24/05/2018
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Top search tips for using the FamilySearch genealogy website

6d6be263-65ec-41cd-9c27-1846544da8ee

Find out how to carry out effective family history searches and discover more ancestors with our top tips for using the FamilySearch genealogy website.

Before you get started, arm yourself with as much information as possible before searching for an ancestor onlin.And remember that you might not necessarily need to use all details about a particular ancestor straight away for an effective search: sometimes less is more. An exact search may yield either too many or too few records and so you can save yourself time by being creative in your technique.

Top FamilySearch tips

1. Searching collections

On FamilySearch, the main search form is the best place to conduct most searches; some users go to collection-specific search forms and then miss many of the records. However, if you do know the specific record you’re looking for and know it’s found within in a specific collection you can locate and search that collection by typing its name into ‘find a collection’ at the bottom right of the main search page.

2. People not documents

FamilySearch is a ‘persona centric’ record system which means that when, for example, you conduct a search for William, you are presented with all Williams found in the records. The website does not return documents but rather the people found on documents.  

3. Locations

If you’re new to researching a particular location such as a town or village, click on the map and access that country’s location page where you’ll find data and information such as indexed and searchable record collections, and the FamilySearch Wiki and catalogue, both of which can provide background detail to help with your search.

Start your search on FamilySearch.

Back to "Useful genealogy websites" Category

24/05/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Charles Booth Poverty Maps of London added to TheGenealogist's Map Explorer

TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer now includes a feature that allows users to access Charles Booth's ...


3 key resources for today's genealogist; what to look for & where to find them

Are you just starting your family history, or wishing to brush up on your online research know-how? Our 3 key ...


How to create a family tree chart

Find out which family tree chart is best for you, whatever stage you’re at with your family history research, ...


Making a Mayflower 400 pilgrimage

Four centuries ago the Mayflower Pilgrims set sail for the New World. Discover must-see places to include ...


Other Articles

Which family tree chart should I use?

Confused about the many different genealogy charts that are available? Here's our expert help! ...


Boris Johnson is related to ten US presidents

New research by Gary Boyd Roberts of American Ancestors explores the family tree of UK prime minister Boris ...


FamilySearch users can now correct name indexing errors

FamilySearch have today (31 July) announced a new facility that allows users to make name corrections to its ...


DNA classes at RootsTech London: guest blog

If you are joining us in London for RootsTech this October, now is the time to start organising your ...