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Do you have a Family Tree on

Create a Family Tree on
Create a Family Tree on

This year FamilySearch unveiled the newish Family Tree, available on  I say newish because it was available in a clunkier beta version, but not for the general public. Now everyone can have one, and it’s FREE (forever).  Go ahead and register on FamilySearch, and start your tree today.

FS Family Tree
This shows my great-grandfather in the center, but you can view it with anyone in your tree as the center. Descendants (children) are on the left, and ancestors are on the right. Click the little arrows to expand the generations.

If you are LDS and you log in with your LDS Account you will be surprised to see your family tree already exists!  If you are the only person in it, it may be because your parents are still living.  As soon as you connect someone who is deceased to your tree, everyone connected to them in the database will populate your tree.  It’s pretty awesome, actually.  If you are related to me, and you connect to my tree, everything in my tree will populate yours.  In other words, my siblings are in LUCK!

I love the fan chart feature:

FS fan chart
Just click on any name to make it the center of the fan chart. See at a glance which of your lines need work. Notice the blanks?

Why should you create a Family Tree if you already have a tree on another site, like 1. It’s free, 2. You can connect any historical record on FamilySearch to any individual in your tree, 3. It is set up to be collaborative – anything your cousins add will show up on your tree. 4.  You can easily add and share photos and stories, including the ability to email or post on social media sites, 5.  It is the easiest way you will ever find to share your genealogy with your children and grandchildren (unless you think they will actually want your boxes of stuff).

Some people don’t like the collaboration feature, but I say that is what trees on other sites are for.  This tree is meant to be a group effort, and I will be happy to see records, photos, and stories appear on my tree when they are added by cousins.  I don’t want to duplicate anyone’s research, and want to give others a leg up on their research by adding my research to the tree.

Stay tuned for a glimpse at the Photos and Stories feature on Family Tree… you will like it a lot!


I am an Accredited Genealogist® professional living in California. I have been researching and teaching since 1988.

6 thoughts on “Do you have a Family Tree on

  1. I really like Family Tree. It has some problems still; it’s not perfect, but if you don’t have the dread disease of “my-tree-itis” (as Ron Tanner at FamilySearch calls it) it is, as you note, a wonderful way to collaborate.

    1. Yes, you are right! We need to accept it as a collaboration tool, flaws and all. I’m sure it will keep improving and we are just at the beginning of all it will be able to do. I like the “my-tree-itis” term. I will have to remember that.

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