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: 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. Thank you for all the things that i have found in Familysearch over the years,but i do need help to find what became of John Seabrook a mariner who after 1845 in Liverpool England is a blank.

  2. This is why you should use a program like rootstech or some other that is compatable with Family Search. If used together it will store your information as you put it in and you won’t have to worry about what others do.

    1. A message that everyone could benefit from! This is the way to go! No matter if someone changes names and info on FS, I have my personal database that only I can change!

      1. I am guessing the previous response was about “Roots Magic”, software that allows you to organize and keep track of your own family tree. Many other companies offer similar software (all with their own strengths) such as “Family Tree Builder”, “Family Tree Maker”, “Legacy”, “Family Historian” and more.

  3. Many of my family’s records in FamilySearch have place names that list United States for events dated prior to 1776. Should edit those events prior to 1776 as British Colonial America?

  4. Thank you for all the help i have received, great program and content. Being 78 i in any case have computer problems with my limited knowledge. I have hit a blank on finding how my Grandfather Charles William Twiss got to South Africa from England.

  5. Until you change it so that complete strangers cannot come along and change MY FAMILY TREE, I will not be entering any new information. I had spent about an hour entering my Aunt and her family, only to have someone come along and detach her and remove all the information I had worked on. I cannot stress how much this bothered me. The person that detached it attached it to another person saying my Aunt was her daughter.
    They were only 3 years apart in age. I know times were different back then, but not that different. People don’t check dates or anything else they just go through and change whatever they want. I am not going to put myself through that grief again. Thanks!

    1. You can ensure that even if someone changes your family tree drastically, you can put it back together rather quickly by downloading your tree into FamilySearch from one of at least two programs available for about $30 each. One is called Ancestral Quest, the program that was originally Personal Ancestral File, and Roots Magic. They both have the ability to make a back up copy of your tree in FamilySearch, so then if someone changes your FamilySearch Tree structure, you can put it back the way it was before the change in a matter of minutes. I know I have done this at least twice with my own FamilySearch Tree.
      There are probably other programs available over the internet that will do the the same. You will have to spend a little money, but shouldn’t have to spend more that $30-50 for this feature to be included.

    2. Amen! I lost two generations. Reason why the change: “Not my family” well it was MY family. I have not entered any more on family search either. I liked it when you could add a different opinion thus leaving my information alone.

    3. That sounds extremely frustrating. I had the same thing happening for my great great grandfather. It kept happening over and over. Finally I wrote to the person who is doing it and when they replied back they provided all kinds of data that made it very obvious that I had actually been in the wrong! As frustrating as it was to begin with, and a shirt as I absolutely was that I had the right data, I was really grateful to get conflicting information that ended up being correct. Overtime “my family tree” becomes many people’s family tree.

  6. j’aimerai connaitre le nom du père biologique de mon père

    Translation: I would like to know the name of my father’s biological father.

      1. When I click to open the results, they don’t open immediately. I have to click and run the cursor over the page several times. Sometimes it opens; others it doesn’t open and I have to start over again.

  7. I just sent a note to you about an error on Family Search. I accidentally wrote Ancestor Search. Please tell me how to correct an error on a family tree on Family Search. Thank you.

  8. “We could learn a lot from a box of crayons. Some sharp, some pretty, sum dull. All of different colors but all live int the same box” Thanks for all the effort that I could not do! Herb