Family Tree Page

Username Menu Options


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There are three options that popup when clicking on the username. Though easily missed, the "Settings" menu option is one of the more important options in FamilySearch to periodically review. Many non-"researchers" may not use the "Source Box" options, at least at first. Then of course there is the "Sign Out" option to sign out of FamilySearch.


Settings Menu

Clicking on the "Settings" menu will bring up 3 horizontal tabs. These tabs are described as follows:

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  • Account:. The "Account" tab contains all of your contact information, such as address, email, phone, etc. You can change your password here as well. Should you lose access to your account, the information on this page can help you recover your account access. Remember to review this information for accuracy of contact information.
  • Notifications:. The "Notifications" page allows you to receive communications from others, discovery experiences, to receive and offere help to others, etc. By default, these are all "on", but you may decide to change these settings.
  • Permissions: There are 3 primary areas in the "Permissions" tab. The first is allowing others to see how they are related to you. The second is where you can view your "Helper ID" so that others may help you with your Family Tree. The 3rd area will show all of the different website accounts that you have granted permission to access your Family Tree, such as Ancestry, and others.

Source Box Menu

We'll cover the Source Box on a different webpage. Basically, sources that are attached to an individual, whether from FamilySearch, Ancestry, or others, or sources that you yourself create can be stored in the Source Box for to later attach the sources to other family members.

Tree View Display Options


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When clicking on the "Options" menu, a dropdown will appear showing you a legend of the various icons that you can show or not show on your family tree. If your computer is slow, you can turn off the icons you do not wish to see.

For example, loading the portrait photos will take more system resources and potentially slow down the viewing of your family tree. You may decide you don't want to see the marriage dates for the couple, as this can be seen on the Person Page for those individuals.

  • Record Hints: You can also see these hints on the Person Page. These are potential sources found by FamilySearch that might reflect more information on your people.
  • Research Suggestions: These are hints from FamilySearch that there may be pieces of information you can look for, such as missing children in the family.
  • Data Problems: Data problems will exist in FamilySearch, for example, children born before their parents, a marriage date when the couple was 5 years old, etc.

When clicking on the dropdown mark to the right of the word "Options", you will see a legend of the various icons that you can show or not show on your family tree. If your computer is slow, you can turn off the icons you do not wish to see. For example, loading the portrait photos will take more system resources and potentially slow down the viewing of your family tree.

You can see many of these same icons in different pages with ancestor information that we'll show you later.

Print Option: this allows you to print a nicely formatted pedigree chart of that page.

Invert Colors: will make your text white and the background dark. This is also called "dark mode" in many applications and for some may reduce eye strain.

Tree View Display Options


Traditional Pedigree View

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  • To move around the tree, just click and drag on the background.
  • You may see small "chevrons" ("<" or ">") which, when clicked, will expand or collapse the pedigree lines. These are seen just before or after the couple information boxes.
  • In the upper left corner of the screen (not shown in this screenshot), there is a + and - icon that can be clicked to magnify or diminish the size of your tree.
  • Couples boxes are shown, and just below the wife, there is a small down chevron that, when clicked, will display any children present.
  • You may see a small down chevron just to the left of the person's name. When clicked, a small list of multiple spouses will appear. If it is to the left of the husband, it represents the multiple husbands of the wife as is the case in this example. The wife had 4 husbands, all listed from the dropdown list under the "down caret".
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  • You may also notice little icons along the right margin of the couples box. In the example to the left, there are blue icons that represent Record Hints that can be reviewed and attached if appropriate. The purple icons represent Research Suggestions.
  • Clicking on a person's name link will bring up a "Person Summary Card" as seen below.
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Portrait Pedigree View

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  • The portrait view simply shows the pedigree in a more vertically stacked format.
  • This is a common view in many other online pedigrees.
  • In the traditional pedigree view, you could see small chevrons to the left of the name indicating other attached spouses. In this view, the “chevrons” indicating other spouses will not be shown.
  • Clicking on a person's name link will bring up a "Person Summary Card" as previously noted.

Fan Chart View

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  • The fan chart will show 7 generations (you + 6 more).
  • Moving around your pedigree is different with this view. Hover over any of the names on the chart and you will see a small fan chart icon appear.
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  • Click on this icon and that person will move to the "home position".
  • Clicking on a person's name link will bring up a "Person Summary Card" as previously noted.

Descendancy Tree View

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  • The "Focus Person" will be at the top level.
    The spouse(s) will be listed under that focus person.
    Children born to that couple relationship are listed under the spouse.
    If the is more than one spouse, they will be listed further down the list.
  • Notice the menu title "Generations: 1 2 3 4" to the right of the highlighted "Descendancy" label. Clicking on a number will expand your tree by that many generations.
  • Notice the right "chevrons" (>) just to the left of the person. These will expand the next level of descendants.
    If no chevron is displayed, then that person does not have a spouse or children that have been attached in Family Tree.
  • Further right on the same row, you may see some colored icons, such as "Data Problems", Research Suggestions, Record Hints, etc. These can give you quick feedback on some items you need to work on in this descendancy line. This of course depends on what you have selected in the Options menu in the right upper area.
  • Clicking on a person's name link will bring up a "Person Summary Card" as previously noted.

