FamilySearch Person Page

Person Information Area

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This area is pretty self-explanatory as it will contain a stored image (if available) of the person, the full name, birth and death information, as well as the Person ID number (or PID). However there are a couple of "hidden" features that you should know about on this page.


#1 Changing the Portrait Photo

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When the portrait image is clicked on, a menu will appear displaying several options. This option allows you to provide a portrait photo of your choice on the Person Page. These photo icons will also appear in the pedigree views as well.

  • Edit Portrait: By selecting this, the current image can be adjusted to better center the face "in the circle".
  • Replace Portrait: This option opens up a panel dispalying all the photos tagged with that person. You can select from one of those photos, select from the Gallery, OR upload a photo from your computer.
  • Remove Portrait: As described, the option will remove the portrait photo from the Person Page.

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Adjust Portrait:

The Edit Portrait option will allow you to rotate the photo (A) if needed. Click on the photo inside the circle holding the mouse button down and then use your mouse to move to a part of the photo that has the face you want to display. Use the zoom slider to zoom in or out on the photo (B). Once you have centered the photo in the circle, click on the Save as Portrait button (C).


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Replace Portrait:

The Replace Portrait option will allow you to change the photo to something different. Photos can be selected by those already tagged to that ancestor, 2) ones that are in your Media Gallery, or 3) upload an image from your computer. After replacing the photo image, you will likely need to go through the "Adjust Portrait" option again.


#2 Copying the Person ID (PID)

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This tip is a VERY handy one to use to copy the Person ID number (PID) to paste into different text boxes in different situations. This really helps to not have to copy by pencil and paper. Those situations might be to copy and then paste into a 3rd party program like RootsMagic. It could also be to use when merging two different duplicate people that FamilySearch doesn't immediately pick up on as a duplicate.

How to use it? Simply click on the PID. A small blue "Copy ID" label pops up. Click on this link and your PID is now copied to the clipboard.

Top Right Menu

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There are three different option icons in this area. Each of them will give you a broader understanding about the person on the current Person Page.

  • View Tree: By selecting this, the pedigree page will open with this person as the "Focus Person" with descendants on the left and ancestors on the right.
  • Following: This option is an easy one to understand. If there is a hollow star with the words "Follow", this person can be placed onto a "Following" list. Let's say that there are others in your tree that are making a lot of changes that you would like to follow. By clicking on the "Follow" link, the link name will change to "Following". Remember from a previous lesson that when you are on the main pedigree page, there is a submenu showing tree, person, recents, etc. On that same menu line, there is a link to "Following". This is where you can see all those ancestors that you have chosen to follow for any changes. You will also be notified of any changes people make on a weekly basis, if there are any made.
  • View My Relationship: This link will open up a "popup" overlay that will show you how you are related to the person on the Person Page. Typically it shows two columns or pedigree lines, you on the left and the ancestor in the right column.

Tabbed Sections

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There is a horizontal menu or TABS as noted above just below the person information area. Each of these links will open up a different section below the tab and these are described below.

Details Tab

Details: This is the default section when first opening up the Person Page. As labelled, "Details" contains the basic four information areas like Vitals, Other Information, Family Members, Life Sketch.

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Expanded "Details Section" Views
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The Life Sketch is NOT a comprehensive personal history about that person. It is a summary of life events that standout and would help others get a better idea about that person's life.

With some of the new "Discovery" pages being developed, the life sketch is actually being computer created based on the facts that have been added to the Person Page. For example, in the Other Information section, there may be annotations about this person's occupation, cause of death. etc. This information will be picked up and place into this person's "story narrative" on the discovery page. Should we still be creating Life Sketches? For now…yes.


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Notice the arrow pointing to an option toggle. When the toggle is turned on, you will see additional detail associated with the different facts. This includes the comments by the user that LAST changed (or added) the information about that fact. Notice the phrase: "Reason This Information is Correct". Whenever YOU make changes to a fact, YOU should write out a clear reason as to why you changed the information about that fact. This allows other people to know what your thinking was about when you changed the fact. If you don't create a clear concise reason, then others may decide that your changed fact is incorrect and may just change it themselves to something different.

Remember that Family Tree is a COLLABORATIVE tree. We create changes based on some sort of source information, like a document, etc. Others need to know the basis of reasoning behind your changes.


