How to Use FamilySearch Person IDs

June 21, 2019  - by 

While exploring your family tree, you may have noticed a combination of letters and numbers below each family member’s name.

These are person identification numbers (ID), and understanding what they are and how you can use them can be a great asset to you as you do your family history!

What Is a Person ID, and Where Can I Find It?

Each person in the FamilySearch Family Tree has an assigned person ID, which appears as a series of letters and numbers. These person IDs are unique to each deceased person.

You can find the identification number below a person’s name in your family tree or in the header of the person page.

Person IDs in the Family Tree

How Can I Use a Person ID?

Copying the Person ID

It can be helpful to know the person ID of an ancestor, especially if you plan on returning to that person’s information (more on this later). To quickly copy a person ID, follow these steps:

1. Click or tap the person ID, which you can find below the person’s name in the family tree or on an ancestor’s person page.

2. A pop-up window will appear that says “Copy ID.” To copy the person ID, click this link.

A screenshot of the Copy ID feature

3. Paste the ID number into a document or wherever you keep a record of person IDs.


You can use the Recents feature in Family Tree and an ancestor’s person ID to quickly return to an ancestor’s page. It only takes a few simple steps.

A screenshot of the Recents feature in the family tree.

1. On your family tree, click or tap the Recents tab on the top left side of the screen.

2. A drop-down menu will appear and give you the option to type or paste in a family member’s name or a person ID. Enter the person’s ID.

3. Click Go. If the ID number is correct, that ancestor’s page will open.


If you already know the person ID of a specific family member, you can also use the person ID to find the person’s page:

1. Tap or hover over Family Tree at the top left side of the screen, and select Find from the menu options.

2. Tap or click Find by ID, and enter the person’s ID number in the field provided. Then click Find. The name of the person who has been assigned that specific ID will appear on the next screen.

A screenshot of the find by ID feature on Family Tree.

3. From this screen, you have the option of clicking any of the hyperlinked names, which will then take you to that ancestor’s page.

The results page of a Find by ID search.


Sometimes, instead of relying on the Possible Duplicates tool, you can use a person ID to merge duplicate people in the tree. To do this, you will use the Merge by ID option from the Tools section on the right of the person page.

A screenshot of the Merge by ID feature on the person page.

1. Copy or write down the person ID of the record that you don’t want to keep.

2. From the person page of the more correct record, scroll down, and in the menu options on the right, click or tap Merge by ID in the Tools section.

3. In the field provided, enter the person ID number you copied or wrote down. Again, this is the person ID of the record that had the least accurate information. Click or tap Continue.

Merge by ID screenshot.

4. At this point, you will see the profiles from both records side by side so you can compare the two, and copy over any information you wish to keep. Review all information.

5. Once you have reviewed both profiles thoroughly, click or tap Continue Merge at the bottom of the screen.

6. You will be prompted to explain the reason you believe these two records should be merged. When you have entered your reason statement, click or tap Finish Merge.

7. You have now completed the process of merging a duplicate person by person ID.

Explore Your Tree

Now that you know what person IDs are and what they can help you do, visit your family tree and find ways to put your ID knowledge to use!

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.

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    1. Walter, good question! When two IDs are merged, one remains in Family Tree and the other is archived. If for some reason in the future you decide you want to undo that merge, the old ID will be restored.

      1. May I add that the old ID is still able to be found, it is just marked as deleted. The new ID is also shown on the deleted person’s change history.

            1. Have you been entering in these ID’s with lowercase letters? With various updates over the last year or so, the person ID format has become stricter. It must be in all caps and have the dash (like you see it on the various pages) in order for the system to find it. Hope this is useful!

  1. I want to open and start working on my ancestry. I need help selecting s new password and ID since I haven’t used Family search for a long period of time!

  2. I’ve had a problem with a data contributor who enters the PID# in the name data field, creating a new individual with same vital record data, and a new PID#

  3. Person ID is a very useful field for collaboration with others & provides a permanent ID in family tree programs (as opposed to the temporary ones usually provided by the software). I always create pages for people in my trees, then enter Person ID in the Per ID field in FamilyTree Maker, FamilySearch ID in Legacy and Ref # in RootsMagic

  4. What happens to a person’s ID after they are merged with someone else? If you search by ID do both ID’s take you to the same person now or is one of the ID’s used for a new person?

    1. When two IDs are merged, one remains in Family Tree and the other is archived. If you want to undo that merge, the old ID will be restored.

      1. Let me rephrase my question. Can I search for a person using the old merged ID and find them under the new ID? Or, will it return not found?

  5. Thank you for helping with the complicated merging process and how to work with the number letter system of identification. very helpful. I would like to merge persons but keep the original information, do I reject or replace? that is a confusing choice as I want to merge them bur not take on the redundant information.

    1. You would replace this information. If you want some more information, here is another article from our help tab on how to merge correctly, it talks about your question!

  6. Thank you and all of FAMILY SEARCH for the help and information you provide. All has been very helpful to me in my research that I have wanted to do for40 years and at 80 my favorite expression is “I have gone to look for my Great Grandmother. Thank you. Peggy J. Mc Reed

  7. This is a great help for those of us who have no clue . . .
    I like this site the very best of all paid/unpaid sites because I believe it is the most accurate and reliable.
    I am not a member of your religion but grew up in Cardston/Fort Macleod, Alberta.