FamilySearch Hints, Suggestions, and Review

Hints and Suggestions for Searching Family Trees at FamilySearch

Your best bet is to search using as much information as you have. If you get too few responses this way, first remove the mother's last name. Her name is the one most likely to be entered incorrectly in a family tree. the father's name of the ancestor. If you still get too few responses, omit the spouse's name and use only the father's name with the ancestor's name.

Ways to Search FamilySearch Family Trees

  • The Best Way to FamilySearch Family Trees: Go to Your Active Family Tree Searches on this website for easier searching. At Your Active Family Tree Searches page, you need only to enter your ancestor data once to search all the websites. Your Active Family Tree Searches is a free service that creates the optimal searches for your ancestor data to help with researching your genealogy.
  • Manually search FamilySearch family trees in Genealogies yourself. This will open a new window so you can refer back to the search hints and suggestions above as well as the review below. See the review below for the family trees that are in FamilySearch Genealogies.
  • Manually search the FamilySearch global, unified Family Tree yourself. This will open a new window so you can refer back to the search hints and suggestions above as well as the review below. See the review below for a description of the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Review of FamilySearch Family Trees

Highlights: FamilySearch has two categories of trees that can be searched. The first category is called FamilySearch Genealogies comprised of GEDCOMs submitted by individuals as well as family trees from other organizations which are referred to as Partner Trees. The trees in Genealogies are individual trees. The second category is called a FamilySearch Family Tree that is one very large tree that is meant to be a universal, shared family tree for all humankind. (See my concern about such universal family trees.) FamilySearch has original documentation that can be viewed online. This documentation can also be attached to the shared FamilySearch Family Tree. You can clearly see what documentation is related to a given fact about an ancestor in the FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch requires that you create an account, but the website is free.

For more features, see the table below.

See the definition of terms for any questions on the meaning of the entries in the table below.

Features of FamilySearch Family Trees
  Feature Comment
x free family tree searches  
  paid family tree searches  
x free viewing of pedigrees  
  paid viewing of pedigrees  
x free downloads of pedigrees  
  paid downloads of pedigrees  
x any supporting documentation shown with the family tree  
x free viewing of supporting documentation Viewing of documentation is available for only the FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch Genealogies Family Trees may reference documentation, but you cannot view the documentation directly.
  paid viewing of supporting documentation  
x contact information for family tree submitter You can send messages to contributors who have made changes to individuals in the FamilySearch FamilyTree. Collaborators on individuals in the FamilySearch Family Tree are also notified of any changes made on an individual.
x ability to share editing of your family tree with others FamilySearch Family Tree only.
  ability to see all the trees or names submitted by a researcher  
  ability to restrict searches to updates since a specific time  
x searches with name of spouse  
x searches with names of parents  
  searches with names of children  
x searches by place of birth  
x searches by place of marriage  
x searches by place of death  
x searches by country  
x searches by state, province, or political subdivision  
x searches by date of birth  
x searches by date of marriage  
x searches by date of death  
x ability to specify date ranges for searching  
x searches by exact spelling of names  
x searches by similar sounding spellings of names  
x uploading of your family tree You may upload a GEDCOM to add to FamilySearch Genealogies.
x interactive editing of the online version of your family tree Only the FamilySearch Family Tree.
x ability to delete the online version of your family tree Only the GEDCOM you uploaded. to FamilySearch Genealogies.
  ability to keep your family tree private, should you prefer that  
x automatic suggestions for matches in other family trees or documents based on your family tree Only for the FamilySearch Family Tree.
  Your DNA results can be attached to your family tree  

FamilySearch Family Tree Search Hints Context

Other Family Tree Search Hints