FamilySearch Updates Enhance your Experience

November 7, 2019  - by 

FamilySearch is proud to have the world’s largest online family tree and thrilled to provide free family history experiences to millions. In order to give users the best experience possible, we are constantly working on updates and improvements to our online experience.

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: December 10, 2019— FamilySearch Adds Ability to Document All Family Relationships

The FamilySearch Family Tree now provides the ability for users to document all family relationships, including same-sex relationships. Nonprofit FamilySearch provides access to the world’s genealogical records and other free services to create family discoveries and memories. FamilySearch is a free service that enables anyone to discover, build, manage, share, and preserve their family’s history. It encourages genealogical accuracy based on original source records and contains over a billion user-contributed lineage-linked records. Patrons are now able to document same-sex relationships, including same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions.

How It Works

When adding a spouse or parent to the FamilySearch Family Tree, the user can now add a spouse or parent of the same sex.  The Family Tree mobile app will also support this new capacity after users install the necessary updates.  

Related: Official Statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and FAQs

Update: November 7, 2019—Control What You See in Your Feed

FamilySearch users will now be able to dismiss content from the feed on their signed-in home page.

When you first sign in to, you find an updating list of recent memories added to your ancestors’ person pages. In the bottom right corner of each memory, you can click the three dots and open a new menu. Here, you can choose to hide the memory, stop receiving update notifications from that ancestor’s page, or report abuse.

Screenshot of how to hide a memory on

Update: November 7, 2019—Improvements to Family Tree Search

Screenshot of Tree search with residence, birth, and death information.

When you search the Family Tree to find a relative’s profile on, you can now add residence information to narrow your search. Also, to simplify the search, the options to add christening and burial information have been combined with birth and death event information.

To search the Family Tree, go to, and click Search and then Family Tree. In the search form, add your relative’s name.

  • How to add a residence: Under Search with life event, click Residence. Here you can add a place-name and a date range.
  • How to add christening and burial Information: You will no longer see an option in the life events section to choose christening or burial. Instead, simply enter christening information as a birth event,and burial information as a death event. The search will automatically include christenings and burials as it looks for birth events and death events.

Update: October 18, 2019—Changes to Reviewing Indexed Batches

We are announcing a change to the reviewing process that is designed to improve the quality of indexes.

Previously, when you opened a batch for reviewing, there was a green check mark prepopulated next to each indexed field. However, now the green check mark doesn’t automatically appear in each box. This change is meant to help prevent any confusion about whether a field has been reviewed.

Learn more here.

Screenshot of checkmarks for indexing review

Update: October 8, 2019—Thank a Volunteer on

Many records on the FamilySearch website are available thanks to the hard work of volunteers. In fact, over 250 million records are indexed by 200,000 to 300,000 volunteers every year. Now it is possible for you to thank these volunteers for their hard work! The new Thank a Volunteer feature on is available for all records that have the name of a volunteer attached to them. Learn more here.

Screenshot of thank an indexer option on indexed record.

Update: August 16, 2019—See How You Are Related to Other FamilySearch Users

Have you ever wondered why someone made a change on the FamilySearch Family Tree? Or better yet, how you are related to him or her?

We are happy to announce the release of a new relationship viewer feature on and the Family Tree app. Unlike Relatives Around Me, this new feature doesn’t require you to be within 100 feet of another person. It gives you the option to view your relationship to another user anywhere you spot their name on the Family Tree, so long as he or she has opted in.  

Excited yet? Try this for yourself, or read more about how it works.

Screenshot of view relationship button on FamilySearch Family Tree app.
Screenshot of relationship viewer feature on FamilySearch app.

Update: August 10, 2019—Messages Feature Expands on FamilySearch

The Messages feature on lets you talk to other FamilySearch users, points you to new records and discoveries, and gives you updates about FamilySearch records and tools. The recently updated messaging system is easier to use, and new types of messages can help you as you dive into your family history. Learn more here.

Screenshot of messages feature on

Update: July 12, 2019, 2019—Editing Names on Indexed Records

In the past, if you came across an incorrect index on, there wasn’t much you could do about it besides note down the error and perhaps grumble about it to yourself. That’s all changed now!

With this update to FamilySearch, you can now make corrections to names in the index—with the ability to edit other details in the entries coming soon. By editing the index, you can help other people locate records—and ancestors—they might not have been able to find otherwise. Learn more here.

How to edit the index for a historical record on FamilySearch.

Update: June 28, 2019—New Similar Historical Records Tool

Screenshot of similar historical records tool on

You can search instantly among more than 7 billion names in old records with FamilySearch’s powerful Historical Records search—and now there’s an easier way to find similar historical records within your search. Learn more here.

Update: June, 24 2019—New Search Results Page

There’s a new look when you search for records on! On June 24, all FamilySearch users will see the system-wide update on the search results page. The update will help enhance the record search experience by making it faster and easier to view indexed records:

  • When you select a row on the search results page, a box pops up to display the detailed record information.  All the information is still there including who the source is attached to on Family tree, but now you can quickly move from record to record using the arrows on either side of the box.
  • The “number of results to show” option on the search results page has increased from a maximum of 75 to 100.  This also means that you can export up to 100 results at a time.

Update: May 30, 2019—Standardized Dates and Places

A system-wide update will standardize many dates and locations in the FamilySearch Family Tree. In the View Details section, these changes will appear with the contributor listed as “FamilySearch” and the date change starting on May 30, 2019. This will occur for vital and couple relationship conclusions only and will not trigger users’ Watch Ancestor notifications.

This update will help users by removing the data problem “Missing Standardized Date,” and “Missing Standardized Location”, saving the user time. It will also assist the site in providing more accurate record hints and creating more reliable data. Standardized dates will help you find ancestors more easily when you search the entire site.

