A New Way to Attach Sources to Family Tree: The New Source Feature—Part 2 of 2


Using the Source Feature to Add a New Person to Family Tree

The source feature lets you do more than add information to Family Tree from the historical record. If the source has relationships, you can add new people to Family Tree.

When you review the possible matches, you may find a person with a + Add icon.






In this example, the death record listed James Trussell as the father of Reuben W. Trussell. James Trussell was not in Family Tree.

  • To add a person to Family Tree, click the +Add icon. Since the person is not yet in Family Tree, the system displays the information that will be added to Family Tree. You can add to or correct the information.

IMPORTANT: The system also looks for possible duplicates before it lets you add a new person. If it finds a possible duplicate, it will present the duplicate for you to review before letting you create a new person.






  • Click Living or Deceased.

IMPORTANT: The system won’t let you add the person to Family Tree until you click Living or Deceased. If the person was born more than 110 years ago, you can click Deceased. If the person was born less than 110 years ago, unless you have a record or personal knowledge that the person is deceased, you must click Living.





  • Click Create New Person. The living or deceased person is added to your tree.

Tip: You cannot add sources to a living person, but you can add the living person to Family Tree. When you click Create New Person for a living person, the information from the historical record is copied to the Family Tree record side. The person now appears in your tree.



If the person is deceased, you can also attach the source to the person.

  • Add the reason you are attaching the source to the deceased person in Family Tree, select the tags you want to appear with the record, indicate whether you want to add the source to your source box, and click Attach.






Comparing Carefully before Attaching

Some records can get very confusing, such as when a household contained live-in relatives, guests, servants, etc. Be sure to study and compare the information carefully.

Sources That Cannot Be Attached

If a source cannot be attached, you see a triangle with an exclamation point instead of an Attach link. You will see the icon in the following situations:

  1. In Family Tree, the person is listed as living.
  2. The person in the record is already attached to a different person in Family Tree. The system will show you the name and identifier number of the person the source is attached to.
  3. The person in Family Tree is locked and cannot be edited.

If you hover your cursor over the icon, you will see the reason the source cannot be attached. In this case, you cannot attach the source because the person in Family Tree is listed as living.



Changing the Person of Focus

You can change the person of focus on both the historical record and on the Family Tree record.

The person at the top of the screen is the person of focus. That person’s family is being displayed, and the relationships are based on the person of focus. To use a different person from Family Tree as the person of focus (and to have that person’s family displayed), click Change on the Family Tree side of the screen (the right side). You can enter the person’s identifier number or use the Find Your Family link at the top right to find them.

  • To change the person of focus in the historical record, click the Change link on the left side. (It is near the center of the screen.) A list of the people in the record is displayed.




  • To change the person or family from Family Tree, click the Change link on the right side. A list of the people you might choose appears. If you want someone who is not in the list, copy the person’s identifier number from Family Tree, and put it in the Go To box.





Seeing More Details about People

You can see more details about people in two ways:

  • Clicking the name displays the details from Family Tree in a pop-up card:



  • Clicking the Details link on the right side shows you the details about a person from both the historical record and Family Tree. Since the person of focus is Hyrum Lorenzo Reid, the system shows that Family Tree lists his wife as Zina. Comparing the details makes it easy to see that Rina and Zina are really the same person.




Displaying a Different Spouse

If Family Tree shows that a person was married more than once, you see a little arrow next to the spouse’s name. You can choose to display one of the other spouses.





Click the arrow to see the spouses, and click the spouse you need.

Moving Mismatched People to Their Correct Spot

FamilySearch.org does its best to match the people from the record to the people in Family Tree. But sometimes you may recognize that two people should be aligned or that two aligned people do not represent the same person.

IMPORTANT: The feature that lets you move mismatched people works only when the source is not attached. If you find a source attached to a person in the wrong position, you need to first detach the source. You can then move the person to the right place and attach the source.

  • If the people on the left and right aren’t correctly matched up, hover your mouse over the person on the left. An icon of up and down arrows appears. This means you can now drag the person to a different line.



  • In the left column, click the mouse in the area near the person’s name, and drag the person to the correct line.



If needed, you can insert a new line for a person (for example, if the system matches a child that is not yet in Family Tree to the wrong child). When you drag the name to where the person belongs in the family, pause between the person above and the person below. A colored area appears where the new person can be added.



  • When the person is over the colored area, release the mouse. The system puts the new person on the new line.

Tip: You can also just drop a child on a colored area that appears between any two children. The system will rearrange the children into birth order.



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