Cool Features on the Family Tree App

February 4, 2019  - by 
Dad and son looking at their family tree in the family tree app.

Have you tried using the Family Tree app to learn about your family or to take a family name to the temple? The mobile app has some features you may not have seen yet–and they give you a powerful way to connect with your family.

With the Family Tree app, you can search for ancestors and learn about their life experiences wherever you happen to be–at home or on the go. You can find out if you’re related to your ministering brothers and sisters, your neighbors, ward members, and anyone with a FamilySearch tree!

FamilySearch Tree app

Download the FamilySearch Family Tree App

FamilySearch Tree app

With the Click of a Button, Find Ordinances That Are Ready

Doing ordinance work for your own ancestors is a special experience, but finding family ordinances that are ready for the temple can sometimes be overwhelming. Now, members of the Church can retrieve temple-ready ordinances with a tap of the finger using the Ordinances Ready feature. Learn more…

Find Out How You Are Related to Someone Nearby

Have you ever wondered how you are related to someone you’ve met? The Relatives Around Me feature in the Family Tree app is a great get-to-know-you tool, as Eric Nielson discovered at church this past week. He and others all signed in to the Family Tree app, and three of them discovered they were related to one another, although distantly. About finding his new cousins, Eric said, “I feel it brings that ‘small world’ feeling to my ward and friends. It provides a nice bonding experience and gives a closer sense of being brothers and sisters.” Learn more…

Quickly Look at Record Hints

FamilySearch record hints can help you find out more about your family, verify important information, and discover sources that open doors for temple work. With the Family Tree app, you can look at record hints wherever you happen to be, quickly compare records with an ancestor’s profile, and attach the records as a source–all in a matter of minutes! Learn more…

See What the Family Tree Knows about an Ancestor

Did you know you can simply open the Family Tree app and search for an ancestor without ever signing in? Find a relative, learn about your family name, and see what else the FamilySearch Family Tree can tell you with the updated search tool on the Family Tree app. This search also makes it easy to use the app as a ministering tool! Learn more…

See Your Ancestors on a World Map

Track your ancestors around the globe to see where they were born, where they lived, and even where they were buried. With the Family Tree app, you can follow your ancestors’ life events using this interactive map. The Map My Ancestor tool is powerful enough to show you specific regions and cities where your ancestor visited, so long as that information is added to the FamilySearch tree. Learn more…

With so many features available to people using the FamilySearch Family Tree app, there is sure to be something that will interest people of all ages. Download the app, and give it a try! You can find it in the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Need Help Navigating the Family Tree App?—Here Are Some Quick Tips

If you’re having trouble finding features on the mobile app, don’t fret! Here are some quick directions for how to use each of the features we mentioned above.

How to Find Ordinances with the Click of a Button

Ordinances Ready searches the FamilySearch Family Tree, as well as temple reservation and shared lists, to find available ordinances for people you are related to. It also does simple checks for accuracy and verifies that you have permission to perform the ordinances.

To use Ordinances Ready on an iOS device, tap the temple icon at the bottom of your screen. On Android, go to the 3-bar menu, and tap Temple. From there, all you have to do is tap the green button to get started!

Ordinances ready how-to

Ordinances Ready on iOS

ordinances ready on ios

Ordinances Ready on Android

If you do not have relatives with available ordinances, the Ordinances Ready search will expand to include ordinances that others have submitted to the temple. This allows everyone the opportunity to help those who are awaiting ordinances beyond the veil, and lets you see their name and other details in the Family Tree app.

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

How to See If You Are Related to Someone Nearby

To use the Relatives around Me feature, everyone participating must sign in to the app and be within approximately 100 feet of each other. Those with an iOS device can tap on the word More at the bottom of their screen and then choose the option Relatives around Me. On an Android device, you can find the Relatives around Me tool under the 3-bar options button.

relative finder on ios

Relatives Around Me on iOS

ordinances ready on ios

Relatives Around Me on Android

Be sure that everyone participating taps the green button to start scanning and has location services turned on for their device so the app knows you are close in proximity.