This update will be applied to 15 percent of the dates and locations that are currently missing a standardized value. We will make the update only in cases where the standardized value very closely matches the value being replaced.

All about the FamilySearch Family Tree

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  1. I always make sure all by dates are standardized. Glad you are doing this because I do notice many people do not use correct dates. Keep up the great work and thanks for all you do.

  2. When standardizing, please don’t erase the Cemetery names as they are not a town. Often I put the cemetery, town, county, state, country for burial.

    1. That’s a good point. I see that often. Is there a better place to list the specific cemetery name?

      1. When you make an edit to the location there are two parts, the standardized location and the custom location (though it isn’t labled like that) In the standarized location a dropdown should show up as you write. The other can have more details than the standardized version. I think this is what Michele was talking about.

      2. I noticed just a couple of days ago, that I could include the cemetery name, city, county and state and it was all standardized. Yay!!

  3. Some of the dates in FamilyTree that did not have standards applied to them were entered fully as just numbers, and therefor were ambiguous. For example, 3/7/1930 could be 3 July 1930 or 7 March 1930.

    How were these dates handled when a standard was automatically applied?

    Was the choice that appears first in the drop-down menu when entering such a date used? It appears that that first choice is always the typical American style of month/day/year.

    Or, since these dates need confirmatory research to figure out which date was meant, was the standard not applied, leaving the red exclamation point and data error in place and making these easier to find, research, and correct?

  4. The one thing that upsets me is having done my family’s work and moved on to find out 6 months later my grandfather just this week my great grandparents have been claimed by someone else as there’s changed names added children which means I have to get it all changed back to my family so very upsetting why can’t we keep our line of the family tree . I think others should compare but leave my line it takes so much time changing it back thank you .

    1. Your “line” also belongs to any other children of your great grand parents. The family search tree is not exclusive. Listing sources can help keep things correct and accurate.

    2. Jean, I’m not from FamilySearch, but it’s helpful to understand what the FamilyTree on FamilySearch is. It is inherently a shared family tree. I have dozens of cousins and we all have the same ancestors, so its better for us to work together and combine our resources. You are welcome to (and encouraged to!) keep a personal copy on paper or in a different computer program, but the FamilyTree on FamilySearch is where we share all this information.

      When you go through and make corrections, please be sure to add a note or discussion about why you’re making the changes and what sources you have for your information. Thanks for your contributions, it’s careful and hard working researchers like you who keep the FamilyTree accurate!

    3. That is frustrating and we’ve been exactly there many times. What has helped has been to communicate with the person making the changes to explain why the data is already correct, or to see their explanation. There have been a few moments (not many) where they added info I thought was wrong only for me to find that they had info I didn’t have and didn’t even know existed even though I was sure I had it correct.

    4. I do understand your frustration and feelings.
      It truly is an undoubting task, that I sometimes have to leave researching for a few months.
      Tons of sources, but still, some humans refuses to read the sources nor think of others and their time.

  5. This is a great advancement. You stated that the update will apply to 15% of those not standardized. Does this mean the update will continue to roll out or that it will only standardize 15% in the tree?

  6. The logical way for dates to show is day, month, year. please do not alter all mine to the USA method of month day year. also births marriages often show the Church then town, county, country. Knowing the name of church helps to narrow down the search in a big city. Your system only wants town, county, country. If you change them all we will loose valuable information

  7. I LOVE this site. The only thing that doesn’t show up anymore are the census records on a search. They used to show up more often, but now I have to go out and find them, which is more time consuming. There is also a birth record I cannot locate for Raymond W Berry who was born on Oct. 12, 1896 Crawford County Illinois. His mother is Clara June Bussard. His step-father is William Harvey Berry, but I think he’s his birth father. William Harvey Berry’s first wife Isabelle Rebecca Geeseman died in January of 1896 and he remarried to Clara in 1897. Was wondering how to find out if Raymond was maybe born in January instead of October. No record of his father anywhere except on a tree where his listed as being Belle and Harvey’s son? Helping out a friend with her family, whom we have been searching together for a year now. Several are elusive. I also had to change my email as it was hacked, so if you have a way to remove my old one, I would be so grateful. It is a dead account now but comes up every time I get on. Is there a way to move my tree to the new account? You are all wonderful researchers and we are so appreciative of you all for your hard work.

    1. Catherine, thank you! For help with your email troubles contact our help center. As for moving your tree to your new account, all you need to do is start a family tree and input the IDs of your parents and grandparents. It should auto fill in the rest of your tree after you connect a few generations. Good luck!

  8. Hi there everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web page, and piece
    of writing is in fact fruitful for me, keep up posting such posts.

  9. How can I stop the search returns from “popping out” when I try to see more info? This seems to be a new thing and it’s just awfu for my purposesl, but is there a way, by clicking alt-something or by getting into preferences in some way? I compare people who died in the same year range who have the same names, often, and to have to click through and back using the pop-out frame’s side arrows means having to remember how many clicks to each, etc. Even trying to dismiss the pop out, it returns when I click again on the main entry. It’s really hindering me but I’d. think there would be a way around it? It possibly could be an option under our user preferences?

    It can be sometimes useful, but it would be amazing to be able to turn it off and be able to not have this “enhancement” at all times.

    ; )

  10. If a name on Ordinance Ready Tab is reserved and SHARED with the temple, how can I get those names printed to take to the Temple or do I email the individual who has asked that they be SHARED and get permission?

  11. I have been trying for at least ten years to find the farher John Williams of Anthony Williams born at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire,England in 1670>can you please advise with any suggestions.