9 Ingredients to Finding Your Ancestors with Descendancy View


Have you found your ancestors or cousins by using the descendancy view on FamilySearch.org? It is one of many new FamilySearch tools that make it easier for you to find your family members and add them to your tree. It is also one of the best illustrations of the power of indexed records

Descendancy research basically means searching for your ancestors’ descendants. The new descendancy view makes it so easy! The descendancy view shows what your ancestors see when they look down their family tree toward our day—from their children to their grandchildren, to their great-grandchildren, and so forth. As you can imagine, the number of people multiplies with each generation, as do your chances of finding someone new.

As you do descendancy research on FamilySearch.org, you will notice icons and links that guide your search. One of the icons is the record hinting icon, which indicates that there are records that are likely connected to the person you are looking at. Record hints are generated from indexed records and show possible matches of records in the FamilySearch.org database to the people in your tree. Thanks to your indexing efforts, the computer can now match these records to the people in your tree, making it easier than ever for users to attach the hinted records as sources, find their ancestors, and add them to the tree.

Here are some simple ingredients that will get you started with descendancy research and record hints.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Success

1. Sign in to FamilySearch.org, and view your family tree.

2. Find an ancestor who was born before 1830.

3. Select the ancestor, and change the view to Descendancy.

4. To expand the descendants of your ancestor, click the arrow next to a person’s name, looking for record hints on the right.

The Record Hints icon suggests that there may be records available for an individual.
The Research Suggestions icon indicates possible gaps or missing family members.
The Data Problems icon warns of potential data problems.5. Look for both the Record Hints icon and the Research Suggestions icon together. These two icons together mean that there are records for the person and possibly missing family members to add.


6. Click the Record Hints icon to view possible records of your ancestor.

7. Compare the information from the new record to the information already in Family Tree.

8. If the information is accurate and the record is for your ancestor, attach the record to the entry in Family Tree, and add any missing family members to Family Tree.

9. Return to the descendancy view in Family Tree.

We hope that you are able to experience the joy that comes from finding your ancestors. Once you have learned how,* we encourage you to show others.

*Church-service missionaries are available to help. Please call 1-866-406-1830 for assistance.

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