old guy

How to SHARE your FamilySearch FamilyTree with Someone Else

There have been various posts in the FS Community over the weeks and months concerning    "How to share my family tree with someone else?"

Now in what I explain below - I am using the phrase "my family tree" in a very general sense - simply to mean "my ancestors" - especially those that I see in my default pedigree view when I log on to FamilySearch and see the tree/pedigree view.


Now as various people have rightly pointed out - FamilySearch FamilyTree is a collaborative system where we all have access to all the records (for deceased people) in the massive database of billions of people.  There really is no "ownership" of records for deceased people.  Anyone can view them and anyone can update such records - and generally speaking there is one record for any specific deceased person  (assuming that any duplicate records have been merged as they should be)


So what is the best way for us to "share" or better said "point someone at" a specific set of family records (often the "home" pedigree view that we see by default) ?? In other words if we are looking at a specific family group or pedigree view and we want to share that "view" with someone else - how can we do it?
You may notice that as you navigate a family pedigree or visit a specific family group - that the web address ( called a "URL")  on your browser changes slightly. 

For example this is the URL that shows in my browser when I look at the pedigree view of my Father



of particular note are the last few characters "KWH7-N5T"

every individual in FS has a corresponding identity number to be able to uniquely identify and to access their records.  That number above is the number for my father.  Every single person in FS has a similar number.


So using this number - there are at least two ways that you can share a given "view" of the database that "focuses in" on this one person.   

One simple way (as I have done above) is to simply copy and past the web address (URL) that is on your browser

and then copy and paste it to wherever you wish  (such as in an email to the person you want to share this link with) or in some notes document where we want to keep track of this.


Another option that allows you to "point" someone else at this specific person of focus - is simply to share with them what is called the PID (Personal Identification Number) -  i.e. the number that I shared above of KWH7-N5T.

Anyone who has a PID can easily look up that person in the database and go directly to that person - and focus ether on their family group - or the person's family tree.

Using this page you can do a lookup on the PID of anyone in the sytem:




So in short summary,  You CAN indeed share with someone the "view" that you have of your deceased ancestors. 

in fact if you are working collaboratively with others - it is almost critical that you know how to copy and paste URL's from Familysearch to other places - such as an email - or a post in Community etc. 


Note that copying and pasting a URL is no more complicated than copying and pasting a string of words in a word processor.  Also note there are short cut keys  (of CTRL-C for copy and CNTRL-V for Paste)


there are also various videos on youtube  you can watch - about things such as

copying and pasting,  creating a bookmark, short cut keys, URL's and more. 


I hope each of you can become adept at being able to share URL's and PID's in your research and use of community

It really makes things easier when people share URL's -  in place of saying "I am looking at person "X"  . . . 


If you have any questions - please feel free to ask

knowing the basics of copying and pasting PID's and URL's can really facilitate your collaborative work with others.

A few notable exception to the above instructions
You cannot share URL's for living persons with others - this is due to privacy issues and related to the fact that those records for living persons that you have created - only exist under YOUR account.  No one else can view or access them - to ensure that confidential info for living persons is kept secure and private.  The area where your records for livign persons is kept is called the "Private Space".

You cannot share URL's for FamilySearch Memories artifacts using the above instructions  (using the browser url will NOT provide an address unique to the one artifact).  Rather when viewing the memories item you will notice a "SHARE"
link.  By selecting that item you can then choose COPY LINK - (which copies the correct URL to memory) and then you can paste it to the desired location (such as in an email or FS Post)  - using the standard CTRL-V option (Paste).


Some additonal Notes:

Sharing your family tree in the above examples - assumes that in most cases the person you are sharing it with will have a FamilySearch Account.  Refer them to this page to create a free account.:

Understanding the "Private Space" and records for living people - click on this link

Uploading a GEDCOM of your local genealogical database to FamilySearch Pedigree Resource File  - click this link

What can I do when someone messes up my family tree? - click this link

Copying and Pasting URL's  - click this link