Use Google Photos to Create a “Best of” Photo Album on FamilySearch

February 27, 2018  - by 

I love Google Photos. I bet you do too.

Did you know that you can import photos directly from Google Photos to FamilySearch to create a “best of” photo album? This is a great way to preserve and share a curated collection of classic photos that span a person’s lifetime or center on important life events.

Sound interesting? Here’s how to do it.

Hint: You’ll need both a FamilySearch Account and a Google account, along with at least a few photos of the same person in Google Photos.

Create an album on Google Photos to import to FamilySearch Memories.
Step 1: Use facial recognition to create an ancestor album in Google Photos.

Photos uploaded to Google are scanned using facial recognition and are then placed into groups. To access these groups, click in the search field at the top of the screen, and select the small, circular images of faces about midway down the page.

Look for your ancestor, and click on his or her face. You can select some or all of the images found and create a new album using the plus icon at the top right of the screen. Name the album with the ancestor’s full name. This will make the photos easier to find when you import them to FamilySearch.

Create albums on FamilySearch Memories to store family and ancestor photos.
Step 2: Create an album in FamilySearch.

Go to the Memories Gallery on FamilySearch. Use the New Album option on the sidebar to create a new album. Name the album with the ancestor’s full name. Click on the new album to go to the album page.

Step 3: Import the photos from Google to the new album in FamilySearch.

To import photos, click the green dot, and choose Google Photos at the bottom of the window. Select your Google account, or sign in to Google. From the sidebar list, find the album you previously created, select the photos you want to import, and click Import Photos.

Preserve and share family photos with FamilySearch memories.
Step 4: Tag your relative or ancestor in each photo.

Your photos are now in the new album on FamilySearch. Click the image to tag your ancestor and anyone else in the photo. The photos will now be viewable on the ancestor’s Person page, where other family members can comment or add stories. You can also easily share the photos on social media.

That’s it. Now go create your own “best of” albums for your ancestors on FamilySearch.


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    1. Dorothy, if the photo is attached to a deceased person, others can view, share, and download the photo, like they can with many social media sites.

      If the photos are attached to a living person, others cannot access the photos.

      I hope this helps!

    2. There is a way around this…never put your relatives death date in. If you want to record it in the comments section, this will insure that no one can copy them .

    1. Deenie, you can upload photos to FamilySearch Memories without going through Google Photos, but you won’t be able to use the face recognition tool mentioned in the article. To upload pictures straight from your computer, just click Choose Files instead of Google Photos as described in step number 3.

  1. This is a little bit unrelated but the other day a patron at the FHC where I volunteer asked whether there is some way in FamilySearch to share photos of living people so that other family members can view them. The only way I could think of was to have the family member log on with the other member’s username and password. Is there another way on FamilySearch to gain access to living family members’ photos?

      1. We remember Ron Tanner at RootsTech 2016 discussing this and saying soon there would a way to share living with living!
        What is the thinking now?

        1. Bob, to protect the privacy of living individuals, it is still not possible to share information about living people in the tree.

  2. Have there been any thoughts to taking the EXIF tag data to help with documenting on Family Search. For example, I tend to tag the photos with date, location and names, possibly also captions or titles. It would be neat if importing into Family Search would pick up this data so I don’t have to enter it yet again.

  3. What would be nice is if family search also used facial recognition software so I didn’t have to retag all my pictures again.