2015 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Purpose and Helps for FamilySearch Family Tree
  • FamilySearch Family Tree
  • Navigating in FamilySearch Family Tree
  • Editing and Adding Data
  • Sources and Using My Source Box
  • Temple Names Submission
  • Conclusions
This page was last updated 2015-05-03.
Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes with the Internet links active are posted on .
  3. Tips:  (1)  Easy to put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes; just drag the icon in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link from here in another tab, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today's class:  Discuss the basics of FamilySearch Family Tree, navigation, pedigrees, family groups, and adding information such as data, sources, photos, and stories.
  5. Site Map of FamilySearch (click on button near bottom of any page) -- -- shows all parts of the FamilySearch website and where they are -- today we discuss mostly Family Tree and temple names submission

  7. Purpose of FS FT -- Provide a place where we can all work together to add and correct data, do the temple work, and prevent duplication of research and temple work
  8. Good videos and lessons at -- -- Sign in with an LDS or FamilySearch Account (see below); includes Online Courses (short videos introducing FS FT), How-To Videos, Guides and Manuals, Handouts on Advanced Topics, and Webinar Classes; can read and download pdf's of  the FSFT Users Guide, FSFT Reference Guide, FSFT Quickstart Guide, and more
  9. Many FamilySearch videos on YouTube
    1. Step 1 -- -- 2mins21secs
    2. Step 2 -- -- 1min46secs
    3. Step 3 -- -- 2mins29secs
    4. Video about plans for the future of FS with Dennis Brimhall -- -- 15mins28secs
    5. Search YouTube for many other videos by FamilySearch --


  10. LDS and FamilySearch Accounts
    1. Two types of accounts:  (1)  LDS accounts (for LDS members), and  (2)  FamilySearch accounts (for all others)
    2. FamilySearch Document ID 111396 describes the sign up procedure for both --
    3. For an LDS account you need your LDS membership number (on your temple recommend and on your Individual Ordinance Summary from the Ward Clerk)
    4. For both types of accounts you need an email address, since they will send you a verification.
  11. To see your FS FT genealogy data go to , sign in with your LDS or FamilySearch account (upper right hand corner), and click on "Family Tree" or the "Fan Chart"
  12. Family Tree format is "bow tie" with descendants on the left and ancestors on the right; several different viewing options by clicking on "Show" (under your Log In name); includes a way to invert the colors to make it more readable.
  13. Private Space vs Public Space
    1. Public Space is all deceased individuals, so anyone can search, view, and edit their data
    2. Private Space, due to privacy laws, is assigned you when you set up your LDS or FamilySearch Account; only you can see people in here and you can enter any data you want, for example, your living descendants and/or parents, so you are linked to your deceased relatives in the Public Space
    3. No one else can see your Private Space, not even your children, unless they use your user name and password
    4. When people in your Private Space pass on, their information can be merged into their Public Space record
  14. Your Source Box -- set up for you when your account is set up, for you to store source documentation -- get to it by clicking on your name (upper right corner) 
  15. Can form many different reports from your FS FT data by using FS FT and by using other programs, e.g. ; TreeSeek will also generate charts by using other PID's (Personal Identifier) and even from your uploaded GEDCOM files
  16. Need to keep a correct database with sources on your own computer, so no matter how FS FT gets changed, you always know what is correct; can get a start, if you don't already have the data, by downloading information from FS FT using other programs

  18. Click and drag to move your pedigree around in FS FT
  19. Change the size of the font on the screen by holding down the Ctrl key and rolling the mouse wheel or by clicking on the plus or minus signs "+ or -" (upper left hand corner)
  20. Click on the "Expand Tree" arrows to show additional generations up or down  
  21. Click on a person's name to see their basic information "Card" and buttons for Sources, Memories (Photos, Stories, etc.), and Discussions -- click on their name again to see all information for that person -- click on Ordinances to see temple work done for that person
  22. Views (upper left corner) are Traditional, Fan Chart, Landscape, Descendants, and Photo Pedigree
  23. Memories tab (upper middle) has links for photos, documents, stories, etc. -- to get a chart of all your ancestors with photos, go to Memories > Photos > People -- can save it as a pdf 
  24. Family Tree tab (upper middle) has Person, Find, Lists, etc.
  25. Click on "Watch" button to receive weekly email from FamilySearch listing any changes made by anyone to that person
  26. Family Tree > Lists  shows people on your Watch list and all recent changes made to any of them 
  27. To see updated ordinances done for people on your Watch List look for "Alternate Name Changed by FamilySearch" on your Watch list
  28. Temple tab (upper middle) shows names you have reserved or submitted to temple, but not completed yet -- Opportunities shows possible temple work needed up to your ggf and descendants -- need to check for duplicates before submitting 

