Using FamilySearch Family Tree: A Reference Guide (October 18, 2013)

Adding a New Person to Your Existing Tree

If you find that a person is missing from the tree, you can add him or her. Although Family Tree is primarily a tool for recording information about deceased ancestors, you sometimes also need to add living people to Family Tree.

Tip: Before you add, edit, or delete information in Family Tree, you should make sure that your user profile is set to display your contact information, at least an e-mail address. To set your contact information, click your username in the upper-right corner of the screen. Click Settings, and scroll down to the Contact section. Click the Public option for each piece of information that you want displayed with your contact information.
Mostly you should add deceased ancestors to Family Tree. Adding living people is useful when you need to do these types of tasks:
  • Connect yourself to your deceased ancestors. If your tree is blank or nearly blank, you probably need to add some living people before you can link yourself to your deceased ancestors. For example, you may need to add your parents so that you can connect to your deceased grandparents.
  • Print information to share with living family.
Tip: These instructions explain how to add a new person, starting from a family member’s details page. You can also add a new person by clicking Tree, and then find the place where that person should appear. An Add… link appears on the tree instead of the name. To add the missing person, click the Add… link, and start with step 4.
  1. Open the details page of someone in the person’s family.
    1. On the pedigree view or fan chart view, click the person’s name. The summary card appears.


    2. On the person’s summary card, click Person. The person’s details page appears:


  2. Scroll down to the Family Members section.


  3. Click the appropriate link to add the person:
    • To add a spouse or another spouse, click Add Spouse (located at the top of the Spouses and Children section).
    • To add a child with another, unknown parent, click Add Child with an Unknown Parent. This link is located beneath all of the person’s spouses and children. You may need to scroll down to see it.
    • To add a parent, click Add Parent (located at the top of the Parents and Siblings section).
    • To add the person’s child, click the Add Child link that is located in the box that appears beneath the person and his or her spouse.
      Tip: The Add Child links appear at the bottom of the box that lists a couple’s children. If the list of children is not displayed, click Children.
    • To add the person’s sibling, click the Add Child link that appears beneath the person’s parents.
    The Add or Find Person page appears.
    Note: By default the screen to find a person who is already in Family Tree appears.
  4. Click Add Person. Fields appear in which you can enter the person’s name, gender, birth, and death information.


    Note: Add as much information as you know. More information helps distinguish this person from others who have similar names or who lived at the same time or in the same place.
  5. (Required) Enter the person’s name. Enter the person’s main name. This is generally the complete name that he or she was given at birth. You can add other versions of the name, such as nicknames or married names, later as alternative names. Templates allow you to enter the person’s name
    1. If the template that you want to use is not already showing, click the Template drop-down list, and select the template that you need to use. Use the standard template unless you need to enter names in Spanish, Portuguese, Cyrillic, or an Asian language.
    2. (Optional) In the Title field, enter the person’s title if he or she had one. Titles include titles used for nobility, clergy, military ranks, professional affiliations, and scholastic achievements. Examples include duke, bishop, captain, or Dr.
    3. Enter the first, middle, and last names in the appropriate fields. For a married woman, enter her maiden name if you know it.
    4. (Optional) In the Suffix field, enter terms like junior, senior, or other words that appear after the name.
    You must enter at least a first or last name.
    • If you do not know a mother’s or wife’s name, enter the husband’s last name. Do not enter a first name. Do not enter “Miss” or “Mrs” in any of the name fields.
    • For a husband with an unknown name or a child who died without receiving a name, enter only the father’s last name. Do not enter a first name. Do not enter Mr., Miss, son, or daughter. Be sure that the gender is correctly entered as male or female if you know it.
  6. (Required) Select the gender. The gender is preselected if you are entering a person whose gender is assumed based on his or her relationship to others. For example, Male is preselected when you enter a person’s father.
  7. Enter the birth date and place-name.
    1. Begin typing the date or place. A drop-down list of standardized dates or places appears. Using standardized dates and places helps clarify the information that you enter. It also helps the system find people with the search feature.


      Note: You can enter place-names in your native language. However, the database that standardizes place-names is not yet complete. If the system does not have a standardized place-name for the place that you enter, select as specific a standardized place as you can, even if it is only the district, province, or country name. The standards will improve over time.
    2. If a drop-down list with standardized dates and places appears, select an option to tell the system which date or place to use:
      • If you want the system to use only the standardized date or place, click the standard date or place in the drop-down list. The standard replaces what you entered.
      • If you want the system to keep exactly what you entered, select None of the Above. This option appears at the bottom of the list of standard dates or places.
      The standardized date and place appears beneath the field. If the Family Tree can apply a standard, it does so, even if you did not choose an option from the drop-down list.


    3. If you want to change the standardized place that was selected without changing the original text that was entered into the field, click the standard place, and select the correct option. If the correct option does not appear in the list of places, then you need to either change the original text to get a new list of places. If none of the standard places matches what you need, click None of the above.
    If you do not know an exact date, you can enter one of the following words along with the date:
    • About
    • Before
    • After
  8. (Required) Indicate whether the person is living or deceased. If you select Living, only you will be able to see this person in Family Tree.
  9. If the person is deceased, enter the death date and place. If you need to add other information about the person, finish entering the person’s information on this page. After you have finished adding the person, display his or her details page, where you can add more information:
    • In the Vital Information section, you can add dates and places of christening and burial.
    • In the Other Information section, you can add many types of information, such as occupation, religious affiliation, and so forth. This is also where you can enter information that indicates a child was stillborn.
  10. Click Continue. You are returned to the details page of the person that you started from. If you started from the tree instead of a details page, you are returned to the tree.
  11. If you have a source, attach it to show that the information is correct.
The person is added to the tree. If you entered a living person, remember the following items:

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