederick is Lillian's uncle, but is also, through a different line, her 3rd cousin once removed. You select which relationship you want to see, and you will be shown the lines of descent from the common ancestor to each of the individuals.

You can then print these results to a text file and email it to your relative to introduce yourself!

Click Here for larger view

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Ancestral Quest and Incline Software are trademarks of Incline Software, LLC.

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