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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Latest posts by Amie Tennant (see all)
- The Scottish Kilt - October 2, 2019
- African American Slave Narratives Collected by the WPA - September 10, 2019
- Finding Family History in Freedmen’s Bureau Records - July 20, 2019