The World’s Largest Shared Family Tree

February 15, 2019  - by 

The free FamilySearch website is home to the world’s largest online family tree. Known as the FamilySearch Family Tree, this shared family tree is home to information about more than 1.2 billion ancestors, which has been contributed by millions of descendants.

What’s a “Shared Family Tree”?

FamilySearch’s unified family tree differs from the tree-building experience at most other websites. Instead of concentrating efforts on privately constructing their own individual trees, FamilySearch tree builders cooperate to build a single, shared tree that helps you and others discover more about ancestors and other family members.

One Profile for Every Deceased Person

The FamilySearch shared tree strives to have just one public profile for every deceased person who has ever lived. Descendants contribute what they know about a person to a single, shared profile, rather than scattering their knowledge across multiple profiles on several trees, some of which may have privacy barriers.

Note: On the FamilySearch Family Tree, personal account information and any details about living persons are kept private. Only deceased persons have public profiles.

An explanation of the familysearch online family tree.

Why Use the FamilySearch Shared Tree?

The FamilySearch Family Tree can help you more easily connect to your family and build your family history. Here are five ways it might help you.

  1. Discover New Information

    A shared family tree can help you discover new information about your ancestors and even find relatives you weren’t aware of. Each piece of information someone adds—a document, a photo, a memory, a burial location—may shed light on an ancestor’s identity or life experiences.

  2. Build Your Tree with Ease

    It can be tedious work to fill out each ancestor’s profile for your family tree on your own. When you connect to the FamilySearch shared tree, some of your ancestors may have an abundance of information already in their profile. Even if you are the first to add a specific ancestor to the shared tree, FamilySearch can show you possible records for that ancestor, and other family members can help you by filling in what they know.

  3. Get a More Complete Picture

    The overall result of a well-sourced shared tree can be much more complete and accurate than individual trees. Although information entered by users may at times differ from what you know about your ancestor, the FamilySearch Family Tree enables all descendants to share information that others might not know and add sources to confirm correct information.

  4. Connect with Other Descendants

    Working together on a global tree also helps descendants connect with each other. You may find a relative who has visited the same graves, asked the same questions about—and even learned to love or admire—the same ancestors.

  5. Work on Your Family History for Free

    When you sign in on a free FamilySearch account and connect yourself to the shared family tree, you’ll be able to see all your connected ancestors in a personal tree view. This online family tree lets you add life events to your ancestors’ profiles; look at a map of where they may have travelled; view and add photos, memories, and records; and much more.

A woman uses the familysearch online family tree.

To make discoveries using the FamilySearch Family Tree, sign in to or the Family Tree mobile app. You can also learn more about the FamilySearch shared tree on the FamilySearch blog.

New to FamilySearch? Sign Up for a Free Account

See what the world’s largest shared tree can tell you about your family. Sign up on, or download the Family Tree app for iOS or Android.

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    1. Dear Earl. Maybe those that entered those names are not finished yet and it is a place marker until they can do more research ! I do that sometimes do I can find them again and do much more research. Some times our time is limited on the computer but yes they all need to be furthered researched

  1. New zealand already has a site like this called geni, i had entered my close family and someone started deleting and adding things that weren’t true. On geni once the person you added, if they are still alive puts there name down and those details now becomes theirs. I hope its not like that

  2. I am very disappointed in putting my tree on here same problem as everyone else I spent months putting every photo I had on my tree to find people merging and losing my photo’s , disagreements with people over a relative and I did have the right information in the finish I left my tree and have now put it on Find my Past I may have to have a subscription but at least I know nothing will be removed. It should be made that if you want to delete some ones work and the hours they have spent doing their tree they should have to contact you first so you can compare. I starred all my family but its still being altered I don’t bother with my tree any more on Family search.

    1. I totally agree! I have complained to Family Tree on numerous occasions that I have entered correct, substantiated information and then “someone”, I’m assuming at Family Tree changes the information. I NO longer use Family Tree as a reliant source.

  3. I have just spent some time beginning to review the family records. I have found an error that must be corrected. Bertha Hinds was my father’s step-mother, and he would be horrified to see under her entry that he was her child! I do not know how to correct this. I intend to spend a good deal of time on this valuable site. It is important to learn how to correct inaccuracies!

      1. I have had a good “overall” experience but some of these comments are making me wonder …I have had a couple things taken off… a newspaper clipping and a picture. But most everything remains.

        Family Tree people, could you address some of these concerns in a reply as to what systems you may put in place to help alleviate some of these problems.
        Im somewhat concerned about my tree going forward!

        Thanks. Betsy

    1. Go to any Ward building that has a consultant who does genealogy and they can help you too. It helps to see how it is done.

  4. I’d like to find out more about the branch of my family tree from Germany, but it’s not available. It’s like those family members’ records have been destroyed or locked away somewhere. In this day and age with all the technology we have at our fingertips, why is this information still being kept a secret? Germany is our ally now. I just can’t understand it.