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Helping family access genealogy on FamilySearch.org

Send your family members the link to all the details about an ancestor where they can print a family tree chart at FamilySearch.org
Send your family members the link to all the details about an ancestor where they can print a family tree chart at FamilySearch.org
Screenshot by Robin Foster

You may have received the charge to share the family history with your family. The youth in the family often are given assignments at school and begin asking questions for the first time about ancestors. Providing this information on demand can be quite cumbersome especially if you try to do it using paper. With Family Tree at FamilySearch.org, family members can have instant access to family history and it is completely free!

My Family Booklet online

First of all, you will need to be prepared for your family’s requests to share by making sure you add the information that you have to Family Tree. It will be too overwhelming to do this after you are asked, so begin now to add to Family Tree. You will need to create an account first.

You will be able to share a link to any person on your tree, and your family will be able print out a family group record or a family tree chart with all the details that you have entered. It is really easy to begin entering the first four generations if start with the My Family Booklet online. Be sure you are logged in first. Learn more about how to use the My Family Booklet.

Stories and Photos

After you enter the first four generations, begin to add stories and photos that you have on family members who are no longer living. The easy way to do this is:

  1. Find the person you want to add more details about on Family Tree.
  2. Click on the person’s name, and look for a popup box (the Person Card).
  3. To add a story, click on “Stories” in the box.
  4. To add a photo, click on “Photos” in the box.
  5. Click the add link in the first box to share a Life Sketch about the person.

Share complete details on a person

A family member may be interested in seeing all the details that you have on one person:

  1. Find that person on the Family Tree.
  2. Click on the person’s name.
  3. Click on “Person” when the popup box opens.
  4. Copy the URL at the top of the page, and send it by e-mail or post it on Facebook. Anyone with a free FamilySearch account will be able to log in and see this page. For example, go to the record for Robert Foster, and click on the tabs called Stories and Photos and Documents at the top of the page. Imagine your family member being introduced to an ancestor for the first time in this way as opposed to on paper.

Print ready-made charts

Next, find the print box in the sidebar on the right of the same page. Notice family members can print their own charts:

Encourage family members to add their names and information that they have to the Family Tree. Don’t worry, no one who is living is visible on FamilySearch. You do not need to add the names of children or grandchildren unless they are no longer living. They will not be seen by anyone else anyway. Use an offline family history database to keep track of those who are living.

Please feel free to share your experiences with collaborating with family members on the Saving Stories Facebook page. To get the next update from the National Genealogy Examiner, be sure to sign up for this new feed.