FamilySearch Updates Enhance your Experience

April 29, 2021  - by 
A family sitting together on the floor of a living room looking at a tablet and smiling.

To keep you up to date on the latest FamilySearch experience changes, we will be listing them here chronologically. Check back often to see how your FamilySearch experience has improved!

Want to Learn What’s New at FamilySearch?

As technology progresses, so does FamilySearch! On July 27th, 2021, the Family History Library will host a free webinar about some of the new changes on the FamilySearch website. Register for this live webinar taught by Gina Palmer, and join us on July 27th as she walks through some of the new features on FamilySearch!

Update April 30 2021—Updated FamilySearch Messaging System

FamilySearch’s messaging system has been updated. Here’s the latest changes.

New Look 

We’ve redesigned the interface to make the Messages features easier to find and use. The new design also allows for future improvements. 

Auto-Fill Contact Names 

In the To field, type the first few letters of another user’s contact name, and the rest of the name will fill automatically, with some options to choose from if more than one name begins in a similar way. Contact names are determined by the individual and are thepublic name linked to a user’s FamilySearch contributions. Contact names can be viewed or changed in Settings. 

Control the Conversation 

The following messaging tools are easier to find and will help you better manage your conversations. 

  • Delete—Remove old conversations. To delete entire conversations, choose Select, check the box next to the message you want to delete, and then select the trash can icon
  • Mute—Stop receiving messages from another user. To find this option, select the person’s name next to the message. 
  • Report Abuse—Alert us if another user breaks the FamilySearch Code of Conduct. To find this option, select the person’s name next to the message. 
  • Send Message—You can choose to send a message by pressing either Return or Shift+Return. Choosing Shift+Return allows you to control line returns in longer messages. To access this setting, select Change near the send button. 

If you use a bookmark for Messages, note that this updated version uses a new URL. Check out the new FamilySearch Messages feature today!

Update March 26, 2021—See Who Else Is Following the People You Follow in the Tree

In the family tree, you can follow the profiles of deceased individuals and add labels to the profiles, sort them, and get updates about changes made to them. A recent update now lets you view a list of FamilySearch users who follow the same profiles that you follow in the tree.

These other followers are often relatives or people who have been researching about the same people or profiles you follow. They may have insight or information to share. Using FamilySearch messages, you can start up a conversation and connect with these living individuals on Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Navigate to your following list by clicking the Family Tree tab and selecting Following in the drop-down menu. (If you haven’t followed anyone in the tree yet, here’s how you can get started.)
  2. To see who is following the same profiles you are following, click the three dots beside the name of a person you are following and select the People Following option in the drop-down menu.
add label william bradford

3. Connect with others who are following the same people by sending them a message. In the People Following list, click a user’s name, and then select Send a Message in the pop-up option.

send a message to following

Update March 15, 2021—FamilySearch Community Receives New Look and Improvements

The FamilySearch Community is an online resource that helps people interested in family history connect with each other worldwide. Recently, the community has been updated with a new look and additional functionality. These changes include a more visible site navigation (now on the left sidebar of the page) and a more prominent search bar, making it easier to find what you need in the community. You can also explore some of the new and improved community sections like the Events page and Community Hub. Learn more about changes to the FamilySearch Community.

new community on familysearch

Update March 2, 2021—New Getting Started Page

The new Getting Started page provides a variety of simple family history activities and FamilySearch resources that both beginners and genealogy veterans can appreciate. These pages also show how family history is any activity that connects us to our family stories.

You can find the Getting Started page by going to the FamilySearch homepage, clicking the question mark icon in the top right corner of the page, and selecting Getting Started in the drop-down menu. You can also visit the new page by clicking the button below!

Update January 11, 2021—Updated Ancestor Discovery Pages

You can now find some of the best experiences FamilySearch has to offer all gathered in one place—ancestor discovery pages. With FamilySearch’s updated ancestor discovery pages, you can do everything from viewing photos and timelines of your ancestors’ lives to exploring their heritage with fun interactive online activities. Learn more about the update and how to find your ancestor’s discovery page.

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  1. dice Dora oberti hija de Rosa Benedec gc4c-zqs su nombre es maria luisa oberti, solo viene de confucion con Doña y se toma como Dora en Nacimiento den Victoria Degui nieta de Maria Luisa Oberti

    Google Translate – Spanish to English: Says Dora oberti daughter of Rosa Benedec gc4c-zqs her name is maria luisa oberti, it only comes from confusion with Doña and is taken as Dora in Birth of Victoria Degui granddaughter of Maria Luisa Oberti

        1. Let me be a little more clear: Amy Archibald emailed information to Carlos Gray to my email account.

        2. Hi Charlotte! Thank you for your feedback. You must have selected to get all updates to this blog post to come to your email.

  2. I think some rules about entering living people should be on the HOME PAGE when you sign into FAMILY SEARCH. Just a few minor rules in general would be helpful for a lot of people right up front. Many people do not know the rules. When I first started I to just jumped right in and started building a tree. A few minor rules IN MY FACE would be helpful. It’s really not fun when you see your mother or loved one listed as deceased when you know that they are not. Plus you can’t make the change. Thanks DCC

  3. I for one find the new Person interface causes a lot more work. Before everything was on one page, the details, the family members etc. And if you wanted to do things like search or merge they were all there too. Now it takes several clicks to get to where you need to go. They call this Drill-Down Hell in tech. I expect this was down to make things palatable to mobile users at the expense of desktop users. I will be much less likely to work on stuff now. PS The change to the Following page is also a negtive. Before you could always see the last change. Now you have to find and click a tiny icon to get that.

    1. Try doing it as BC (before computers) when you had to leave the house with pen and paper, give a thumbs up to those that went before you and stop winging.

  4. How do I start my own family tree? I had a woman who isn’t related to me putting all kinds of false info onto my family tree. So I made an account here and all that false info about my family was already on my tree. After that that same woman or her husband using her email address was asking me for money. I’m not related to her and want my own family tree with correct info
    Sincerely Kelly Etheridge

  5. My father was adopted by his mom’s 2nd husband. Using AncestryDNA, I discovered that the 2nd husband was my father’s biological father, and there is no one living who knows anything about it. I have no idea how to correct the error. Does anyone have any ideas?

  6. Family search has changed my research from the last 50 years. I am very unhappy about the confusion caused to my research. Most of the Temple work that was done was deleted. I DONOT want to correct all the mistakes Edna B. Chelson

  7. Hi, I am having a hard time to find my grandfather Eduardo Francisco Quirino parents in the north east of Brazil, , I know he that his age was changed in Recife and the last name “da Silva” was also added when his id was fixed by an authority in Recife, that helped him to enter the army in Rio de Janeiro. If there is an expert here that knows how I should do regarding data from the North east of Brazil area, I thank you in advance. Kind regards, Denise Johansson