How do I add an outside source to Family Tree?

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

Note: You can tell if a memory comes from an outside source by looking at your ancestor's Person page. Click Sources, and check out the Details column on the left. The tree icon means it was added to FamilySearch.org. The globe icon means it is an outside source.

Providing the digital copy has other benefits:
 

  • It preserves the source for future generations. You may have the only copy of the source that currently exists.
  • Seeing a digital copy helps people feel more connected to their ancestors than simply seeing the citation.
  • The digital copy may also provide clues for other researchers to pursue.

Before you start

If the source is online, copy the URL.

If you have paper copies, save them to 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.

         Memories can be added as sources as long as the person being documented is deceased. Memories cannot be attached as sources for living individuals. You can, however, use the Family Tree app to attach a photograph from your phone as a source. 

Steps (website)

  1. While signed in to FamilySearch, navigate to the Person page of the individual you want to attach the source to.  
  2. Click the Sources tab. 
  3. If the source has already been attached to this person, open the source:
    1. Click the source's title.
    2. Click Edit. If you have created the source, you can click Web Page or Add a Memory. Skip step 5 for these instructions. Otherwise, you may have to add the link or image as a new source. Continue with step 4.
  4. If the source has not already been attached to this person, click Add Source.
  5. Change or enter information about the source. In the Web Page section, select where the digital copy is located:
    • If it is on another website, leave Web Page URL selected, and copy the URL into the field.
    • If it is on your computer or in your FamilySearch memories gallery, click Add a Memory.
      • If the digital copy is in your FamilySearch Memories gallery, click Select from Gallery. Select the image you want, and click Attach.
      • If the digital copy is on your computer, click Upload Memory. Find the file on your computer, and acknowledge that you have rights to upload this image.
  6. Click Save.

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. If the source has already been attached to this person, open the source:
    1. Tap the source's title.
    2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner, and then tap Edit. The Apple iOS has the option of toggling between Photo and Web page. This option is not yet available for the Android, but it is possible to add these items as new sources. Continue to step 4 for these instructions.
      • To upload an image, tap Photo, then Add Photo. You can then capture or upload a photo from your device or from the memory items already in your Gallery. To access your Gallery, tap the Camera roll drop-down, and then select FamilySearch.
      • To insert a link, tap Web Page. Fill in the source title, the link to the web page, and the citations, as well as other information you want to provide.
    3. Tap Save.
  4. To add a source, tap the + icon
  5. Change or enter information about the source.
    • To attach a source from the record collections of FamilySearch or a few of our partners, tap Search records.
    • Tap Add a Source with a Web Page if it is on another website. Fill in the source title, the link to the web page, and the citations, as well as other information you want to provide.
    • To attach an image, tap Add Source with Photo. You can then capture or upload a photo from your device or from the memory items already in your Gallery. Note: To access your Gallery, tap My Memories on Android. For iOS, tap the Camera roll drop-down, and then select FamilySearch.
  6. Tap Save.

Steps (Family Tree Lite)

Currently, Family Tree Lite does not have the Sources feature. Visit the full website to manage the sources attached to your ancestors' records.

Results

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

If the website has not been approved for Family Tree, the system prompts you to submit the URL for review. After review, you receive an email notification. At that point, you need to come back into Family Tree and re-enter the URL. This typically happens when you link to a personal blog, a photo-sharing site, a Google document, or a similar site that does not monitor content.

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

Related articles

What are sources in Family Tree?
How do I upload memories to FamilySearch?

Was this helpful?