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Administrator Quick Start Guide

How do I set up an account for my new Group Project?

FamilyTreeDNA Group Administrators use our Group Administrator Pages (GAP) as the primary tool to run their projects. To create a GAP account, you need a Group Administrator username. The steps for setting up your Group Administrator username at FamilyTreeDNA and linking it to a Group Project differ depending on whether it is a new or existing FamilyTreeDNA Group Project. When your project is approved or when you are invited to administer an existing project, you will be sent an email invitation to register your Group Administrator username with that project.

Registering New Projects

You will receive an email to register as an administrator. If you already have a GAP account you can register this project by Selecting YES in “Step 2: Do you currently have a username” and entering your GAP username and password.

If you do not have a GAP account, or you wish to create a separate GAP account for the new project,  you can register this project by Selecting NO in “Step 2: Do you currently have a username”. This will allow you to create a GAP account.

Important: Please save your Group Administrator username and password in a safe place. Never share them outside of FamilyTreeDNA. The FamilyTreeDNA computer system logs all changes you make to both your GAP account and the FamilyTreeDNA accounts of the members associated with your project.

Are there rules FamilyTreeDNA Group Administrators must follow?

Yes, there are rules. At FamilyTreeDNA, we expect both Group Administrators and Group Project members to enjoy project membership. To help with this and avoid misunderstandings, we have Group Administrator Terms & Policies. You will find the current version here. The first time you sign in you will see a pop-up window requiring you to agree to the Group Administrator terms.

How do I complete my contact information?

Once you have created your Group Administrator username, it is important to complete your contact information. To do so:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Group Administrator username and password.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the page, hover your cursor over your username, and select Contact Information from the drop-down menu.
  3. Complete the contact form.
    Important: Group members have a right to know who their administrator is. For this reason, you must enter your actual first and last name.
  4. Click the Save Contact Information button at the upper-left of the contact form to save your information.

Creating a Group Project Website

FamilyTreeDNA provides tools that allow you to create a public website for your project. Your project website is important for both recruiting participants and displaying your project members’ results. There are two main sections that must be completed to create a public group page, the Public Website and the Project Profile sections. You can read about how to use these pages here:

Using the Admin - Public Website Tool

Using the Admin - Project Profile Tool

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

The FamilyTreeDNA Group 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 Projects List, you need to have a few things in your GAP:

  1. Sign in to your GAP account by entering your Group Administrator username and password.
  2. On the navigation bar, hover your cursor over Project Admin and click Project Profile on the drop-down menu.


  1. In the lower section of your GAP dashboard, in the Project Administration section, click Project Profile.
  2. Make sure that the Show this project in the projects list option is selected.
  3. You must have at least one group member. You can add yourself as a member to get started. 

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 new members to join without a 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 tool of your GAP. Administrators can also send email invitations to prospective group members with this tool.

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 joinlink (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. The Join Link is for prospective members hoping to join a project who have not tested with FTDNA before while the Returning Join Link is for those who have.

To send a Join Link or Returning Join Link:

  1. On the Project Profile page select the Links & Cover tab.
  2. Copy one of the two URLs and send the link to your prospective member, instructing them to paste the link in the Address bar of their browser and press enter on their keyboard.
  3. The Join Link will direct the new member to purchase a test while the Returning Join Link will prompt them to sign into their kit.

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.

How do I create a welcome email for my project?

FamilyTreeDNA 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. You can learn how to create a Welcome Email here.

Recruiting New Members

Once you have set up your project it is important to add surnames, place names, and other keywords to your project on your Project Profile page. When a person searches for projects on the FamilyTreeDNA Group Projects page, any keyword they search for relates to the Keywords you enter on the Project Profile page. Adding relevant search terms will help people find your group. You may want to enter all surname variant spellings of the surname(s) you are researching.

Surname Match Emails

Every three months, you can send a bulk email to everyone in the database with a surname you have listed as a keyword. This email can invite them to join your project. Unlike other bulk emails, this email must be submitted to the Group Project department to send on your behalf. Please submit this email to or through our contact form. It is important to include all the spelling variants you would like to include before submitting this. This can be done on the Project Profile page in GAP. 

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