Calendar of Ancestral Moments

February 27, 2018  - by 

Find important dates for your ancestors.

We often learn about and celebrate history by commemorating important dates throughout the year. Websites like This Day in History or even radio news programs remind us of important events that happened on this same date in the past. For example, you might learn that 100 years ago on this date, a well-known book was published or an influential politician died.

Now, a new FamilySearch tool personalizes dates in history for you. The Calendar of Ancestral Moments lets you see what important events happened in your family history on particular calendar dates. This provides a new way for you to connect with your ancestors.

Your Family in History

To get started, simply visit, and log in to your FamilySearch Account. Your ancestor calendar should appear. Starting at the beginning of the year, the calendar finds events from your ancestors’ lives for each calendar date. For example, my grandmother Wynona Nye Mecham was born March 29, 1923. On my calendar, I see a tag like the one below for March 29.

Important dates in your family history

Quick links on the calendar help me learn more about my ancestors. If I click View Relationship, I am shown the direct link from me back to my grandmother. If I click her name, I see a summary of her basic vital information, such as birth and death dates and places, sources, and memories that are attached to her. If I click the Tree or Person icons at the bottom of the box, I am able to see even more information.

Get updates about your important family history dates on Facebook
Connecting with Facebook

Although you can access your ancestor calendar on your computer, the best way to take advantage of this tool is to follow the prompt to “Get Updates on Facebook.” Once you’ve clicked this, you’ll receive messages through Facebook Messenger reminding you of important dates on your family tree.

Receive messages from FamilySearch on Facebook about important dates from your family history.
For example, a message might let you know that your great-great-grandfather was born on this day or that your grandparents married on this day. You can click the links in these messages to learn more about your ancestors.

After you’ve signed up, Facebook Messenger will send a notification each day that you have an ancestor event on your calendar (with the exception of death dates, which are not sent to you through Facebook Messenger). These little reminders will help you keep your ancestors in mind and connect with them in small, easy ways.

Using the Information

So what can you do with the information you learn about your ancestors? Here are some fun ideas to try:

  • When you get a Facebook message about an ancestor, take a moment to learn more about that ancestor. See if any records or stories are attached. Share something that you learn with your family.
  • Glance over your entire calendar to see if any ancestors share important dates with your family now. Perhaps your ancestors married on your anniversary or share a birthday with one of your children. Point these out to your family members to build connections.
  • For families with small children, choose an ancestor of the month—perhaps someone who has a birthday that month. You could have a party for him or her that includes singing “Happy Birthday,” eating a treat, and sharing a story about his or her life.

Now that you’ve discovered this new way to connect with your family, don’t keep it a secret. Share the Calendar of Ancestral Moments with your friends and family, and encourage them to give it a try.


Leslie Albrecht Huber

Leslie Albrecht Huber has written for dozens of magazines and journals on genealogy and other topics. She currently does communications consulting and contract work for nonprofit organizations. Leslie received a bachelor's degree in history from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked as a professional genealogist, helpingothers trace their families, and has spoken on genealogy and history topics to groups across the United States.

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    1. Thomas, it’s really a great tool. I’ve enjoyed doing this manually for years, so it will save me lots of time. I hope you are doing well.

  1. What I like is the A few months ago, I bought a roll of paper(36”x 50’ as I recall) at Staples for $6.50 plus tax. Cheap. I have used it to make a timeline. (If you want to do this, tape up a strip about 8-10’ long. Tape it to any wide wall. Draw a horizontal line dividing the paper in half. Then add dates starting at the right end. I started with my birth year and every inch for each ten years. On the upper half is events of history; the lower half is for my ancestors.) The point here that this new calendar app of ancestors is PERFECT for adding birth dates and marriage dates, etc to my timeline. Thank you This app will make my timeline so much easier!

  2. Is it printable? It would be appreciated if it could be printable or exportable to a file. Hard to use as an image.

  3. This is a great feature. I love getting these Ancestor Highlights in my Facebook Messenger. Helps me to stop for a minute and reflect on that ancestor and my connection to them.

  4. I really love these Ancestor Highlights. I’d had a couple of them like the one today that is my Great Grandfather’s birthday and in the “More” about him says he had 0 children – when he actually had 4. He was married twice and had 0 children by his 2nd wife. I even checked my tree to make sure I had his 1st wife checked as the “preferred” spouse which I did. A little glitch that would be great to have fixed.

  5. Does it only show direct line ancesters?
    It’s a really cool idea, but I’d like to see it applied to everyone in my tree.

  6. When I click the links to get messages from messanger it just takes me to the app store. I already have messanger installed, so I click open and it doesn’t seem to have connected anything. Is there a special trick to getting your account to connect?

  7. Great idea, but can you add a link to FamilySearch somewhere so that I don’t have to bookmark the URL or Google “familysearch calendar” or something similar? It’d be so much easier to get to.

  8. Great tool. However it would be more useful if it could be printed out, or used with other calendars. Not everyone is a Facebook user, or wants to log into a computer to look at some information. Not everyone enjoys being ‘notified’ about everything single thing that is happening.

  9. I love this feature. I know there are others who have special dates that are not listed. Does this just cover the first 4 or 5 generations? I would love to see ALL special dates of my direct line. Also, it would be nice to be able to switch over and quickly see my spouse’s ancestral information, because I feel that they are as much a part of my family’s history, too.

  10. How do I turn off the Ancestoral Calendar message notification feature on my account? I don’t wish to receive these notifications. Thank you for your help. DIane

  11. Got notification today (January 10, 2020) that Facebook Messenger will no longer support this feature, “Facebook will no longer allow FamilySearch to use Facebook Messenger to send subscription-based notifications.” The only notifications will now be through the web site’s messenger system. I love receiving these push notifications, since I don’t often go to the main web site. Is there any other way to get ancestral moments push notifications on my phone?