The World’s Largest Shared Family Tree

February 15, 2019  - by 
Child on online family tree.

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.

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.

Learn More about the Shared Tree

To learn how to find ancestors that may already be in the shared tree, connect to living family members using FamilySearch and more, explore the links below!

All about the FamilySearch Family Tree

Sunny Morton

Sunny Morton teaches personal and family history to worldwide audiences. She's a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, past Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems, and the author of How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records (co-authored with Harold Henderson, CG); Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy; "Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites," and hundreds of articles. She has degrees in history and humanities from Brigham Young University. Read her work at

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  1. I’m from Nauru island and i want to know my family tree from my great grandfather name Ernest Stephen is from england and in WW2 he was in nauru and he married my great gran mother who is nauruan

  2. Am Samson from Uganda and am leading a church youth group and I have happened to hear and read about family search and its such a great biblical belief and I have taken some time sharing with different Church leaders and members in Mayuge Busia and Namayingo about this under the youth group
    And I just welcome this to happen also to some of the Samya land.
    I have some of your contractors in Jinja some of the group youths have worked there
    But we also wish to help our communities to connect up in the historical roots as it is very necessary

  3. Requiero aprender mas para poder ayudar mejor. llevo 2 meses indexando y deseo hacer mas historia familiar y obra vicaria. Se abrira templo en Puerto Rico y deseo poder ayudar para tener y poder hacer muchas ordenanzas por los muertos. Soy la Presidenta de la Sociedad de Socorro en Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Bendiciones

    Google Translate – Spanish to English: I need to learn more in order to help better. I have been indexing for 2 months and I want to do more family history and vicarious work. A temple will be opened in Puerto Rico and I want to be able to help to have and be able to do many ordinances for the dead. I am the President of the Relief Society in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Blessings

  4. Hola me gustaría ser voluntaria de family search soy chilena y vivo en Canadá. Quiero ayudar

    Google Translate – Spanish to English: Hello, I would like to be a family search volunteer. I am Chilean and I live in Canada. I want to help

    1. hola Seanna, gracias por la consulta, eso es normal, porque uno no sabe lo que lo espera, y a la vez siente curiosidad de saber.
      para poder saber mas acerca de tus ante pasados, ingresa a

      Google Translate – Spanish to English: Hello Seanna, thanks for the consultation, that is normal, because one does not know what to expect, and at the same time one is curious to know.
      To be able to know more about your past antecedents, go to

  5. Vivo en Medellin Colombia. Quiero expandir el árbol familiar.

    Google Translate – Spanish to English: I live in Medellin, Colombia. I want to expand the family tree.

  6. Hi. I do family searches in my spare time. I love the chase of building family trees. More than happy to have a look for you but I would need all the information you have. Kind Regards Andy

  7. Buongiorno c’è una connessione/collaborazione con ľArchivio di Stato?

    Google Translate – Italian to English: Hello, is there a connection / collaboration with the State Archives?

    1. Hi Salvatore! Thank you for your question. Is there a specific state location you are looking for?

      Google Translate – English to Italian: Ciao Salvatore! Grazie per la tua domanda. C’è una località specifica dello stato che stai cercando?