Recent Updates to FamilySearch Family Tree

November 25, 2013  - by 

Recent updates to FamilySearch Family Tree include:

  • The process for deleting relationships in Family Tree.
  • Showing photos for living people.

Deleting Relationships

Deleting relationships from Family Tree is simple, but it is so easy that people sometimes delete a relationship when they should do something else instead.

When you delete a relationship, you now see a screen with more information to help you make better decisions about whether to delete the relationship or not. For example, you now see how many sources and events are attached to that relationship. The delete button remains unavailable until you:

  • Enter a reason why you are deleting the record.
  • Click both check boxes, certifying that you have reviewed other relationships.
  • Entered a reason statement.

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 Changes to Photos and Stories

When you are on a person’s details page in Family Tree, you can click tabs to switch to related details, photos, and stories. The Photos tab has been renamed Photos and Documents.

This change currently shows up in the English version of Family Tree. The change will show up in other language versions as translations are completed.

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If you click this tab, you will see documents that have been uploaded to the site and linked to this person.

Show Photos for Living People

You can now see photos of living people in Family Tree if you have permission to see their records.

Attach FamilySearch Historical Records without Adding to Source Box

When you are viewing a historical record and you click Attach to Family Tree, the source, until now, has been automatically added to your Source Box. You now have the option to attach the source without adding it to the Source Box.

The option is available during the last step of the process, which is:

  1. Find a historical record that is about one of your ancestors who is in Family Tree, and click Attach to Family Tree.


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2. Find the person by using the Possible Matches tab, the History List tab, or the ID number. In this case, I’m using the ID number:

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3.  When the right person comes up:

  • Enter a reason that you are attaching the source.
  • Click the Add Source to Source Box checkbox if you want this source to be added to your source box.
  • Click Attach.

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Attach Browse-Only Images as Sources, and Edit the Title

When you are viewing an image from an unindexed (“browse only”) collection on FamilySearch, you can now attach that image to a person in Family Tree as a source. You can also edit the title of that source, since the title that is automatically generated may not have much meaning. During the attaching process, you have the option to include this item in your source box or to leave it out.

An important thing to note: The option to attach an image (rather than an index page) is available for browse-only images. For indexed images, you must still begin the attaching process from the page containing the indexed information.

  1. Find the image that you want to use as a source.
  2. Click the Sources option. (This option shows up on browse-only collections.)

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3.  Click one of the following:

  • Click Attach to Family Tree if you know the person in Family Tree you want to attach it to. From here, you can edit the title, select the person, and enter a reason.

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If you click Person, you see your Family Tree history list. You can select a person from there or enter the ID number of a person who isn’t on the list.

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  • Click Add to My Source Box if you want to do the attaching later. From here, you can edit the title to something more meaningful.

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  1. because of the inaccuracy of the material on my tree that was added by someone else, I want to delete the tree completely. It is totally wrong and the ordinance have been done with false info. how do I delete the tree this isn’t the only goofed up material I have found added to my tree and it upsets me.

    1. I am sorry that it upsets you. It is an emotional topic, that is true. You cannot delete the tree. In truth the way the tree is designed, the only part of it that you can “safely” call yours is the part that involves living persons. Once your line connects to the deceased ancestors it becomes “ours” (and by that I mean a shared tree, not belonging to the LDS church). Why, because you are not the only descendant of your ancestors.

      With that said, I will say that it is frustrating to have those who are new, or careless, or simply in search of ordinance work to do, muck about in things without taking the time to explain their reasoning or to provide sources for their conclusions. This, however, is an ongoing problem in genealogy and ever has been thus. If you delete the relationships in question AND make certain that your conclusions are well-researched and documented that really does help to correct the overall tree. If you contact the person who entered the erroneous information (either directly if they have provided contact information or through the messaging system) and work together, you will have provided a service by correcting them in following the wrong line as well. If you contact them and get no response and if the information continues to be “corrected” after you have made the changes, then I would suggest creating a document detailing the steps you have taken and providing the sources for your conclusions directly to support (I suggest creating a document so that it can be attached to the email you send. It may be that this can be done from the website contact now, but at one time it could not and I just got in the habit of doing it this way). If it continues to be a problem, my understanding is that the information can be “frozen” until the parties can come to an agreement.

      The biggest thing to remember is BE NICE — one of the rules we all learned in kindergarten is: when you are nice, then the other kids want to play with you.

      Good Luck.

  2. Hi
    I dont like to use this family search web site.
    It is hard to work with data. I dont find the tools to add and delete record i added wrongly. Application is not convinient to use. I tried it a year before and gave up. I see it now, nothing changed. Frustrating to work on it. Arent they hire some good and skilled IT’s to create it??

  3. is anyone monitoring these posts, seems like a lot of very good information.suggestions are being made, but these date back to 2013. Seems like some of them should have at least been looked at and acted upon.

    1. Historically, I’m not sure if FamilySearch has always had someone monitoring comments and responding. Resources are limited but we do have people currently who try to watch and respond. We also encourage the community to chime in and provide answers when possible.