What’s Coming to FamilySearch in 2019

January 4, 2019  - by 

The popular, free genealogy website, FamilySearch.org, has many plans for the new year, including enhanced record search and Family Tree search capabilities, new online discovery experiences, and more!

In addition to over 300 million additional historical records and images for family history discoveries, look for the following new offerings in 2019.

1. Online Interactive Discovery Experiences  

For the first time, fun discovery experiences that have been available only at life-sized, interactive kiosks in select FamilySearch venues will also be available on FamilySearch.org in 2019. Making these three discovery experiences available online will expand the reach of the activities to more patrons globally.

  • All about Me
    Have you ever wondered about the origin and meaning of your name or what events happened the year you were born?  The All about Me experience will allow you to discover these fun things about yourself, and also about your ancestors.
  • Picture My Heritage
    This simple and fun experience lets you insert yourself digitally into traditional clothing related to your heritage. On Picture My Heritage, you can save your custom photos or share them with friends and family.
  • Record My Story
    Priceless stories and memories from you or family members can be recorded on Record My Story and added—by text or audio—to FamilySearch.org or downloaded to another source.

FamilySearch 2019 what's coming: Discovery Experiences

2. Family Tree and Friends, Associates, and Neighbor (FAN) Relationships

The free FamilySearch Family Tree will give users the ability to record other relationships to an ancestor beyond immediate family members, when applicable, such as friends, associates, and neighbors (FAN). This function will aid research by allowing users to record information about other people living in an ancestor’s household as noted in a historical record, such as boarders or staff.

FamilySearch will continue to develop site experiences that enable families to connect with their ancestral homelands near and far. FamilySearch.org will also provide more help throughout the site to make it easier for visitors to accomplish key tasks with fewer detours and distractions.

3. Updated Find Capability

The FamilySearch Family Tree search capacity will be significantly updated to provide faster and better results. Another innovation will allow search engines such as Google to present names and limited facts from the Family Tree to online search queries without the searcher being signed into FamilySearch.org. This feature will enable millions of people searching for their ancestors online to discover the vast, free services FamilySearch offers them.

4. Memories

Millions of people use FamilySearch Memories to record, preserve, and share their family photos, historical documents, and stories. In 2019, users will be able to record audio remembrances related to a photo they have uploaded. Memories will also give users the capability to organize items in an album according to their interests or needs. 

5. RootsTech London 2019

The first international version of the highly successful RootsTech family history conference will be held in London on October 24–26, 2019, at the ExCel London Convention Center.

The RootsTech London 2019 convention will not replace the annual conference in Salt Lake City (held on February 27–March 2, 2019) but will be an additional RootsTech event. Registration for RootsTech London opens in February 2019.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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    1. Tim, this is FamilySearch’s official response regarding recording data on same-sex relationships:

      “The goal of FamilySearch.org is to capture, store, and provide records and an accurate genealogy that represents past, present, and future families of the world. To support this goal, same-sex relationships, including same-sex parents and same-sex couples, will be provided in FamilySearch Family Tree. Several systems that surround Family Tree, such as tree and record searching, must be significantly redesigned to support same-sex relationships before Family Tree can release this capability. We expect to finish this work by 2019. Following this work, the FamilySearch Family Tree application can then allow same-sex information to be recorded. We appreciate your patience and desire to preserve the world’s genealogy in Family Tree.”

      I hope that this helps you! Please don’t hesitate to contact FamilySearch Support if you have any further questions.

  1. It is a nice hobby but for many people too expensive, why not enter unlimited to examine it but the way for the paying simpler and more extensive.

  2. Thanks to all the people who are constantly updating FamilySearch. It is much appreciated. The Ordinances Ready addition is amazing and such a help. I look forward to more amazing things happening on the site in the future!

  3. Thank you! I’ll check it out! All your work is so appreciated. I’m searching for my father’s family not known due to war, postwar confusion and tragedy. I’m finding more every day. I’m trying to decifer what is the truth. You’ve set up amazing parameters. My family had 7+ names and then a street name I would presume. It’s nice to know that dad had a family and people he loved. Just confirming who’s who. Peace!

  4. My grandmother was “farmed out” in late 1800’s. How can I record her birth family info as well as the family that “took her in”? No record of “official” adoption.

    1. Judith,
      Family tree supports adding multiple sets of parents. To do this have your grandmothers profile up and above the current parents, add parent or parents. Then you can record which is biological, adoptive, foster or step by clicking the pencil box next to your grandmothers name. You will see the parents and a drop box to categorize relationships. I hope this helps, my grandmother also was farmed out.

    1. I have had 2 spouses and was able to add them without any problem. And I have 1 child added to 1 of my marriages. I don’t know if your situation is the same though.

  5. Thank you for all these exciting new features. I look forward to using them

    I know that there have been many complaints about errors in Family Tree, but it appears to me that it is very rapidly improving. At least in my part of the tree, I see more and more documentation every day. I also see fewer and fewer changes in the conclusions. I have over 1300 people on my watch list. Every day I have some changes that I have to check out, but, by and large, the users who are working on my part of the tree seem to be approaching a consensus. I just takes patience and persistence.

    1. I have Roku also but have never looked for FamilySearch. Is it on there somewhere? I find many helpful FamilySearch related videos on YouTube.

  6. Why don’t you build a search-by-map feature?

    Its a Google Map control … At the top we enter in our search results …
    Underneath that is a date range indicator where we can adjust a slider for the minimum year to show and the maximum year.
    All of the search results appear on the map.

    We know that our family came to Canada after the American revolution .. but then it scattered to the wind. Being able to do a map search could show us family trees and search results that “hit” in that region .. and can greatly assist with narrowing down our search field.

    You could also integrate another feature where it will show multiple map nodes for a single person, and then connect them with an arrow, showing the chronology. First node is the birth .. then the same Person ID appears on a census in a nearby town . so the arrow directs there .. they show on a later census in another town .. so another arrow leads there .. and then a final arrow goes to their place of death. Can make it very easy to find search results that share a similar movement path ..

  7. As with many things, change is not for the better when it comes to finding in the tree some of your ancestors or related ones spelt differently. Before, you used to put the names of ancestors already in your tree and the computer produced a couple of pages that will include your own names highlighted in light purple so you could go to them straight away and could see similar entries who might be related or no and that was helpfult. Not now!! there area long lists of pages which have nothing to do with the person you are researching bearing in mind they might be on p. 10 etc…. if you have the patience….

  8. I so appreciate the fact that FamilySearch is more concerned with getting the history and relationships of families recorded instead of trying to make money on it. So many people, including myself, have rather colorful and mysterious family histories that wouldn’t be found and recorded if everyone had to pay for all the information that is available. I also love the way FamilySearch allows you to link sources instead of having to type in the address,etc. Another great benefit of your site is that it automatically fills in some missing family members according to information already in the records. Thank you for keeping your site and availability to source information free for those of us who are truly looking to join families together with legitimate source data.

  9. I’m love working with family search but the last few days I haven’t been able to download and print anything off. It tells me I need OneNote? Not sure what I need to do. Any advice.