  30. Can edit information in FS FT whether you submitted it or not -- Recommended that you only make changes to FS FT data when you have documentation, i.e. sources, for proof -- then FS FT will be "worthy of all acceptation" (D&D 128:24) -- can store all sources, data, and other  conjectures in your own home database and only post on FS FT what you have proven
  31. There is a box to see all changes ever made to a person's data and you can restore anything from the past, if needed
  32. When you add a source for documentation, add the tags to show what data that source substantiates, e.g. Name, Birth, or Death
  33. Memories are uploaded photos, stories, audio, and images of documents
  34. Can correct relationships in FS FT, husband-wife and parent-child, by deleting the relationship, but DON'T delete the individuals; MERGE the individuals since one of the records may have had the temple data and, if deleted, the ordinance data is deleted too 
  35. Solving problems of wrong combining in nFS -- see Knowledge Document 106612  and

  37. Can see Sources for the person by clicking on button or scrolling down near bottom
  38. The goal of FS FT is to have good sources for proof and documentation so the data will be correct and won't be changed 
  39. Sources need to be complete enough to show how someone else could find them -- Primary sources vs Secondary sources -- Primary sources are records produced at the time of the event by someone there; Secondary sources include compiled records, indexes, books, later articles, etc.
  40. Sources can include links to webpages -- easy to save these with free program RecordSeek
  41. Can save sources in your Source Box to attach to people later 
  42. The Notes (comments) part of a source is so the text of source can be included to make it available and readable
  43. Your (My) Source Box is a place to store sources and links you find that you might want to use later -- See information about source boxes at
  44. To add a source via My Source Box
    1. Write the source by editing or else by finding a webpage online that you want to save
    2. If you have the freeware RecordSeek program installed, you can save it to your Source Box by clicking on the TreeConnect button when you have the source open on the Internet -- it will be saved to your Source Box
    3. From your Source Box you can attach it to anyone you want
    4. Sources in My Source Box alphabetize by title, so it may help to name them "[Surname, Given names] - [Title]"
    5. Can form folders and subfolders in MySource Box to organize your sources, e.g. by locations, surnames, record types, Sources Completed, Sources Still To Attach, etc.
    6. After attaching a source to a person, tag it to show what data the record supports, i.e. name, gender, birth, christening, death, or burial
    7. After attaching a source to someone it can be moved to a "Completed" folder or deleted from your Source Box -- deleting it from your Source Box does NOT remove it from persons it is attached to
    8. Can edit sources in your Source Box by clicking on the source > Copy > [make changes] > Save -- then remove the original version
    9. Can have your Source Box open it in one browser tab to see sources you have saved and have FS FT open in another browser tab to add them to the people


  45. Helpful video lesson on which names you can submit for temple work on the FS FT Training website mentioned above or directly at --
  46. Before submitting names for temple check for possible duplicates
    1. Temple work may have been done and is in a duplicate entry for that person
    2. Start by checking "Possible Duplicates"
    3. Some duplicates still can't be merged due to problems with old "new FamilySearch", so it appears they need temple work when they don't really -- check these other files for completed temple ordinances and don't redo them; these merges will be possible in FS FT "soon", so this won't happen, but it still does now (May 2015)
    4. Check for more duplicates by searching for names close by, e.g. my gf Jesse Merritt Baker had a duplicate in FS FT, Jess M Baker, but the automatic duplicate finder didn't find it
    5. Good idea to only submit names for temple work that have documentation, so you are sure it is a real person and in that family
  47. Several helpful "Certified" programs (i.e. approved by FamilySearch) to help you find temple work needed -- Descendants View on Family Tree will help you find many
  48. Can reserve names to do the temple work; then select and print the Family Ordinance Request (FOR) to take to a temple or a FamilySearch Library to get the ordinance cards printed
  49. If working in a public place like a library, be sure to sign out when done since, if you don't, others can use your log in -- easiest way to sign out is just close the browser

  51. FS FT is a work in progress to help turn our hearts to our fathers; worthwhile to keep checking it now to learn about your ancestors and see what needs correcting and completing; new information is being added daily  
  52. Can usually find some temple work needed for ancestors or cousins, but be sure to check for duplicates before submitting

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .