Explore Your Tree

November 23, 2016  - by 

Family History Simple Start: Explore Your Heritage
Maybe you’ve already logged on to FamilySearch.org and have seen your tree there—screens full of names and dates, perhaps stretching back generations. But chances are there’s a lot more there than a quick glance can take in. Spend some time exploring, and you might gain a new perspective on your family and even find some hidden treasures.

Here are a few ways you can explore your tree:

Expand Your View

If you want to mix things up a little, try some new ways of looking at your old information.

Traditional Tree

This is the view you’re used to seeing. Click and drag your mouse on the screen, or click arrows to show more generations of your family. You can change which person is in the main spot, or root of the tree, by clicking on his or her name and then selecting Tree.

Find out more about your family history with FamilySearch's family tree.

Descendency View

How to find your ancestors on FamilySearch family tree.

Instead of looking toward the past, with the descendency view, you can also look forward from an ancestor. Place the person whose descendency you would like to view in the main spot on the Traditional Tree view, and click the descendency icon to see this person’s descendants instead of his or her ancestors. Clicking an arrow next to a person’s name will extend the generations forward.

How to find your ancestors using the family tree on FamilySearch.

Fan Chart

Learn how you can easily find your ancestors on FamilySearch.

For another view of your family, try clicking the fan icon from that same bar. The fan view displays less information but shows more generations at once.

Explore the family tree on FamilySearch to find your relatives.

Understand the Icons

FamilySearch has a series of icons that can appear beside names on your tree, providing quick information and suggestions. Understanding and using the icons can make your life easier.

Use FamilySearch's tree to find your relatives.

Record Hints. Clicking the little blue squares will bring up documents or information that may mention an ancestor.

Learn more about your family history using FamilySearch.

Research Suggestions. Purple boxes signify research suggestions. Often, they clue you in to ancestors who have no sources attached to their record in Family Tree.

Start your family history work using FamilySearch.

Data Problems. Data problems highlight such things as people married before they were born or children being born after their mother died. Oops!

Enrich your Tree

There are lots of ways to grow your tree besides entering new names and dates. You can add sources or attach photos, stories, audio clips, and documents that can help others connect with the family. Here are two ways to do it.

Attach sources. You can attach sources straight from record hints. Or at the top of a person’s details page, click Sources. Here, you can see sources already associated with your ancestor. Click Add Sources, and follow the prompts to link to sources of your own.

Start your family history work on FamilySearch's family tree.

Make Memories Part of Your Tree. From the bar at the top of a person’s details page, click Memories. Here, you can see photos, documents, stories, or audio clips that have already been attached. Add you own information with the upload button, or select items already in your gallery. Read more about the gallery here.

How to use the family tree on FamilySearch.

So perhaps it’s time you started a family tree investigation. You never know what you might learn!

For additional resources on this and many other topics, please visit the online Help Center.


Try another activity:

Family History Simple Start: Start Your Family Tree
Family History Simple Start: Explore Your Heritage
Family History Simple Start: Discover New Apps
Family History Simple Start: Hints: See What FamilySearch Found
Family History Simple Start: Add a Photo or Audio Story
Family History Simple Start: Search the Site
Family History Simple Start: Use FamilySearch Apps