Screenshot of FindMyPast Family Tree with the title FindMyPast Building Your Tree Quickly on FindMyPast

How to Easily Build Your Family Tree on FindMyPast

If you have ancestors from the British Commonwealth, such as the UK, Canada in Australia, or the British Isles, you’re going to want to use FindMyPast to build your family tree. If you don’t have your family tree on FindMyPast, you’re missing out on really great genealogy research tools

In this video, I walk you through the process of how to build your tree on FindMyPast.

FindMyPast Family Tree: How to Easily Build Your Online Tree
Watch this video on YouTube.

What is FindMyPast?

According to their website,

FindMy Past is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivaled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users.”

For US Researchers, Findmypast has many records that you would expect to find for your ancestors. Their American record collection includes:

  • US censuses from 1790 -- 1940
  • vital records for many of the American States
  • US military records from the Revolutionary War up to World War II
  • A US Catholic Record collection featuring sacramental records from for Philidelphia, Cincinnati, New York, and Baltimore unavailable online anywhere else.

However, the strength of FindMyPast for US Researchers is the vast collection of British Commonwealth records. This genealogy record catalog includes

  • the most extensive compilation of Irish records online
  • parish records from across England and Wales dating back to 1538
  • millions of British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710.

FindMyPast Fridays announce new records added every week. To check out the latest monthly or annual subscription prices, visit https://www.findmypast.com/subscribe.

On the front page of FindMyPast, use the top menu bar to access “Family Tree.”

You’ll access a view displaying all of the trees you manage. You can manually build one or import a family tree. This video covers both ways.

Manually Build Your FindMyPast Family Tree

  • Click “Create Tree” from:
    • Page Menu -> Family Tree -> Create Tree, or
    • The “Create Tree” link on the Tree Management page
  • Complete the “Create a Tree” form with:
    • a name (for yourself or your ancestor
    • indicate if this person is you or an ancestor
    • Record additional vital information
      • Put as much information as you remember.
      • It’s okay to leave a few details blank.
      • Use the place prompts to standardize your ancestor’s locations.
    • Name your family tree
  • Press “Create a Tree.”
  • Once in the family tree view, you can begin adding additional relatives (i.e., father, mother, spouse, children)

Repeat the first three steps for each relative you wish to add.

Then, FindMyPast will begin to search its databases for other family trees or records that reflect the information you provide about your ancestors.

Nearly instantly, you’ll have hints. You can use these hints to rapidly build your family tree using records rather than manually inputting information.

In another video, I’ll discuss how to use Tree-to-Tree matching to leverage the power of other’s researcher’s work to build your family tree.

Build Your Family Tree Using Hints on FindMyPast

In this video, I demonstrate step-by-step how you can migrate the information from records featuring a family to build your family tree. These steps primarily involve.

  1. Evaluate the Record Hint
    • Review the Transcription / Index of the Record
    • Look at the Original Records (when available)
  2. Accept the Hint
  3. Select which information from the record hint you wish to migrate into your ancestor’s profile.
  4. Select which individuals from the record you want to add to your family tree.
  5. Accept the changes.

Import a Family Tree to FindMyPast

If you have built your family tree on other genealogy websites and programs, you won’t want to waste your time manually rebuilding your family tree. Instead, you can upload a GEDCOM file to FindMyPast.

Begin by creating a GEDCOM file from Ancestry, MyHeritage, RootsMagic, Legacy Tree Software, Family Tree Maker, or other programs.

(Note: You can not download a GEDCOM file directly from FamilySearch. You must use a software program such as Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic to create a GEDCOM file.)

In this video, I walk you through the process of creating a GEDCOM file to transfer your genealogy data. (Be sure to watch it if you aren’t sure how.)

  • Use the top menu to access “Family Tree.”
  • Select “Import Tree.”
  • Press “Choose File”
  • Use the file window to navigate to the GEDCOM file saved on your computer. Your file extension should be “.GED”
  • Click Open
  • Then click “Upload Tree.

Once the tree information is uploaded, you’ll see your tree. Then FindMyPast will automatically begin searching its database for relevant record hints.

Screenshot of FindMyPast Family Tree with the title FindMyPast Building Your Tree Quickly on FindMyPast
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Set Your Family Tree Settings on FindMyPast

Before you continue with your family tree research, adjust a few settings on your family tree.

  • Set the Home Person on your tree (as you?)
  • Set the sharability settings for your tree.
    • Checking the “Share Deceased Ancestors” allows the names, dates, and relationships for your family tree to be shared with other users. Your sources, media, and your identity will be privatized.
    • Unchecking the “Shared Deceased Ancestors” box does not allow access to your family tree.
  • Indicate how often and what kind of communication you’ll allow FindMyPast to send to your email inbox.
  • Select whether you want Surnames in your database to be capitalized.

In this video about tree-to-tree hinting on FindMyPast, I talk about how checking the “Shared Deceased Ancestors” allows for tree-to-tree hinting for yourself and other FindMyPast users.

Continue Learning About FindMyPast

Review the following blog posts for more tips about FindMyPast

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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