FamilySearch Updates Its Genealogies Search Page

September 18, 2020  - by 
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For 125 years, the Genealogy Society of Utah and its successor, FamilySearch International, have collected genealogies submitted through earlier research programs or created by partners and other societies. These genealogies are available online in Genealogies under the Search tab on To further serve FamilySearch users, the Search options on the Genealogies search page have been updated.

Updates to the Genealogies Search Page

The landing page and results pages have been updated to make them more efficient and intuitive. The changes are summarized below.

Multiple Search Names

Rather than allowing for only a single, primary search name, it is now possible to search for alternate names a person may have used. For example, a woman’s name could be searched using her maiden and married names simultaneously.

A screenshot of genealogies showing how to search with multiple names.

Broad Searches Now the Standard

“Exact Search” check boxes no longer appear automatically by search fields. “Exact” searches limit the results to details that match input precisely—excluding records with spelling variations, indexing errors, or even place differences, often causing users to miss useful records.

However, exact searches can help narrow search results in some situations. To show the exact check boxes next to Name or Place entry fields, below the search fields, click the Show Exact Searches Fields option. Check the box next to a field to require an exact search for that field.

A screenshot of genealogies showing how to search with exact fields.

Filter Options above the List of Results

Filter options now appear above the table of results. Clicking filters opens pop-up lists with pertinent sub-options. For example, users can select from a list of countries in the Birthplace pop-up list; then, another pop-up gives locations within the selected country. Multiple filters can be applied simultaneously to narrow results. In addition, results can now be filtered by more than one value per field at the same time. For example, search results could be filtered to show only results with the death place as New York, in the United States, as well as the death place anywhere in Italy.

a screenshot showing multiple filters in genealogy.

What Is the FamilySearch Genealogies Search Page?

FamilySearch’s Genealogies is a searchable collection of completed family trees from various sources. It also includes records that were previously submitted to FamilySearch under older programs, such as Personal Ancestral File. These records are held separately from the FamilySearch Family Tree and may hold valuable clues for current research.

Genealogies also includes recorded oral genealogies from cultures that typically pass their ancestry down by word of mouth rather than in written form. 

How to Use the Genealogies Search Page

Users can find names contained on the Genealogies search page much like a search in other FamilySearch search repositories, such as Records or Catalog.

a screenshot showing genealogies in the menu.

Enter a primary name and other search criteria, such as birthplace, to look for ancestors in submitted family trees. In general, a search using just a few search fields provides a broader range of potentially applicable records. Clicking Search will display persons from trees submitted to Genealogies with matching information.

Each result provides the basic information about the person and identifies the corresponding Genealogies category. Details between different results for the same person may vary, but such details also supply clues for further research and verification.

The reliability of the records depends on the submitter of the tree. Some categories of trees, such as the Pedigree Resource File or Partner Trees, are pedigrees provided by users of or FamilySearch partners. Others, such as Community trees and Guild of One-Name Studies have usually been well curated by genealogical societies or experts.  Thus, the accuracy of the data in Genealogies varies according to the source, and all data should be validated before use.

An old camera and a photo.

Genealogies Categories

The What Are Genealogies section, now on the bottom of the page, provides summaries of the types of family trees included in the categories. The FamilySearch Research Wiki also has an article that gives greater detail. The categories included are as follows:

If you haven’t tried searching for your ancestors in FamilySearch Genealogies, give it a go! You may discover something that will help you smash a research brick wall or fill in details about your family that you have never discovered before.

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  1. Found a copyrighted book in your collection, “Descendants of Dietrich Bassermann” by Linda L. Muller, that parallels research I have been doing for several years. (Dietrich was born in 1615 in Germany; part of his family immigrated to Pennsylvania about 1748 and changed name to Bosserman.) Linda and I have a common ancestor about seven generations back–that 1748 immigrant. I believe the she is now deceased. She and I were born the same year, so maybe I should be, too!

    Is it possible to obtain a copy of that 500+ page books. My objective is to match it to other data I have and produce an indexed comparison for all to see.

  2. I would like to know where my paternal grandmother, Eleven Hammer and her people came from she spoke no English

  3. searching for birth place of my great grandmother 3 times removed. death cert has Maria Spencer born south australia 1845. south australia has no records of same.located microfische stating james and elizabeth spencer left sydney 1842 with 2 children maria b 1845 married george jarvis in W.A -jane b 1842. jane married william henry weekes. help please

    1. Hi Pat! Thank you for your questions. Yes, the Search Develop Team has this feature on their calendar for future development. There has not been an announcement for a timetable yet.

  4. I found the new changes on the Family Group sheet for my searches of couples and their many children this week…..with the addition of two flavors of blue color. Not a good idea for my aging eyes! The energy of the grey blue background surrounding the Family Group sheet was just right. The old format with all white fields for the black names, dates, etc. was just fine. Filling each space with a line of white, now impacted by the blue color filling the whole width of the space for all the fields of data [birth, death, marriage etc.]…that just is too much blue energy. Also, the first names of the couple at the top of the Family Group sheet are covered by a darker blue just over the first name. It makes for difficult reading. And adds a third shade of blue energy for the reader’s eyes on that page. Whoever did these blue changes has never been to art school, where you might learn about ‘weights’ of colors. Please remove the blue on Family Group sheets as the reader can not enter new data on the blue fields.,which seems to be your intuitive use for darker blue color. In other words, the filling of half the field for each data fragment just makes the black letters harder to read as they get scrunched into the blue-covered line, if your eyes can get through the energy field of blue color….. Please note that blue wavelengths are used in brain therapy by neurologists….not something to play with unnecessarily!