Main Menu Options


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The main menu option from left to right are described below:

  • FamilySearch Logo:. When clicked, you are taken back to the page just after login. It will show you lists of "Record Hints", your "To Do List", new media additions to your ancestral family, etc
  • Family Tree: This link will take you to your family tree, pretty self explanatory
  • Search: This menu item will take you to the search functions in FamilySearch.
  • Memories:. This one of the best things about FamilySearch. By clicking on this link, you will be taken to the "Media Gallery" where you can upload photos, documents, create stories, and add audio recordings. Access Media Gallery Page
  • Indexing: You can access indexing batches with this link and help to increase the number of sources available to people to search.
  • Activities: Families can find many different family history activities on that webpage. Check them out. We'll go over this link in more detail later.

Sub-Menu Options

The sub-menus, just below the main menu row, are "context sensitive" meaning that the menu options change based on whatever main menu tab has been selected. The screenshots for each of the sub-menus are shown below as an example of this.

Family Tree Pages

Sub-Menu Options For The Family Tree Tab
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Main Menu Dropdown Options
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  • Overview: This is an introductory page about FamilySearch Family Tree.
  • Tree: This link will open up the pedigree view with the default person in focus position. This is typically you.
  • Person: This link will open up the Person Page for the default person, typically you. We'll discuss the Person Page later. You Can Also See a Tutorial on This Page HERE
  • Recents: (Note that you will not see this in the Family Tree dropdown list, but it does show in the SubMenu bar). As the name implies, clicking on the "Recents" link will bring up a list of the most recent 50 persons that you have been working on. The name of the person that is logged in will always show at the top.
    There is also a menu option labelled "Add Unconnected Person" near the bottom of the list. There are times that you may need to add a person to Family Tree that is not connected to anyone. In other words, there are no current siblings, parents, spouse, etc.
  • Find: This link opens up a search form to find people already in Family Tree. There are filters that can be used to narrow down your search query.
  • Following: There are times that you may want to "follow" the changes that are made to an individual. You are able to see how many changes and what changes have been made over time by yourself and others. You can be notified of changes as well.
    There are also other options available on this page such as the ability to create "labels" that only you can see. Labels can be things such as "end of line", "researching", "stuck", or others that you might want to create.
    You can also use the filters to filter only those individuals that you want to dispay.
  • My Contributions: There are 3 tabs that will provide you information about your tree and also your activity within it..
  • Stats: It's nice to be able to see all the progress you have over time. How many sources have you attached? Memories uploaded? New People you have added? Use this to set some goals for yourself.
  • My Changes: This list will show you all the changes that YOU have made to the individuals in your family tree.
  • Private People: It's nice to see a list of those LIVING individuals that you have entered into family tree.

Search Pages

Sub-Menu Options For The Search Tab
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Main Menu Dropdown Options
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  • Records: These are an essential part of documenting a person's life. Birth certificates, death information, marriage, census records, military records, and so forth can be searches for on this page.
  • Images: In the past, we would search microfilm. There are now almost 5 billion images available online. They are grouped by location. You can search date ranges and also by life events, like occupations, marriages, and many others that are presented in a dropdown list. You will not be able to search for images by people, although your ancestor may likely be included in the images.
  • Family Tree: This link will take you the "FIND" menu that is also located under the Family Tree menu options. Your search will bring up individuals that are currently in FamilySearch.
  • Genealogies: Over the years, people have submitted individual tree information that included children, spouses, parents, etc. That information was uploaded to FamilySearch, but is not part of the FamilySearch database. Names can be searched for. The accuracy of the information can not be guaranteed and may vary according to each submitter.
  • Catalog: Search the catalog of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) made available by FamilySearch online and in libraries and centers worldwide.
  • Books:. Over the past several years, FamiliySearch has been digitizing the book collections in many of the FamilySearch librraries and centers so as to make them available online. Some books because of copyright issues, can only be viewed at the FamilySearch libraries. Just as with any library, if there is only one "copy" and another individual is using that copy, you will have to wait until it again becomes available.
  • Wiki: The Wiki is a great place to explore to find out what information or records are available in places around the world. There will also be information about other online places to look for records on your individual.

Memories Pages

Sub-Menu Options For The Memories Tab
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Main Menu Dropdown Options
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  • Overview: This page gives you some ideas about what's new, hints about sharing your memories, etc.
  • Gallery: This page contains all the memories that YOU have uploaded. No one else can see YOUR gallery. There are a variety of different options that you can do on this page. Click HERE For Tutorial on This Page
  • People: The "People Page" shows everyone in your tree that has memories, like stories, photos, etc. These are memories that you have contributed as well as your collateral line cousins.
  • Find: By using the search functions, you can search FamilySearch memories for photos of your ancestors, or even search by Topic Tags, and so forth.

