FamilySearch Person Pages: Summaries of Your Ancestors’ Lives

June 12, 2019  - by 
a family works together at a computer.

FamilySearch.org is home to the world’s largest online family tree, and it contains records for over one billion people. Discover more about your own relatives—or add to what is already known about them—by exploring their individual pages.

What Is a FamilySearch Person Page?

A person page is a summary of all known biographical and genealogical information about one person. Pages for deceased persons are public and can be viewed or altered by anyone; however, the pages of living people are private to the user who created them.

Public person pages are a wealth of collaborative knowledge for a person’s descendants. FamilySearch users add what they know, attach historical records as evidence, and connect these pages to the pages of that person’s parents, spouses, siblings, and children.

For example, let’s say that a descendant created a person page for her second-great-grandfather Charles William Dalby Clark, but only knew his name and christening details. Later on, another descendant found this page, uploaded a photo, and connected William to his spouse, Elizabeth Warrick. A third person entered death data transcribed from a tombstone and created person pages for several of their children.

As FamilySearch users pool their knowledge, these pages reveal the stories of our ancestors’ lives and their family relationships. This collaborative effort helps everyone share, discover, and preserve their interconnected family history.

How to Find a Relative’s Person Page

The FamilySearch Family Tree doesn’t contain person pages for every deceased person, but it’s worth searching the more than 1.2 billion person pages that have been created.

If you are already connected to the FamilySearch Family Tree, you may find a relative in the tree view. Sign in with your free user account, and choose the Tree tab. Then navigate through your ancestry until you know where your relative’s information should be. If you find the person’s name, click it, then click Person to go to the page about that person.

A man researches on his ipad.

If you can’t easily find a certain relative in the tree, or you’re not yet connected to someone in the tree, you may also run a search for existing person pages. In the menu at the top of the page, click Family Tree, and then click Find. In the search boxes, enter what you know about the person. Then click Find.

You may see multiple search results for person pages with information similar to what you entered. Carefully review potential matches . It’s possible that more than one person page has been created for your relative. (If you are confident that there are duplicates, you may merge the pages). It’s also possible that a page has not been created for your relative. If that’s the case, you may want to add one.

What You Can Do on a FamilySearch Person Page

Your deceased relatives’ person pages are your portal to learning more about them and to contributing what you may know. The top part of a person page looks like this:

an example of a familysearch person page, with numbers showing different parts of the page.
  1. In the name banner, you can do the following:
    • Add or change the portrait photo.
    • View the full name and birth and death dates (if known).
    • See the unique person ID attached to this person’s page.
  2. On the right side of the banner, you can click to view the person within the tree, choose to watch this page for updates, and see how you’re related to this person.
  3. The details view appears when you first open a person page.
    • Open the Life Sketch section to see if someone has written a sketch (or to write one yourself).
    • In the Vitals section, view or edit the person’s name, sex, and birth and death details.
    • Open the Other Information section to see additional details, such as where the person lived.
    • Along the right side, you may see research help suggestions to guide your next discoveries. Below these, you can search for records on FamilySearch.org and other websites.
    • The Latest Changes section summarizes updates to this person page by other FamilySearch users.
  4. Below the banner, four additional tabs give you opportunities to discover or add more information about this person’s life:
    • Time Line—See how this person’s life unfolded chronologically, or view the person’s movements on a map. Use this view to write a biographical sketch of an ancestor. Read more ideas for using the timeline.
    • Sources—Explore records that have been attached to this ancestor. Verify genealogical details, and look for additional clues.
    • Collaborate—Read notes from other FamilySearch users (or write your own notes for others).
    • Memories—View or contribute photos, documents, stories, or audio files about this person’s life.

Here’s what the bottom part of a person’s page looks like:

The bottom part of a familysearch person page. The screenshot has numbers showing different parts of the page.
  1. The Family Members section lets you view and edit this person’s family relationships. Use this section to navigate to person pages for other relatives or to help you write this person’s life story. (For example, this view might lead you to write, “Over the course of 20 years, Charles and Elizabeth had seven children, six of whom lived to adulthood.”)
  2. On the right side, additional tools help you merge duplicate person pages, report abuse of the FamilySearch user code of conduct, and print family tree data.

Explore the person pages of your own ancestors. If you are already connected to the FamilySearch Family Tree, begin exploring the tree view. Otherwise, search the tree for a deceased relative’s name.


Sunny Morton

Sunny Morton teaches personal and family history to worldwide audiences. She's a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, past Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems, and the author of How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records (co-authored with Harold Henderson, CG); Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy; "Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites," and hundreds of articles. She has degrees in history and humanities from Brigham Young University. Read her work at sunnymorton.com.

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Comments

  1. I have been married twice, had four children with my first husband. Have entered my second husbands name but cannot enter the first. How do I delete my second husbands name in order to enter the first and then how do I add the second husband Please. Have tried but cannot find how to do this

    1. Hello Rosamund, here are a few additional research tips to keep you on the right track after you follow the link to add your first husband provided by Amy.

      1. After creating a PIN number and record for your first husband you can then add your four children born to this union.
      2. Based on whether you enter the marriage date(s) on either or both marriages, Family Search will list the marriages based on oldest date first. If no marriage date(s) are entered the system will list the marriages in the order they were entered into the system.
      3. Children that are considered ‘step-children in the second marriage can be added to this family/marriage by using the same PIN created for your children in the first marriage. NOTE FROM FAMILY SEARCH – “You can include more than one set of parents for a person, such as the biological and the adoptive parents. One way to do this is to add the child to a parent’s record”:
      3a. After you click ‘ADD CHILD” in the add process click “ADD BY ID NUMBER”
      3b. Enter each of your children’s ID’s (individually) that you want to add to this marriage
      3c. Once this has been completed add the “Relationship Type”. Here is the link to the Family Search Instructions: How do I specify biological, step, adopted, and foster relationships in Family Tree? https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-do-i-specify-biological-step-adopted-and-foster-relationships-in-family-tree

      Hope this additional information helps you enter and identify two families.

  2. I somehow entered my granddaughter as my child instead of my son’s child. How do I correct this? So far instructions are not very clear to me. Thanks

    1. Hi Barbara! Thank you for your question. Please check out this Help Center article for more information and instructions: How do I correct parent-child relationships in Family Tree?
      My suggestion is to take the PID of the granddaughter and add her as a child to the correct parents. Then go back to where you see her as your child and delete the parent/child relationship between you and this granddaughter.

    1. Hi Carole! Thank you for your question. The red exclamation point next to a place means that the place is not standardized. You can edit the place and choose the correct standard loction.

  3. I am sorry, but you keep insisting rhat Thomas Morton is my relative. He is notAfter my great grandmothet Barbara, on my tree, you have the wrong Morton. I have told you before. My relatives lived in County Durham.

    1. Hi Gladys! Please contact FamilySearch Support for assistance. Select Visit the FamilySearch Community or search for your geographical area and select “Live Chat Support” or “Live Phone Support”.

  4. I have entered the grandparents of my deceased husband where his parents should be but don’t know how to correct this. Please tell me how to change this relationship because it alters his family tree line

  5. Question- What does the photo of the Mayflower icon mean next to a name? Same question for other icons. Is there an index of these icons?

      1. It is an image next to certain ancestors to the left of the name in a circle. Ancestors who arrived by ship prrhaps?

        1. Hi Robert! Thank you for your reply. It sounds like another user has just added this image to these people. You can click on the Memories tab and find that image and see who uploaded it to that person.