Anyone using the tool within range will show up in a list on your mobile device. Selecting a person’s name will bring up a pedigree chart showing how you are related to them. You can use this tool with any number of people, whether you are with a friend, at a ward activity, or even just meeting someone for the first time.

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

How to Look at Record Hints

FamilySearch regularly compares your ancestors’ profile information with old and new records to see if there are any possible matches. These possible matches show up as record hints that can help you find records without filling out search forms or looking through record collections.

To see these hints on an iOS device, tap Tasks at the bottom of your screen. For Android, tap the 3-bar menu, and then tap Ancestors with Tasks. This feature will show you a list of relatives. Tap on any relative that has a blue record icon to see a possible record match.

The record matches shown might help you discover something new about your family or confirm information already in your tree. To find out, pick a record to explore, and tap the down arrow. You can read the record’s basic information there, or scroll down and tap the green button to compare the record to your ancestor’s profile.

As you are comparing information, notice the clickable icons and links. These icons and links help you see more information, attach this record to someone in your tree, and quickly add information to the family tree. (Click here to learn more about attaching and reviewing records.)

Ancestors with tasks on ios

Record Hints on iOS

Ancestors with tasks on android

Record Hints on Android

Quick tip: Have you ever wanted to use multiple screens in the Family Tree app? Now you can! Read more here.

As more and more records are made available online, record hints can help you find newly added records without the hassle of repeated searching. The mobile app can help you make discoveries whenever you decide to pull out your device and take a look.

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

See What the Family Tree Knows about an Ancestor—without Signing In

Open the Family Tree app to the signed-out screen, and tap the green button that says Search for an Ancestor. Enter information about one of your relatives, and then tap Search.

logged out ios screen

Logged out iOS Homescreen

logged out android screen

Logged out Android Homescreen

FamilySearch will find records, photos, and more that might match your ancestor. Even if you don’t know specific details about a relative, try putting a last name into this simple search, and see what happens! Watch your friends’ faces light up when they find more information about their family.

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

How to Find a Relative While Signed In

Open the Family Tree app, sign in, and tap the search icon in the top right area of your screen. Enter at least your ancestor’s last name—the more details you add, the better! Then tap Find. This search is an easy way to learn about your family’s last name, quickly update a relative’s information, or find a relative and learn more about the family.

Using this feature on the FamilySearch Family Tree app can help you have a deeper connection to family, anywhere and anytime.

signed out ios screen

Find a Person on iOS

signed out android screen

Find a Person on Android

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

How to See Your Ancestors on a World Map

To see your ancestors’ life events on a world map, open the Family Tree app, and tap More on an iOS device or the 3-bar menu on an Android device. Then tap Map My Ancestors. A world map will appear with blue bubbles showing numbers of events that happened in a particular location or profile images of your ancestors. Tap any of the bubbles, or use two fingers to zoom in and out, and let the fun begin!

ancestors on the world map in ios

Map My Ancestors on iOS

Ancestors on the world map on android

Map My Ancestors on Android

Back to reading about the Family Tree app…

Amie Tennant

Amie Bowser Tennant is a genealogy researcher, writer and presenter.She writes blog articles and other content for many top companies and societies in the genealogy field. Her most treasured experience is working as a consultant for family history. Amie lives with her husband and three children in Ohio, surrounded by many of her extended family.

Latest posts by Amie Tennant (see all)

Leave a Reply

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


  1. There are two issues here.

    1. It will show only ones same sex as I am. (I’m male and I get only males, no females to give to friends to do for me)

    2. It pulls up the ones that are already printed and has nerve to ask me to print them AGAIN,

    Because of these issues, I uninstalled from my mobile in no time.

    1. oh by the way, I am only convert in my family going back 4 generations on my father’s side and first one on my mother’s side so this app is not useful or cool.

