How do I add an outside source to Family Tree?

Sometimes you find sources that are not available on FamilySearch. You find them on another website, or you have a paper or digital copy. You can type the information to add these sources to Family Tree. When you type in the source, you can either link it to the online copy or attach a digital copy.

A digital copy has other benefits:

  • A digital copy preserves the source for future generations.
  • When people see a digital copy, they feel more connected to their ancestors.
  • The digital copy can provide clues for other researchers to pursue.

In your source box and in Family Tree, you can identify these outside sources by this icon:

Icon of the planet Earth

Before you start

If the source is online, copy the URL. If you have paper copies, save them in a digital format to your computer.

  • We accept .jpg, .png, .tif, .bmp, and .pdf files. (Use .pdf for multi page documents.)
  • The maximum file size is 15 MB.

You can add memories as sources. You can use the Family Tree app to attach a photograph from your phone as a source. 

Steps (website)

  1. Sign in to FamilySearch.
  2. Navigate to the Person page of the individual for whom you have an outside source.  
  3. Click the Sources tab
  4. Click Add Source.
  5. Click Add New Source.
  6. Enter information about the source.

    a. Enter an event date. The date allows you to sort sources chronologically.
    b. Enter a title for the source.
    c. To enter a source from a webpage, click Web Page URL. Enter the URL for the source. To use a memory, click Add a Memory. Click Upload Memory or Select from Gallery. Details are below.
    d. Add a citation that explains where the record is found.
    e. Describe the record. You can enter a transcription of a source or an explanation of a memory item.
    f. Enter a reason to attach the source.
    g. Click in the boxes for each event that the source documents.
    h. If you want the source to be in your Source box, leave the option checked. Otherwise, click to uncheck it.
    i. Click Save.

Upload Memory

  1. In step 6c above, click Upload Memory.
  2. Find the saved item on your computer, and double-click it.
  3. The uploaded item becomes a source for your ancestor. The system also adds it to your Memories Gallery on FamilySearch.
  4. Continue with step 6d above.

Select from Gallery

  1. In step 6c above, click Select from Gallery.
  2. Your Memories Gallery opens.
  3. Click the item that you want to add as a source.
  4. Click Import.
  5. Continue with step 6d above.

Steps (mobile app)

  1. In the Family Tree app, navigate to the Person page of an individual you want to attach a source to.
  2. Tap the Sources tab.
  3. In the lower right portion of the screen, tap the plus sign.
  4. Tap Add Source with a Web Page or Add a Source with a Photo. Continue with the appropriate steps.

Add a source with a web page

  1. Enter the Source title.
  2. Enter a date (optional).
  3. Enter the URL to the outside source.
  4. Provide a citation to explain where the record was found.
  5. Add Notes.
  6. Enter a reason to attach the source.
  7. Tap Save.

Add a source with a photo

  1. Tap Add Photo on an iOS device. Tap Add Source Photo on an Android device.
  2. Tap from the list of options.
    1. Camera or Take Photo: Use your mobile device to capture a digital image.
    2. Camera Roll, My Files, or File: Use an image from your device as the source.
    3. My FamilySearch Gallery or FamilySearch Gallery: Select an item in your gallery to use a source.
  3. Tap an item. Depending on your selection, tap Save or Upload.
  4. Enter a Source Title.
  5. Enter an Event Date.
  6. Enter a Citation that explains where the record was found.
  7. Enter Notes. For documents, the notes can be an extraction or transcription of the record.
  8. Enter a reason to attach the source.
  9. Tap Save.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)

Family Tree Lite lacks the Sources feature. To manage sources, visit the full website.


If you add the URL, FamilySearch reviews it to make sure it contains content appropriate for Family Tree. If the website is approved for use in Family Tree, you can save the source and proceed.

If the website is not yet approved for Family Tree, the system prompts you to submit the URL for review. After review, you receive an email notification. At that point, go back into Family Tree and enter the URL again. This typically happens when you link to a site that does not monitor content.

If you enter a website that FamilySearch considers inappropriate, you cannot save the source.  

What are the benefits of adding sources to Family Tree?
How do I upload memories to FamilySearch?

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