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.

Recents

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.

Find

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.

Merge

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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Comments

  1. I find it helpful to use the Person ID when referring to persons in the FamilyTree who have the same name and similar data that are not duplicates and should not be merged. I use the PID, along with the name to explain why they are separate persons and should not be merged in Reason Statements. I can’t count the times I have had to Restore incorrectly merged persons.