Record Hints: A Quick Way to Add to Your Family History

June 14, 2019  - by 

Whether you’re just getting started with family history or you’ve been doing it for years, the Record Hints feature on the FamilySearch Family Tree offers a quick way to add to your family history. Hints often lead to new information that will help you identify, document, and get to know your ancestors.

What Are Record Hints?

The FamilySearch system constantly searches digitized, indexed records to identify records that may match records in the FamilySearch Family Tree. When a possible match is found, FamilySearch creates a record hint.

Record hints that match your family can provide new, important information about your ancestors, including the following:

  • Additional relationships
  • Additional events and facts
  • More correct dates
  • Name variations
  • More complete place-names

Where Can I Find Record Hints?

You will know that there is a record hint when you see a small blue box or icon to the right of a person’s name in the Family Tree.

You can also find record hints in the Recommended Tasks section of the landing page when you sign in to FamilySearch.org or on the Family Tree mobile app when you click the checkmark at the bottom of the screen, which opens the Ancestors with Tasks page.

A screenshot of the FamilySearch home page.

How Do I Use the Record Hints?

Record hints are easy to use. Just follow three simple steps:

1. Click or tap the blue icon to open a dialogue box. This box displays links to one or more indexed records that FamilySearch thinks may be associated with the person in the Family Tree.

A screenshot of record hints on the family tree.

2. Review the details and compare them to what you already know about your ancestor. You might ask these kinds of questions:

  • Is this person the same person as your family member?
  • Are the ages or dates correct or more correct?
  • Does the record show the right family relationships?
  • Are place-names what you would expect?

3. If the new source refers to your ancestor, you attach the record to the person page. The record source becomes a citation on the person page for the individual in the tree. If the record refers to multiple family members, you can attach the record to the other family members as well.

Important to Remember

  • Not every record hint is a match. Before you attach a record and change information, it is up to you to look carefully at the record and consider what you already know about your family.
  • Though record hints can jump-start your research, they aren’t the only resource for everything you need to know about everyone in your family tree. If a person in the tree lacks a record hint, you have other ways to find information in record sources.  

Have a few minutes right now? Head over to FamilySearch.org, and locate a blue record hint. Even a few short minutes using these hints could yield important results. You can also check out this page, which automatically searches for record hints that are most likely to lead to a new person added to your tree!

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


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Comments

  1. Does any one else have the issue of familysearch telling you have a record hint but you’re not able to review it? It tells
    Me I don’t have premision

  2. Under “Recommended Tasks,” I can no longer click on the “Records” or “Temple” tabs. They are dull gray and when I hover the mouse over them, the no symbol appears. I was able to click on them just 2 days ago but today it wouldn’t let me. Anyone know why this might be or how I can fix it?

  3. Where did the record hints go on the landing page? It was there last week and I had a long list but now it is completely gone. It is also taking a long time to open the page where you attach the record to everyone in the record. Either Family Search is making changes to the program or they have a bug.

      1. Thanks for replying. That is where mine was but then it was not working for about a week, there was nothing there but a link to a video showing how to use Family Search but the record hints came back to Recommended Tasks last night. I seem to have a few more hints today than I did last night but they are on each person when I open my tree and only a few under Recommended Tasks. I just figured someone made a programming change and it made the record hints go all weird. The pages are loading much faster than they were last week.

        1. That might have been it! The engineers are always tinkering with some part of the website to make improvements or fix bugs. Thank you for your patience, Susan!