New Event Date Format on a Person’s Search Form

December 4, 2013  - by 

When you are searching for a person in Family Tree, you can now specify a date range (From – To), as opposed to using one specific date. Using a date range allows you to see a larger set of possible matches. The date range is especially useful when you are not sure of the exact date in which an event took place for an individual. This change in format also makes the search experience consistent with the record search feature of the FamilySearch search page.



Discover Your Ancestors











Family Tree used to let users type in exact dates with day and month. It even suggested the proper standardized form for dates. However, the search engine is currently built to search using only by year. The additional data is not actually used when processing a search request.

This new date search format makes it clear that the system is searching on a specific year or on a range of years for a given event. It also gives the user complete control to what year range their search will cover. This will be a great enhancement for those who have very common names, such as Asian users or those from patronymic societies. These researchers will now be able to be very precise in specifying the year range of the results they get back.

In the future FamilySearch will allow users to search using days and months. However, at this time, we cannot estimate a time frame for this enhancement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Like my great -great grand father,all I have is his date of birth and date of death,no dates of his mother parents,,nor father date ,the same inform.I need all ,so I can progress on with my family line.
    Walter H. Balmer ,Jr

  2. I’m not sure why we are not allowed to restrict searches by multiple events in the Family Tree search, but at least this looks like progress. Thanks! Patience right?

  3. Seems the search capabilities differ depending on available input data. I do like having the ability to do a date range search but now I am required to go back and type in the full birth date after just typing in the year. When in-putting the death information sometimes I forget to go back and type in the full birth date. Seems like double work.

  4. I think both options should be a possibility, for if you do know a date , you won’t get everything else, you don’t need and that has nothing to do with your family also.

    1. I so agree with you. It’s frustrating now not to be able to search for a specific date. It would be so nice to have the option to search either by range or specific dates.

          1. Totally agree about being able to narrow searches by exact date. I think this is a step backward to only allow a range. Definitely need the option for exact dates.

    1. Changing the birth date to a range of dates has tripled my work load as I have several thousand individuals whose birth dates I know. With the change, I must now enter only the year twice, then came back and enter the full exact date for each individual.

      Why not first allow a single date to be entered, then search the data base two years before and after the exact or estimated date entered?

  5. When doing a search from within an individual page, does the system take all the information the system has on this individual and search accordingly or do we have to create the information?

  6. The problem I am having with the date range: too many non results, which usually means I am adding more people without merges. I personally would like to have both options. Using either the date range or the actual date.

  7. The date range is fine, but when adding persons to FamilyTree an exact date is usually known. It would be good to be able to enter an exact date if known. That way maybe the search engine would find the matches that it is not now finding.

    There is a serious problem with the search engine used when entering people into FamilyTree. It does not find the matches that are already in FamilyTree. After months of research on a difficult family, then finally putting them into the temple list, THEN I find out they were all already in FamilyTree. Is there some way that you could use the same search engine in the “Add or Find a Person” screen that you use in the “Reserve Temple Ordinances” Screen? Or at the very least use a search engine that has the same power to find matches.

  8. So, any idea when this feature will be refined? I’m searching for a Swedish ancestor by first name because I don’t have a maiden name to go on. I have an exact date of birth, but I’m forced to scan all 4000 matches. It’s frustrating to dig through so many records I know I don’t need, and which a computer should be able to remove from my search.