10 Ingredients to Finding Your Ancestors with Descendancy View

March 10, 2015  - by 

Have you found your ancestors or cousins by using the descendancy view on FamilySearch.org yet? It is one of many new tools on FamilySearch.org that make it easier for you to find your family members and take their names to the temple. It is also one of the best illustrations of the power of indexed records.

Descendancy research basically means searching for your ancestors’ descendants who need temple ordinances, and the new descendancy view makes it so easy! The descendancy view shows what your ancestors see when they look down their family tree toward our day—from their children, to their grandchildren, to their great-grandchildren, and so forth. As you can imagine, the number of people multiplies with each generation, as do the chances of finding someone who needs temple ordinances.

As you do descendancy research on FamilySearch.org, you will notice icons and links that guide your search. One of the icons indicates that there are records that are likely connected to the person you are looking at. Record hints are generated from indexed records and show possible matches of records in the FamilySearch.org database to the people in your tree. Thanks to your indexing efforts, the computer can now match these records to the people in your tree, making it easier than ever for Church members to attach the hinted records as sources, find their ancestors, add them to the tree, and submit their ancestors’ names for temple ordinances.

Here is a video and some simple ingredients that will get you started with descendancy research and record hints.

Video Instructions

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Sign in to FamilySearch.org with your LDS Account, and view your family tree.

2. Find an ancestor who was born before 1830.

3. Select the ancestor, and change the view to Descendancy.

4. Expand the descendants of your ancestor, looking for record hints on the right.

The Request Ordinances icon identifies missing temple ordinances.
The Record Hints icon suggests that there may be records available for an individual.
The Research Suggestions icon indicates possible gaps or missing family members.
The Data Problems icon warns of potential data problems.

5 Look for both the Record Hints icon and the Research Suggestions icon together. These two icons together mean that there are records for the person and possibly missing family members to add.


6. Click the Research Suggestions icon to view the records of your ancestor.

7. Compare the information from the new record to the information already in Family Tree.

8. If the information is accurate, attach the record, and add any missing family members to Family Tree.

9. Return to the descendancy view in Family Tree.

10. Reserve the ordinances for the newly added family members.

We hope that you are able to experience the joy and blessings that come from finding your own ancestors and submitting their names for temple ordinances. Once you have learned how,* we encourage you to show others.
*Church-service missionaries are available to help.

– Article by Mitch Wasden

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  1. How do I find records of the New England area in the early 1700s. I am looking in Maine which was then part of Massachusetts and also still in colonial times. These people were fishermen and mariners. I have found several in the site Early Settlers of St. George Maine.Where else can I look? The censuses in those days aren’t very helpful. Thank you so much!!

    1. You might try calling FamilySearch Research Support and seeing how they can help you or you can look at Maine/Massachusetts wiki pages.

  2. Please allow a Download of these updates and tips. As a FH Consultant, I keep my ward update with excerpts from the newsletters. Without a download option, that process is very cumbersome,

    1. Dianna, thanks for your comment. I forwarded your email and comment on and you should be contacted soon regarding downloading this info!