How do I change the starting person in Family Tree?

Before you start

  • When you create a FamilySearch Account, you are the starting person in Family Tree by default. You appear as the first person in the Recents list. You cannot change the record of the starting person living to deceased.
  • You can change the starting person in Family Tree to someone other than yourself. You can also change the starting person back to yourself.
  • To change the starting person, you need that person's Family Tree ID.
  • You cannot delete the starting person in Family Tree.
  • When you sign out and back in with the same browser, you see the last viewed individual and not the starting person. This is stored in the cookies of your browser. Unless you clear the cookies, or use a different browser, you will not start with the starting person. The reason for this is to prevent forcing people to start over if they accidentally sign out, or if they are signed out due to a time-out.

Steps (website)

  1. Sign in to FamilySearch.
  2. In the top-right corner, click your name.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Account tab.
  5. Scroll to Family Tree Preferences and click Edit.
  6. To make yourself the Starting Person, click the circle next to your name.
  7. To make someone else the Starting Person, click the circle next to the blank box and enter the Person ID.
  8. Click Save.

Steps (mobile app)


Currently, you cannot change the starting person in the Family Tree mobile app. Use the website instead.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)

You cannot change the starting person in Family Tree Lite. Use the full website instead.


How do I delete a person from Family Tree?
Family Tree information could not be read error
How do I delete my Family Tree and start over?

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