New Ancestor Discovery Pages Provide a Rich, Engaging Family History Experience

January 11, 2021  - by 
1920 photo of a couple getting married and their family

You can now find some of the best experiences FamilySearch has to offer all gathered in one place—ancestor discovery pages. With FamilySearch’s updated ancestor discovery pages, you can do everything from viewing photos and timelines of your ancestors’ lives to exploring their heritage with fun interactive online activities.

ancestor page screenshot for raymond earl connolly

What Can You Learn from the Ancestor Discovery Pages?

The new ancestor discovery page has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a fun family activity or detailed information about an ancestor’s life.

Below is a quick snapshot of what you may find on an ancestor’s discovery page.

Activities

Try on the traditional clothing your ancestors wore, compare your face to theirs, and view on a map where your ancestors lived.

activities screenshot from the ancestor page

Life Summary

Read a summary your ancestor’s life. If no life summary is available, no worries—you can sign in to FamilySearch.org and add one!

life summary of raymond earl

Time Line

View a time line of your ancestor’s life, including important events such as family birth and death dates and changes in living locations.

family time line for raymond connolly

Photos and Memories

View photos of your ancestor and discover other important mementos from the ancestor’s life, such as audio recordings and uploaded documents.

photos and memories screenshot for ancestor page

Family Names and Name Meanings

Read the meanings behind your ancestor’s first and last names, and learn the names of your ancestor’s parents, siblings, spouse, and children. To learn more about these other family members, simply click the person’s name, and you can view that person’s own personalized ancestor page!

name meaning of connolly last name

Share Your Ancestor’s Page

If you’ve enjoyed viewing your ancestor’s discovery page, don’t hesitate to share it on your social media or with other family members. You don’t need a FamilySearch account to view ancestor discovery pages, which makes it that much easier for others to view all the exciting information you found on the page!

To share the page, just click one or more of the social media icons found either on the top right of the page or again at the bottom of the page.

screenshot of share icons on ancestor page

How to Find Your Ancestor’s Discovery Page

You may be able to find your ancestor’s discovery page by simply typing the person’s name, birthday (or another vital date), and ‘FamilySearch’ into your web browser. The ancestor’s discovery page will likely pop up in the top search results.

You can also find your ancestor’s page by visiting Ancestors.FamilySearch.org, and then scrolling down the page and clicking Browse Surname Directory. From there, you can find your ancestors’ names by selecting the letter the last name starts with and then clicking the name group that the first and last name would fall under alphabetically.

how to find your ancestors in the family tree screenshot

You don’t need a FamilySearch account to view ancestor discovery pages. However, with a FamilySearch account, you can add photos, sources, a life summary, and other rich information to ancestor discovery pages. Create your free FamilySearch account today.

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Comments

  1. Clicking on the link at the top of the article “Explore Your Ancestor’s Discovery Page” goes to the FamilySearch sign-in page with an option to create a new account. However, if an attempt is made to sign-in with an existing account, it loops back to the same sign-in page without going into FamilySearch. A manual attempt to type in “Ancestors.familysearch.org” responds the same way. I then logged into FamilySearch in a clean browswer (all cookies deleted) and while FamilySearch was open I tried it again hoping the sign-in cookies would permit me to see the Ancestors page. No change. Attempted all of the above on both latest Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers. WAY down at the bottom if a person goes that far they will learn that they can search the surnames without an account, but the suggestion is that they can go directly into FamilySearch either with a log-in or creating a new account right from the screen that shows up at the top of the article (“Explore Your Ancestor’s Discovery Page” link).

    1. Hi Chris! Thank you for your feedback. It has been shared with the team over this project to help in fixing the looping error. In the meantime, you can search your Ancestors via the Browse Surname Directory. Thank you for reading the blog!

  2. I went to ancestors.familysearch.org and is says create a free account or already have an account,? Sign In. I try to Sign In with my account and it won’t let me sign in. It just circles back to the same home page.

    1. Hi Clytee! Thank you for your feedback. It has been shared with the team over this project to help in fixing the looping error. In the meantime, you can search your Ancestors via the Browse Surname Directory. Thank you for reading the blog!

  3. I lost the page, you gave me about my ancestors….At the top, it was Mary’s ????? I had it about 20 minutes….. Please help, I hope you can find it….. Thank you over and Over again . Faith Beatty

    1. Hi Dora! Thank you for your feedback. It has been shared with the team over this project to help in fixing the looping error. In the meantime, you can search your Ancestors via the Browse Surname Directory. Thank you for reading the blog!

  4. There has got to be a better way to search for your ancestor. I want to send this out to my ward but it is very difficult to find an ancestor. You have to dig through multiple pages to find your ancestor. Is there an easier way?

    1. Hi Jeff! Thank you for your question. The easiest way to go directly to a person at this point is to simply append the PID of the desired person on the end of the URL, like this: https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LV8N-HTR/ Another strategy is to type the name of the ancestor with some vital information into Google and do a Google search. Like this: Thomas Wasden FamilySearch 1821

      1. Thanks Amy. Your suggestion is helpful. Hopefully someone can design a drop down search to find your ancestors.

  5. Ugh. I recently cleared out 15,000+ emails and I didn’t save the recent email about Famous Relatives. I don’t have the brain power to spend more than the 38 minutes I’ve been searching. Can you help me PLEASE!! 🙂

  6. browse surname directory?? ya gotta be kidding. Walb has no listings wald yes. are you sure this site acceses all ALL of the entrys into the Family Tree? I’m already disillusioned please further explanations would help.

    1. Hi Charles! Thank you for your question. The easiest way to go directly to a person at this point is to simply append the PID of the desired person on the end of the URL, like this: https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LV8N-HTR/ Another strategy is to type the name of the ancestor with some vital information into Google and do a Google search. Like this: Thomas Wasden FamilySearch 1821

  7. I looked up my Grandfather and found his Discovery Page right away. It is awesome! Thank you so much for all you’ve done to help us connect with our ancestors. I am excited to look for other family members. I went to the page with the country flags. Do the percentages shown on the flags indicate the percentage of family members in my tree from that country?

  8. It would be appreciated if the Ancestor Discovery Page could be linked in the ancestor’s FamilySearch profile so you can access it from within your Family Tree.

    1. Hi Joel! Thank you for your feedback. Currently, the easiest way to go directly to a person at this point is to simply append the PID of the desired person on the end of the URL, like this: https://ancestors.familysearch.org/en/LV8N-HTR/ Another strategy is to type the name of the ancestor with some vital information into Google and do a Google search. Like this: Thomas Wasden FamilySearch 1821