Use Record Hints

November 23, 2016  - by 

Family History Simple Start: Hints: See What FamilySearch Found
If you’ve poked around on your family tree on, you may have seen little blue boxes to the right of some of the names of people on your tree or in a Research Help box on the top right side of the individual screen. These blue boxes are for record hints, which are shortcuts designed to help you find information about your family as painlessly as possible.

FamilySearch is constantly scouring their digitized, indexed records to identify records that may match your family—and these blue boxes signal to you that they might have succeeded. Linked to actual records that may include your family, these little hints can make a big difference on your family tree.

Here are a few things they can do:

  • Provide new relationships you didn’t know about before. This new information might include completely new people to add to your tree.
  • Document information you already knew.
  • Add other details that help you see the bigger picture of who they were and where they came from.

Using record hits couldn’t be easier. Just follow these three simple steps:

1) When looking at your family tree, click the blue record hints icon by your ancestor’s name to open a box with suggestions of records. Or on a person’s details page, look at the record hint choices in the Research Help box. In the example below, FamilySearch has found three possible record matches for Edith McKeeby.

Learn how to use record hints on FamilySearch.

How to use record hints to find more information about your family.
2) Click the record of interest. In this case, we chose the first match: Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885–1950. A transcribed version of the record appears with additional information so we can verify that this is the right person.

3) If the record is a fit and an image is available, scroll down and click View Image to see the actual image. To add the record to your tree, select Review and Attach. Once the record is attached, anyone who looks at Edith McKeeby’s personal information will see this record also. Learn more about attaching records.

The Fine Print

  • Not every record hint will be a match. It’s up to you to look carefully at the record and consider what you know about your family to see if the record should be attached to a person and the information added to your tree.
  • While record hints are fabulous jumpstarts for your research, they aren’t the only resource for everything you need to know about everyone on your tree. The good news is that plenty of information is often available for people on your tree who don’t have record hints. It might just take a little more effort to find it.

Have a few minutes right now? Head over to, and locate a blue record hint. Even a few short minutes using these hints could yield important results. 

For additional resources on this and many other topics, please visit the online Help Center.


Complete another simple activity:

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Family History Simple Start: Hints: See What FamilySearch Found
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