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!

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. How do I go to settings to enable family relationship? my cousin told me to go to setting not sure how to do this.
    I also wanted to upload a letter about my mother not sure how to attach. Thank you

    1. Hi Brenda! Thank you for your questions. To enable relationship viewing, on the website go to Settings and then Permissions: In the app, click on Settings, then on the App tab, you should see the option for Enable Relationship Viewing. Check out this Help Center article for instructions on uploading a letter: How do I upload memories to FamilySearch? Thank you for reading the blog!

  2. I cannot add a new grandchild to our family tree. I click on add a child on my sons name in the tree, complete the entry press next and your system says I failed?

  3. When I pullup my tree, it only shows myself, daughters. The other entries I’ve made do not come up on the tree. Why is this? How can I integrate them in my tree? Thank you.