FamilySearch Updates from 2019


In order to give users the best experience possible, we are always working on updates and improvements to our online experience. This article shows FamilySearch experience changes that were made in 2019. To see more recent updates, visit FamilySearch Updates Enhance Your Experience.

Curious about what FamilySearch has in store for the new year? You can also read What's Coming to FamilySearch in 2020.

Table of Contents

Update: December 10, 2019— FamilySearch Adds Ability to Document All Family Relationships

The FamilySearch Family Tree now provides the ability for users to document all family relationships, including same-sex relationships. Nonprofit FamilySearch provides access to the world’s genealogical records and other free services to create family discoveries and memories. FamilySearch is a free service that enables anyone to discover, build, manage, share, and preserve their family’s history. It encourages genealogical accuracy based on original source records and contains over a billion user-contributed lineage-linked records. Patrons are now able to document same-sex relationships, including same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions.

How It Works

When adding a spouse or parent to the FamilySearch Family Tree, the user can now add a spouse or parent of the same sex.  The Family Tree mobile app will also support this new capacity after users install the necessary updates.  

Related: Official Statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and FAQs

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Update: November 7, 2019—Control What You See in Your Feed

FamilySearch users will now be able to dismiss content from the feed on their signed-in home page.

When you first sign in to, you find an updating list of recent memories added to your ancestors’ person pages. In the bottom right corner of each memory, you can click the three dots and open a new menu. Here, you can choose to hide the memory, stop receiving update notifications from that ancestor’s page, or report abuse.

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When you search the Family Tree to find a relative’s profile on, you can now add residence information to narrow your search. Also, to simplify the search, the options to add christening and burial information have been combined with birth and death event information.

To search the Family Tree, go to, and click Search and thenFamily Tree. In the search form, add your relative’s name.

  • How to add a residence: Under Search with life event, click Residence. Here you can add a place-name and a date range.
  • How to add christening and burial Information: You will no longer see an option in the life events section to choose christening or burial. Instead, simply enter christening information as a birth event,and burial information as a death event. The search will automatically include christenings and burials as it looks for birth events and death events.

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Update: October 18, 2019—Changes to Reviewing Indexed Batches

We are announcing a change to the reviewing process that is designed to improve the quality of indexes.

Previously, when you opened a batch for reviewing, there was a green check mark prepopulated next to each indexed field. However, now the green check mark doesn’t automatically appear in each box. This change is meant to help prevent any confusion about whether a field has been reviewed.

Learn more here.

Screenshot of checkmarks for indexing review

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Update: October 8, 2019—Thank a Volunteer on

Many records on the FamilySearch website are available thanks to the hard work of volunteers. In fact, over 250 million records are indexed by 200,000 to 300,000 volunteers every year. Now it is possible for you to thank these volunteers for their hard work! The new Thank a Volunteer feature on is available for all records that have the name of a volunteer attached to them. Learn more here.

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Have you ever wondered why someone made a change on the FamilySearch Family Tree? Or better yet, how you are related to him or her?

We are happy to announce the release of a new relationship viewer feature on FamilySearch.organd the Family Tree app.Unlike Relatives Around Me, this new feature doesn’t require you to be within100 feet of another person. It gives you the option to view your relationship to another user anywhere you spot their name on the Family Tree, so long as he or she has opted in.  

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

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Update: August 10, 2019—Messages Feature Expands on FamilySearch

The Messages feature on lets you talk to other FamilySearch users, points you to new records and discoveries, and gives you updates about FamilySearch records and tools. The recently updated messaging system is easier to use, and new types of messages can help you as you dive into your family history. Learn more here.

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Update: July 12, 2019, 2019—Editing Names on Indexed Records

In the past, if you came across an incorrect index on, there wasn’t much you could do about it besides note down the error and perhaps grumble about it to yourself. That’s all changed now!

With this update to FamilySearch, you can now make corrections to names in the index—with the ability to edit other details in the entries coming soon. By editing the index, you can help other people locate records—and ancestors—they might not have been able to find otherwise. Learn more here.

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Update: June 28, 2019—New Similar Historical Records Tool

You can search instantly among more than 7 billion names in old records with FamilySearch’s powerful Historical Records search—and now there’s an easier way to find similar historical records within your search. Learn more here.

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Update: June, 24 2019—New Search Results Page

There’s a new look when you search for records on! On June 24, all FamilySearch users will see the system-wide update on the search results page. The update will help enhance the record search experience by making it faster and easier to view indexed records:

  • When you select a row on the search results page, a box pops up to display the detailed record information.  All the information is still there including who the source is attached to on Family tree, but now you can quickly move from record to record using the arrows on either side of the box.

  • The “number of results to show” option on the search results page has increased from a maximum of 75 to 100.  This also means that you can export up to 100 results at a time.

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Update: May 30, 2019—Standardized Dates and Places

A system-wide update will standardize many dates and locations in the FamilySearch Family Tree. In the View Details section, these changes will appear with the contributor listed as “FamilySearch” and the date change starting on May 30, 2019. This will occur for vital and couple relationship conclusions only and will not trigger users’ Watch Ancestor notifications.

This update will help users by removing the data problem “Missing Standardized Date,” and "Missing Standardized Location", saving the user time. It will also assist the site in providing more accurate record hints and creating more reliable data. Standardized dates will help you find ancestors more easily when you search the entire site.

This update will be applied to 15 percent of the dates and locations that are currently missing a standardized value. We will make the update only in cases where the standardized value very closely matches the value being replaced.

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