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Notice the way that the Family Members section is laid out. There are two columns with the LEFT column showing the focus person with the spouse(s) and the children that are associated with the spouse relationship. A person may have had several spouses, and thus might have children associated with each of those different relationships.

The RIGHT column shows that individual's father and mother with the siblings below. Can there be more than one set of parents? The answer would be YES. One set of parents would be the "biologic parents", and a different set of parents could be the adoptive parent, a step parent, or a foster parent. There are many cases where a child is raised up to adulthood in an adoptive home and would want that relationship to show on Family Tree. Later, they may find their biologic parents, and would like those to also be noted in their tree as well.

Time Line Tab

Time Line: This section displays both a really nice timeline view as well as a migration map. The map can be turned on/off as an option. Other options allow for adding new facts, showing items like historical information, and events that happened with family relationships. This information pane can also be toggled to display in full screen or normal browser window.

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Sources Tab

Sources: This information pane contains all the attached sources sorted by Date, as well as gives the option to add additional sources and show or not show "unfinished attachments" (on by default).

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Collaborate Tab

Collaborate: This section contains both the Notes and Discussions sub sections. Notes can be used to add research notes and task list items. Discussions can be helpful to communicate to others your ideas about about different situations about this person. For example, if there is a discrepancy in attached parents, a new discussion could be added to alert others to problem areas.

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Memories Tab

Memories: This information pane contains the four basic sections Photos, Documents, Stories, Audio. These items have been "tagged" or attached to this particular individual, but may also be tagged to other family members as well.

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Ordinances Tab

Ordinances: This section will be discussed in a different website area.

Right Column Menu Links

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Along the right side of the "Details Page", there is a column of links under different categories. These links are quite helpful in furthering research, reviewing recent changes in the individual's record, merging duplicates, and printing out Group Sheets, and such.

  • Research Helps: Any new record hints will show up in this category, as well as suggestions such as data inconsistencies like "child born before parent's birth", etc. Other suggestions may include things such as "Couple may have children".
  • Search Records: There are a variety of different search providers out there. This list is but a few of the more commonly used ones. The advantage to using these links is that FamilySearch will open up the linked website and fill in the individual's information for you vesrus going directly to Ancestry.com for example and then having to enter the search criteria.
  • FamilySearch: This link will take you to the FamilySearch "Search" pages.
  • Ancestry.com: Clicking on this link will open and display ancestry.com's search pages, filling in the individual's vital information. FamilySearch and Ancestry each have different collections of source information, so it is wise to always check both sites for more records on your ancestor.
  • FindMyPast: Clicking on this link will open and display findmypast.com's search pages, filling in the individual's vital information. This database search site is primarily focused on English, Irish, & Scottish records.
  • MyHeritage: Clicking on this link will open and display myheritage.com's search pages, filling in the individual's vital information. This database search site is primarily focused on more European and surrounding area's records. There are other fun things to explore about this site, such as photo enhancement tools.
  • Geneanet: Clicking on this link will open and display geneanet.com's search pages, filling in the individual's vital information. This database search site contains collecctions of newspapers, obituaries, books, cemeteries, and more.
  • Filae: Clicking on this link will open and display filae.com's search pages, filling in the individual's vital information. This database search site contains collecctions of French resources.
  • Google: Clicking on this link will open and display google.com's search page, filling in the individual's vital information. Don't forget about the power and search abilities of Google's extensive search engine to find many resources available online. There are newspaper archives, books, and many other resources that can be found with Google searches.
  • Latest Changes: Your ancestor's information page will likely change a lot over time as you and other contributors add or delete information about the individual. Not all the changes are good ones! We, or others, may add incorrect information, incorrectly delete something, or incorrectly merge two people. The Change Log will show all of these changes. We have options to unmerge individuals, or restore correct information that may have been changed or deleted.
  • Tools: This section will display possible duplicates, ability to find similar individuals, merge two people by their PIDs, report any abuse by another contributor, and if YOU added a person to FamilySearch, you can delete that person except under a couple of circumstances.
  • Print: If you want to print hardcopy paper or PDF information pages, this is where you would do this. Pedigree, Fan Charts and Family Group Sheets can be printed from the provided links in this category.