See How You Are Related to Other Users—FamilySearch Update

August 16, 2019  - by 
Two cousins hugging.

One of the great things about using FamilySearch’s shared tree is that you can learn what others know about your ancestors.

This means that every time you visit FamilySearch, new information might have popped up from one of your distant cousins, or things may have been changed around. When this happens, FamilySearch creates a tag that shows you who made the change. Have you ever wondered why someone made a  change?—Or better yet, how you are related to him or her?

This is why we are excited to announce the release of a new relationship viewer feature. This release is an addition to the collaboration tools already in FamilySearch, like Messaging and Discussions, that allow you to contact other users who are contributing to the Family Tree.

Discovering Family on FamilySearch—How Related Are You?

If you have ever used Relatives at Rootstech to hunt down cousins at a conference or experimented with Relatives Around Me on the Family Tree app, then you already have a pretty good idea of how the new feature works. Each of these tools allow you to directly see how you are related to someone here and now, not just your past ancestors in the tree.

The difference? The new feature doesn’t require you to be within 100 feet of another person. It gives you the option to view your relationship anywhere you spot a contributor name on the Family Tree, so long as he or she has opted in to use the new feature.  

Excited yet? Try this for yourself on FamilySearch, or read more about how it works below.

Screenshot showing relationship to another FamilySearch user.

How to Opt In and Try It Out

Start by logging in to FamilySearch or opening the Family Tree app. Explore your tree, and keep an eye out for contributor names. These are usually in a different colored font and can be found in the Vitals section, Latest Changes section, Sources, Memories, Messages—and other places too.

Note: On the FamilySearch website, you may need to toggle the Detail View, to see contributor names. On the mobile app, contributors don’t come up until you tap a specific piece of information or look at recent changes in the 3-dot menu at the top.

Screenshot showing how to toggle detail view on desktop in FamilySearch Family Tree.
Screenshot of person page on FamilySearch mobile app.

Pick a contributor name, and click on it. This will pull up a small window asking you to opt in to the new feature. Enabling the option to view relationships also allows others to see their relationship to you. This feature is entirely optional, so if you do not want others viewing how they are related to you, it can be toggled on and off in your settings.

Screenshot showing a username tag on FamilySearch.
Screenshot showing how to enable view relationship on FamilySearch.
Screenshot showing enable relationship agreement on FamilySearch.

From here, you should be able to view your relationship to any contributor that has also opted in.

Screenshot showing view relationship button on FamilySearch.
Screenshot showing relationship to second cousin on FamilySearch.

And that’s all there is to it! So try opting in and giving it a whirl! You might find that you’re one of the first ones on the scene, since the feature is still new. But you can speed up the process and start connecting now by using the feature’s option to send someone a friendly request. You may be surprised to discover that the person isn’t so much a stranger after all—which could open new doors to connecting with your family.

Screenshot showing request to view relationship button on FamilySearch.

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  1. I am not sure if this already exists, but when doing work between trees, it would be great to have this feature to compare the recorded relationship between two IDs. This would come in handy when comparing DNA relatives and finding out where the relationship meets.

      1. I wish this functionality were BUILT IN to familysearch. That would be VERY welcome, as opposed to having to go outside of familysearch to do that. Besides the DNA reason listed above, sometimes when working with a large extended family (across a few generations) and coming across a number of people in a newspaper clipping or reunion info, or other family event, it’s nice to see how they’re related to one another. Yes, you have to search for them, possibly in the recents, but seeing how they’re related to one another can be helpful to ascertain the closeness of a family, and to be able to possibly use the descendents of one (tracked down living) to either pass along research to or request help from them. (I’ve been mostly trying to remember large families who’s related to how and how. Some of that can be somewhat done by doing a tree view of descendents to see relative placement to one another, but that’s not always easy when the common family relationships don’t go through the person in the tree you’re using as a base person. to look from.

      2. Thank you, Amy. I’ve been looking for a tool to help with this for awhile now. I’m surprised I haven’t found this earlier.

          1. Uh yeah, naturally, that would be best. Would save a little time and CPU power, as I can’t get the BYU Relative Finder tool to work (on my Chromebook) unless I’m on a PC… Pull it all together in one easy click, FS. You can do it.

