Posted in Familysearch, Research tips

*NEW* – Portrait trees on FamilySearch

I try to keep you posted on new things happening at FamilySearch Family Tree – at least the things I get excited about and think you will like, too.  Recently they added the option of viewing your tree as a “portrait” tree.  See how spiffy it looks?

FamilySearch Portrait Tree for Dayna Jacobs
FamilySearch Portrait Tree for Dayna Jacobs

I love it!  The photos make my tree come alive and is easy to navigate.  Click on the “up” arrows to see more generations.  Click on the “down” arrows to see descendants.

Click on up and down arrows to see additional generations of ancestors or descendants
Click on up and down arrows to see additional generations of ancestors or descendants

You can access information for any of the individuals by clicking on their box.  A box will appear that allows you to see at a glance how many sources, memories (stories and photos), or discussions they have, as well as birth and death data, their I.D. numbers, and an option to “watch” the individual if you would like to be notified when changes are made to that individual’s record.  LDS members will also see a “temple” area.

Click on any of these links, or click on “person” to see more details, or click on “tree” to center this person on a tree view.

Click to see a summary box pop up.
Click to see a summary box pop up.

If you want to change the picture that shows up in the circle by the name, click on it and you will be given the option to use other photos you have previously uploaded.

If you have not created or discovered your tree on FamilySearch ( I encourage you to give it a try.  It’s entirely free and will remain that way.  It is functions hand-in-hand with the millions of digitized records on the site and is bound to help you find records you had not known about previously.

When viewing a person’s detail page, just click on the “Research Help” link and then “Show All” and it will pull up all kinds of digitized records that you can then attach to the individual.

I never know what new thing I’ll discover on FamilySearch Family Tree, but I will be sure to keep you posted so you can have fun, too.

Posted in Digitizing your files, Familysearch, Research tips

How I digitized my research and gave it all to you

Last week I reached a milestone.  For the past year I have been scanning 27 years worth of research, which amounted to 4 gigantic/stuffed drawers in a file cabinet.  Last week I scanned my last file folder. *happy dance*  In this post I’d like to share my reasons, method and tools. I also have a class handout posted you are welcome to print out. Continue reading “How I digitized my research and gave it all to you”

Posted in Websites

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!