      1. David,

        Some temples have a card file and allow its use for stake members to share cards they’ve printed. When we went to Utah temples my wife and I discovered some temples don’t have such a card file and discourage sharing cards inside the temple so they can get work done. The new Ordinances Ready feature has helped us get around some of those problems by allowing us to work with my children to do some of the temple work for ancestors’ names I’ve already cleared.

        So sorry you have no other family with whom you can share names like that (I get my daughters to do the females). However, have you considered asking other ward members to help. You could share with them some of those cards you already have printed. And, even though you have no immediate family, perhaps some ward members are related to the same line or similar surname (in same geographic area and time) as your ancestors. If so, FamilySearch Family Tree allows them to do work for people with their ancestral surnames even though they may not be able to prove a relationship. You could print cards and share with them.

        Last, when you have work ready for the temple and instead of reserving their names for yourself click “Share with temple” instead, those ancestors are then available at your local temple for anyone related to them in any way when they also use Ordinances Ready. On family temple days, my adult children, my grandchildren, and I have found a wealth of names for temple work no matter who cleared the ancestors name. Many of the names of distant relatives and their descendants came up in the available list with the note “shared with temple” by someone we know not who. Hope this helps.


        1. Ron — I’m sure you meant well with your comment to David, but this is the type of advice one always gets from church members who have family members to help them with temple work. You have no idea what it’s like to NOT have family member help with temple ordinances, especially with the male endowments. I am a convert with no immediate family members to help me with ordinances. I’ve also served as a Family History consultant, so I’ve worked with lots of people who have no help for opposite-sex ordinances. It’s usually not too difficult to get help from female Ward members in doing ordinances. But getting male endowments done is VERY difficult. Most men have full-time jobs and the little free time they have goes to family, household chores, church callings, relaxation and then perhaps some temple work. I’ve tried every method possible to recruit help for myself and for other women in the Ward. We’ve passed cards around in Elder’s Quorum, we’ve had the Elder’s Quorum President make announcements and issue pleas for help, we’ve asked ministering brothers to make a special effort, we’ve asked the sisters to ask their husbands and adult sons for help, we’ve organized temple days and staffed the desk in the Recorder’s Office for hours on end so that they could give out cards at both Ward and Stake Temple Days. And what is the result of all these efforts? Very little. We might only give out one or two cards at a Ward or even a Stake Temple Day. Passing around a binder with cards in Elder’s Quorum on Sunday can take place again and again with NO cards being taken. The problem isn’t that we aren’t asking the Ward for help. The problem is that very few people are responding to requests. The problem is that very few people WANT to help. The problem is that church leaders aren’t hearing the pleas of the sisters for help. I’ve talked to my Bishop, Elder’s Quorum Presidency, Stake leaders, including the Stake Family History Leader, the Area Authority, the temple Recorder, and everyone else who would listen. I even know of women who got the schedule for the missionary temple days and then waylaid the missionaries at the temple in order to beg them to take a temple card. I’ve half seriously thought about standing at the entrance to the parking lot of the temple to ask people as they drive onto the grounds to take a card, but that seemed a little over the top. No one listens. Everyone gives the same useless advice. These new features that have been developed for Family Search, such as the “Ordinances Ready” tab, have been great for most people but they have been a disaster for the sisters who need help getting male endowments done. It was always hard. Now it’s nearly impossible because people just pop out a card at home and take it to the temple. So, although it was nice of you to respond to David and try to offer a suggestion, you should know that what you suggested is the same ineffective advice that everyone suggests, and it doesn’t solve the problem. The only thing that will solve the problem is for more men to be willing to help the sisters in the Ward who need help, and I don’t know how to make that happen. I’ve tried everything I know, and nothing helps. We can get lots of help with baptisms, initiatories and sealings, but getting male endowments done is the challenge. I don’t feel like anyone listens on this subject. It’s very demoralizing to have to beg and beg and beg for people to help you. How would you feel if you had to beg and beg and beg your bishop for help with something?
          You would feel discouraged, unimportant, insignificant, invisible.
          That’s how it feels when you have to beg and beg and beg for someone to help you with temple ordinances. We sisters are not asking someone to sweat their guts out repairing a roof or to get all greasy and dirty making a car repair. We’re asking for someone to be willing to go sit in a comfortable chair in a climate-controlled room in the temple where they can relax and feel the Spirit doing something they’re supposed to do anyway. Is that too much to ask? Maybe you will carry this message further up the ladder. I would like to think that someone cares about this problem. I’m exhausted trying to make this point.

