New FamilySearch Feature “Unfinished Attachments” Brings New Discoveries to Your Tree

January 30, 2020  - by 

You may have noticed that a new prompt, titled “Unfinished Attachments,” appears with some sources attached to people in your family tree. This prompt appears below these sources along with a description, “This source has not been attached to all people found in the record.”

This new feature can help you find family members who may not be in the Family Tree but who were listed on a record. Once you find that person, it is just a few easy steps to attach the record or add the person to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Using Unfinished Attachments for Discovery

By simply clicking Unfinished Attachments, you can discover a new world of information. This feature can lead to interesting discoveries to help you make sure you have all your relatives on your tree.

Census records, marriage records, obituaries, and many other kinds of records may have information about people related to your family who were not included when the records were originally attached to your ancestor. You can now find that information using the Unfinished Attachments feature. If a profile for the family member does not yet exist in the FamilySearch Family Tree, you will be guided to create a new profile for him or her. Here is an example.

a screenshot showing how to attach a record.
  • If the person is living, it is important to click Living. This notation keeps the living person’s information private. It will stay in that private space until you add death information.

Many people are listed in records who may have been living with or associated with a family at the time the record was made but who may not have been relatives (such as boarders or house servants). These people may now show up as unfinished attachments. You can discover this interesting information and add it to your family’s story. It may even help others trying to find their ancestors!

The Unfinished Attachments feature does not just lead to information about deceased relatives. It may also help you find information about living family members and add profiles for them to your tree.

Above is a living relative from an obituary who was not added to the tree. Adding the person to the tree led to adding profiles also for his wife and all his children.

Discoveries from Unfinished Attachments

I made a great discovery when I found a census record in an unfinished attachment for my great-grandmother. Once I opened the record, I saw her sister’s name on the census and added her to the family tree. No one in the family had known she existed. Now she is on the family tree and with the right family.

It was such a great find for me, because last spring I visited our family cemetery in Texas where I found the gravestone of my Great-grandmother Morgan. I didn’t check if her siblings were buried there because I made the connection only to her. Now I am excited to go back to the cemetery to see if I can find all her siblings that I have now found in the census just because I checked the unfinished attachments in my tree. What a fulfilling discovery!

The above image shows Gendaia J B Neugan. Until now, she had not been included with her family. She showed up on a census record that was an unfinished attachment in her sister’s sources.

Take Action with Unfinished Attachments

When you find additional people or sources, what next? Once you click Unfinished Attachments, you can do a few other things:

  • Attach the record to the people who are already in the tree. You can do this by looking on the left column of the Source Linker to see the record that can be attached.
  • Do nothing. Some records may mention people who are not closely related to the main person on the record and don’t need to be added.
  • If you have viewed the unfinished attachment and it seems that it does not apply or may be incorrect, you can click Dismiss. Bear in mind that this option also removes the Unfinished Attachments link for anyone else who may view the source.

Unfinished Attachments is a great new feature on that can help you discover family you may have missed and help enrich your family story. Take a moment to check your unfinished attachments and see what is waiting for you!

Rachel Trotter

Rachel J. Trotter is a senior writer and editor at Evalogue.Life. She tells people’s stories and shares hers to encourage others. She loves family storytelling. A graduate of Weber State University, she has had articles featured on,, and She and her husband Mat have six children and live on the East Bench in Ogden, Utah.

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  1. What can I do with the names of borders, servants, or housekeepers to help their families find them? Should I dismiss it or leave it as unfinished attachments?

    1. When you are going through sources, the system will let you know if that source has an unfinished attachment. Hope this helps!