Indexing Pages

Sub-Menu Options For The Indexing Tab
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Main Menu Dropdown Options
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  • Overview: This page gives you an overall view of how indexing works.
  • Web Indexing: This page shows your current indexing batches you are working on, your overall progress with time, ability to find new batches, a messaging board in case you need some help, and so forth
  • Find a Project: This page will give you an idea where some current indexing projects are available, as well as a world map that you can search to see what projects are currently available in those countries
  • Help Center: This page contains information on a variety of different HELP topics to help you complete your projects

Activities Pages

Main Menu Dropdown Options
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You probably noted that there is no screenshot for submenu options for the Main Menu Activities tab selection. This is because the selected sub-link options go directly to the different activities pages.

  • All Activities: This webpage is not only an overview of the activities noted below, but also has links to "Pioneer Ancestors", "Ancestor Challenge" Quiz, "Missionaries", and so forth.
  • Where Am I From?: There are 4 tabs inside this activity.
         Generations shows you a world map with clusters of where your ancestors came from.
         My Family Lines allows you to select an ancestor and then maps those family lines on the map
         My Heritage shows you the percentage of ancestors from each country, and then has a variety of interesting facts about each of these countries
         Timeline allows you to select various time periods, and who was living in the countries during that time period
  • All About Me: This module shows interesting facts about you, such as cost of gasoline, how many individuals share you name in the USA, cost of a stamp, etc when you were born.
  • Compare-a-Face: Ever wonder where you got your great looks. FamilySearch will compare a photo of yourself and those in your tree to see who you most look like
  • Record My Story: Everyone has stories about their life. The module allows you to record stories. There are a variety of prompt hints in different area types to help you think of a story to record
  • Picture My Heritage: FamilySearch has a variety of costumed individuals from most all countries. Using a camera on the monitor, ipad, or iphone, you can take a photo of your face and merge it into the photo which can then be downloaded.
  • In-Home Activities: FamilySearch has put together a variety of short fun activities that can be done such as in family home evenings, reunions, and so forth.

Tree Navigation Options


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The symbols to the right can help with navigation, though in my experience, I just don't use these. Moving around the tree by just clicking and holding the mouse on the tree background to move the tree around works well for most. There may however be times that you might want to consider using the icons.

  • Home: This can be handy if you want to display the "Home Person" that you have selected in the settings menu (typically you) back into the primary position on the page. You may be multiple generations down your ancestral line and want to get back to you as the home person.
  • ReCenter: Clicking on this button will recenter the tree on the background.
  • Full Screen:. There may be times that you need more "screen real estate" to see more of your tree. You can toggle all the headers above the tree to become invisible or not.
  • Zoom Buttons: Clicking the + or - buttons will zoom in or out on your tree.

Communication & Help Menus


There are three icons noted in this group. The first icon with a question mark inside a circle is the "Help Menu". The second icon is the messaging system which allows you to communicate with others that are working on your ancestry lines. The "bell" is the notifications icon. These 3 items are further described below:

  • Help Menu: There are four principal sub-menu options that can be explored.
Help Center Page
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Helper Resources Page
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  • Help Center: Help has been placed into a variety of "Topic" categories. Find the general category and click to explore. The top frequently asked questions are typically listed, but there is a search box where you can enter your question as well.
  • Community: When you have questions not answered by your topic search, you can ask the "community" of volunteers, or other people like yourself that will have answers or directions you can explore to get your question answered. You can also volunteer some time at answering questions that are posed by others.
  • Contact Us: For questions that don't seem to be covered by the topic searches nor community supports, you can enter chat sessions with support during certain hours.
  • Helper Resources: From this webpage you can find local resources such as famlly history centers, family history consultants, and so forth. By contacting one of the consultants, they can give you personalized support by accessing your tree to help you questions.
    In the upper right panel, you should see your name under "Planner". Click on your name and you will find additional pages with discovery ideas, and a fan chart that can display items such as those tree individuals with stories, memories, sources, birth places, and so on.
  • Message Center: Clicking on the message icon (2nd icon) will bring up a list of people that are contacting you either initially or responding to you having contacted them. When there is a new messagem there is a little red dot on the messaging icon.
  • Notifications: There are four different notification areas:
         Discoveries: FamilySearch may send you information about events happening with your ancestors.
         General: These are as the category states, general items of possible interest to you
         Tree: When changes to your ancestors information occurs, this is the information tab that will notify you of those changes.
         Temple: For church members, this tab will give you updates on any completed temple activities.

Focus Person & Person Summary Card


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The "focus person" is that person centered in your pedigree that has ancestral lines flowing to the right, and the descendancy lines flowing to the left.

Perhaps you noticed by now that if you click on the person name links, a "Summary Card" pops up showing information such as birth & death information, sources, memories, and any collaboration discussions. You can access their pedigree by clicking the "Tree" link at the bottom, or their Person Page by click on the "Person" link. Clicking on their blue name will also take you to their Person Page.