Thursday, March 19, 2015

Enhancements to FamilySearch’s Personal Trees

Robert Kehrer, senior product manager for search, recently announced enhancements to FamilySearch Genealogies, its personal tree feature previous called Community Trees. FamilySearch Genealogies are searched or submitted from To reach that page, click on Search and then on Genealogies.


There are four tree collections in FamilySearch Genealogies:

  • Ancestral File
  • Pedigree Resource File
  • International Genealogical Index from LDS Church member submissions
  • Community Trees

You already know what the first three are. Anyone can upload a tree to the Pedigree Resource File. The ability to have a personal tree on FamilySearch is often overshadowed by FamilySearch Family Tree. You can upload a GEDCOM. If desired, you can then move new persons into Family Tree.

Community Trees is a new addition to FamilySearch Genealogies. They previously resided on the FamilySearch Labs website. It is “s collection of sourced genealogies from specific times and places that have been linked according to family lineages and relations.” See my article, “FamilySearch Community Trees” for more information.

The new search form allows searching all or any one of the four collections. The form has been updated to with the familiar feel of the historical records search form.

Two years ago I complained that this area of didn’t have a pedigree view, even though it contained lineage-linked trees. See “Ancestral File Tree View.” This new release fixes that deficiency, as shown above. Like New FamilySearch and Family Tree, it uses the new-fangled couple pedigree instead of an individual pedigree. In my opinion, lines joining four parents to two children is initially ambiguous and confusing. (See the image, below.) But you get used to it.

Lines joining four parents to two children is initially confusing.

A separate person page is avoided by including a panel along the left side. (See the first image of this article). Unlike the classic website, which displayed four generations with rich details, this pedigree shows only names and birth and death years.

But overall, this release is a big win.


  1. Slightly off-topic, but what is this all about: - the screenshots bear no resemblance to what I see on my pages!?!?! Any clues? Thanks.

    1. You don't see this view because it is an article about not, anyone can see this view in FamilySearch. Just do a search on for Geneologies and this is what the pedigree looks like after you select the person from your search results.

  2. The reason your screen looks different is that the screenshots at fammilysearch show features only available to members of the LDS church: .

    1. This is not a view for just LDS accounts. It is a view in not a view in It is viewable by all by doing a search for submitted genealogies.


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