  2. The Ordinances Ready feature is a potentially wonderful tool. Just PLEASE check sources and data to confirm that each person named is really the correct ancestor so that sacred ordinances are not performed for the wrong people. Some of those names have come from people that are perhaps new to family history research, and have identified the wrong people, such as my great uncle who had someone by the exact same name, born only 4 days apart, living just blocks away in a related city, identified as my relative. It was the wrong person. Fortunately, my grandfather’s brother was subsequently properly researched, sourced, and corrected, and the proper ordinance can now be done for him to seal him into our family. That is more common than many realize. As one area temple and family history consultant put it with respect to the Ordinances Ready feature, “Prove it!” (first).

  3. My experience with Ordinances Ready has been too many duplicates that I easily found and names with no sources. I never do ordinances for anyone without at least one source so I know the person really existed. People in my stake are running to the temple with the Ordinance Ready names. I’m trying to get them to slow down and research.

    1. I loved this comment. So many refer to ordinances as “taking a name to the Temple” although this has its accuracy, these are people who lived on earth, not just a name. They deserve to be sourced and cited so we can know them better -and-
      One of the original purposes of FS was to avoid duplication. I see that still, one of the greatest challenges with this application is the haste in which it is used via the merge feature and nothing has been done to protect legit work in the name of ‘collaboration’. We should re-think that.

  4. Thank you for the articles. It was a big help to me when I gave my sacrament talk on Temples and Family History. Appreciate the data and I look into it to see it’s effectiveness and share it. Have a good day.

  5. I love the Family Tree App! I use it 99% of the time to do all my research on my iPad or iPhone. I don’t have a need to use ordinance ready because I have plenty of names for ordinance work, however, I think it’s a great start for the beginner! I was under the impression that it made sure it didn’t send duplicates, however, we still teach to double check. We also teach to try and make sure there are 1 but better if 2 sources. I agree with the sister who said that checking that there was proof that the person existed is important. I use this app while traveling on the road, waiting in the doctors office, just about anywhere, lol.

  6. I have found that Ordinance Ready is only as accurate as my tree… and my tree is full of mistakes, so I am very careful to check for sources, family relationships and dates. Of the 5 I have checked, 3 have been duplicates. I spend time trying to clean up my tree… merging duplicates, sourcing and adding found information.

  7. I have a concern. It seems like some of these new streamlined methods of obtaining or finding family name seem to preclude us from getting to something about the people whose names we are taking to the temple to conduct ordinance work. It seems like learning about these people is what motivates me to keep doing this type of work.

  8. Map My Ancestors – only available on iOS and Android devices, not desk/laptops? Little screens and keys are a pain for us older patrons, and those I try to help. // Why isn’t my typing in the messag blocks below showing up until I press Tab???

  9. I have forgotten how to use family Search or Tree in “practice mode”; meaning the information inputted does not actually get saved. Great tool for teaching youngsters and new members or investigators. Thankx!

    1. If “practice mode” is a really a thing, I’d like to know about how to activate that setting cause that would AMAZING.

  10. I am not tech savvy when it comes to using cell phones, and this article frustrated me very much. Is it possible for me to do the same thing using my computer at home? My cell phone only has 16gb and I cant add another ap thus being prevented from doing the above.

    1. Yes, you can use all of these features on a desktop computer except the “Relatives Around Me” feature. All the other features can be found in the timeline. Hope this helps!