  2. I’m searching on information on how to find out what the connections are between me and an ancestor found with FIND, like between me and King Harald I of Denmark/Norway.

  3. Para mí, de todas las webs de antepasados, la preferida es FAMILYSEARCH, sin duda. A ustedes he confiado mi árbol genealógico, y seguiré haciéndolo. Lo que he comentado algunas veces es, que ponen algunos mensajes en Inglés, y lamentablemente no entiendo ese idioma. Esa era mi queja, que espero palíen en lo posible. Gracias y un saludo, José Ignacio.

    Google Translate – Spanish to English: For me, of all the ancestor websites, the favorite is FAMILYSEARCH, without a doubt. I have entrusted my family tree to you, and will continue to do so. What I have commented a few times is that they put some messages in English, and unfortunately I do not understand that language. That was my complaint, which I hope will alleviate as much as possible. Thanks and best regards, José Ignacio.

    1. I really enjoy seeing how I’m related to people as well. Both my parents are gone and every relative that I knew are gone. But I have found cousins all over the world and have made connections with a few. It’s nice not being an orphan anymore.

  4. Can someone please help? I have Relationship Viewing enabled in my Settings – Permissions, however have been contacted by 3 people asking me to enable it, suggesting that it isn’t working. Is there something else I need to be doing?
    Would really appreciate help with this.
    Warm Regards

    1. Same with me. It works with people but there was a request made that I enable it. I clicked on the person that sent me the request and it said request pending.

  5. What would my father’s uncle’s son’s wife’s adopted uncle’s daughter’s daughter be to me? Can I marry her in Hinduism?

  6. if a person is reported as having died, but they may have changed their name and have other members of their family still living is there anyway of searching using a photo and using compatibility to find them

      1. Hi Jean pictures are a great way to research. There are also websites that can do reverse images as well if you what mire information on that let me know and I will ask my daughter

  7. I
    Have tried several times to find ” relatives around me”. I have been in large family history gatherings, and have tried in lots of settings many times. The same thing comes up “no relatives found” Do I have a setting off? I believe I am related to someone. Not even my husband shows. How do I resolve this. It would be fun if this worked for me. Thanks Rose

    1. Hi Rose! Thank you for your question. You need to be connected to deceased generations within the FamilySearch Family Tree for this tool to work. Everyone you are attempting to find a relationship with also needs to make sure they are connected to deceased generations. You will not be related to your own spouse unless you share common ancestors. If you are still finding that when you are with close family members that this feature is not working for you, please contact FamilySearch Help for help.

  8. I am having an issue with relations and it might fit here. I found a woman who is living that I actually know in real life and found that we are 10th cousins. However, once I added my living husband as my spouse it is recognizing him as a distant relative of her as well. So when I click “how and I related to this person” it says the woman is the 9th cousin of my husband and no longer makes mention of her relation directly to me through my family. Anyway to temporarily disable my husband so I can see my relationship with this woman again without deleting my husband? Thanks!

    1. Hi Misty! Thank you for your feedback and question. The software will find the closest relationship which in this case is now through your husband to this other person. Please contact FamilySearch Help for assistance in how best to determine the relationship.

      1. It’s frustrating because I am trying to see how this woman is related to me through my ancestors… not my husbands. What is also weird is when I click how I am related to my husband it doesn’t say “your husband” it says “he is your 9th cousin once removed”… but when I click on his mom or his dad it says “your husbands father or your husbands mother” wouldn’t they be my cousins too then. It’s so wonky.There should be a way to toggle off a spouse if a person is related to you and a spouse so you can see the relationship both ways.

  9. I am trying to prove that Elizabeth Ward was ny gggrandmother…John Norris was heer husband. Nancy Norris Crow was her daughter.

    1. Hi RaeJean! Thank you for your research question. Please check out the FREE Virtual Research Strategy Sessions where you can schedule time with a specialist to help you on any family history question you may have. You can also connect with other FamilySearch users who may be able to help you, by joining the FamilySearch Community. Good luck and thank you for reading the blog!