Using RootsWeb: Introducing "My Account"

Last spring, RootsWeb introduced a new feature, called My Account, to its site. Since the RootsWeb staff has received numerous questions about this new feature, we decided to write a brief article explaining 1) what the new feature does and 2) how to sign up for and access it.

First of all, My Account adds two new advantages to the RootsWeb site. The first is that it makes it possible for you to keep the e-mail addresses on all your Message Board posts up-to-date and standardized from now on. No more outdated e-mail addresses floating around on those boards!

The second advantage is that it provides a centralized location for you to manage all your existing RootsWeb services. If you want to see what lists you subscribe to (or to unsubscribe from one), go to My Account. If you want to see all the trees you’ve submitted to WorldConnect and link immediately to them, go to My Account. If you want to see all the Web pages you’ve created at RootsWeb and link to the sites, go to My Account. The list goes on.


With the introduction of My Account, message board e-mails will now be kept up-to-date. That’s because users are now required to log in to My Account before they can post on the message boards. By logging in, you associate your member name with any posting you make. This enables you to change your e-mail address on all the posts you make under that member name simply by changing it in My Account.

For example, if you make multiple posts to different boards and later decide to change your e-mail address, now you can simply update your e-mail address in My Account and all of the e-mail addresses on the posts will be updated.

One thing to keep in mind, though. Old posts that were made before My Account was created will not be updated with the new e-mail address. And, if you have multiple accounts, you must update each one separately. (Hint: DON’T create multiple accounts! Once created, they cannot be merged or deleted. Yes it’s tempting just to create a new account when you forget your old login, but instead, select “Forgot member name or password?” on the sign-in page. We’ll send you your member name and let you pick a new password.)

As you know, RootsWeb hosts a number of different services. You can sign up for and administer mailing lists. You can receive newsletters about RootsWeb (like this one!); you can submit your family tree to WorldConnect; and you can host Web pages. Before now, there was no centralized place for you to get access to all of the services you use. However, My Account now provides this place. It will:

  • Show you the lists you administer and provide a link to those lists’ tool pages, without requiring you to login to the tool pages.
  • Show all your mailing list subscriptions with a link to those lists’ archives and links to unsubscribe from those lists if you wish.
  • Show your WorldConnect user codes with links to view your trees or to go to their edit pages.
  • List all your Web pages at RootsWeb with links to the sites.
  • Provide a link to your PML (Personalized Mailing List) edit page if you were a monetary contributor under that system.(Note: PML was an option formerly available to monetary
    contributors. PMLs can no longer be created though existing PMLs remain active.)
  • List all your newsletter subscriptions, with an option to subscribe or unsubscribe and to set your preference for plain text or HTML. You can subscribe to the RootsWeb Review, the RootsWeb Product Watch, and the Ancestry Weekly Journal.
  • Display a “Personal Information Box” with links that will allow you to “Update account information” (change your name or e-mail address), “Change member name or password,” and “Update your Public Profile.”

In order to link these and the other RootsWeb services you use to My Account and manage your information in one place, log in to My Account and click the “Add existing services to this account”
link, which is located in the “RootsWeb Services” box on the My Account page. You will be prompted to list all your former e-mail addresses and the site will search for any services you registered for using those e-mail addresses. You will be sent an e-mail to complete the registration. Please follow the instructions in the e-mail.

If you haven’t already created a My Account member name and password, you will be prompted to the next time you try to post on a message board. If you want to create one before then, the process is simple. Just click the “Sign in” link located in the top right-hand corner of most RootsWeb pages or go to:
You will be prompted to enter your member name and password. If you forgot your member name and password, click the “Forgot member name or password?” link. If you have not yet created a login for My Account, click the “Register” button.

Screenshot RootsWeb Account Sign In.

Once you have signed in, a link called “My Account” will appear on the top right-hand side of the page. Click it at anytime to access your My Account page.

Screenshot My Account at RootsWeb.

Remember, member names will work in My Account. If you already have an Ancestry account, please do not register again; instead, log in using your Ancestry account. Member names cannot be merged or deleted so once you create it, it cannot be removed.

Also, if you have user codes for WorldConnect, nametags in the RootsWeb Surname List (RSL), or account names and passwords for Web pages or other programs at RootsWeb, these are all separate and are not necessarily your login for My Account. Again, if you are unsure of your member name and password, click the “Forgot member name or password” link. You will get an e-mail that contains a list of your member names and links to allow you to enter a password again. If you find you have multiple accounts, please pick one to use from now on.

We hope you will try My Account. We think you will like the convenience it provides in managing your RootsWeb services.

Reprinted with permission. Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 14 February 2007, Vol. 10, No. 7.

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