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Using the "Sign in to Help Someone Else" or helper feature
Instructions for Area Support

Many of the features and policies found in this article apply to both Family Tree and the new FamilySearch. The instructions for use of the Helper feature in the new Family Search are found further down in this document. If you need help using the Helper feature in Family Tree, please see article 114821.

  • Support missionaries should:
    • Use the Sign in to Help Someone Else or helper feature to assist the patron in learning how to enter or edit information into the new FamilySearch.
    • Use the helper feature to view and understand the patron’s concerns.
    • Use the helper feature to VIEW ONLY. Please do not enter the information for the patron.
    • ALWAYS provide the patron’s helper information in new FamilySearch cases that are escalated to another queue.
  • Whether on a call or working an e-mail, in order to replicate the problem, please request the patron’s helper information whenever it is needed. In the case of an e-mail, the helper information may have been provided in the patron’s e-mail.

  • Support missionaries should NOT sign in using their own account to add or correct information for the patron. Doing so will show the missionary as the contributor of the information instead of the patron.

  • Support missionaries should never ask for the patron's user name and password and do not need to know it.

  • Support missionaries can view a patron's records in the new FamilySearch by signing on as a helper without further permission from the patron if the helper information is included in an e-mail or patron case created in the Help Center. When patrons submit a problem through the Help Center, they are asked if they give permission for their information to be accessed. If they mark yes, their helper information is automatically included in the case.

Symptoms (Problems)

Click on any of the questions below to jump to the answer.

Answer (Resolution)

What is the Sign in to Help Someone Else or helper feature?

  • The Sign in to Help Someone Else or helper feature allows a user of the new FamilySearch to sign in to assist another person. It can be used by a user to view what another user sees or to help that person add information or make corrections to information that he or she contributed. For more details, see the headings for what a helper can and cannot do in the new FamilySearch, found below.

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Who can act as a helper?
  •  Only registered users of the new FamilySearch with LDS Accounts can Sign in to Help Someone Else. This feature is found on the home page after signing in.
  • Public users with FamilySearch Accounts do not have this feature.

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Who can a helper sign in to help?
  • Church members, whether or not they are registered to use the system, can be helped.
  • Members of the public can be helped only after they have registered and added a helper access number to their user profile.
  • If a user needs help working in the new FamilySearch, he or she might contact a family history consultant, LDS family member, or LDS friend.

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How do I Sign in to Help Someone Else?
  1. Sign in to www.familysearch.org using your LDS Account user name and password.
  2. On the Family Tree page, click the Helper link found on the right side at the top (life belt).
  3. Enter the needed information:
    • Enter the user name and helper access number of the patron.

    • Or, you can use the other tab to enter first name, last name, birthdate, and helper access number.

  4. The page will refresh, and the patron's tree will be shown.  A notice on the right side of the screen will show that you are helping him or her.
  5. When you are finished helping, click the life belt again (top-right) and click Stop to stop helping.  Your own tree will now be displayed.

For Beta find the following :

  1. Sign in to beta.familysearch.org using your LDS Account user name and password.
  2. On the Family Tree page, click the Helper link found on the right side at the top (life belt).
  3. Enter the needed information:
    • Enter the username and helper access number of the patron / name,surname and helper access number of the patron.
  4. The page will refresh, and the patron's tree will be shown. A notice on the right side of the screen will show that you are helping him or her.
  5. When you are finished helping, click the life belt again (top-right) and click Stop to stop helping. Your own tree will now be displayed.

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What is a Helper access number?
  • A Helper access number is a part of the information needed to allow a helper to assist you in adding information, or correcting information that you previously added, to the new FamilySearch.
  • By default, the Helper access number of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the last five characters of his or her membership number. It can be changed to any combination of 5 characters or numbers by following the instructions in 1008424. Helper access numbers are case sensitive. Capital letters used in the Helper access number must be entered as capital letters by a helper.
  • Public users must add a Tree Helper PIN in their FamilySearch Settings.

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Where can the patron find his or her User name or Helper access number?

 To find his or her User Name or Helper access number, a patron would do the following:

  • After signing in to the new FamilySearch, click on his or her name (top right) and then Settings.   
  • Verify (or enter) the User name and note the Helper Access number (or Tree Helper Pin for public accounts).

  • If the patron desires to do so, he or she may change either piece of information and click Save. Otherwise click Cancel.

    • NOTE: A Helper access number can be any 5 letters or numbers. It is case sensitive.

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Why sign in as a helper?

 

  • Using the helper feature allows one user to view what another user sees or to help that person add information or make corrections to information that he or she previously contributed.

  • The helper feature allows one Church member to help another Church member who is not registered to use the program.

  • Acting as a helper, it is possible to help a member who does not have a computer or access to the Internet. The system was designed so that a Church member could be helped without being registered.

  • Members of the public must be registered and have chosen a Helper access number in order to be helped with this feature.

  • The helper feature allows both the helper and the patron being helped to view the patron’s family information from different locations.

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What a helper CAN do in FamilySearch.

 

A helper can sign in to FamilySearch and work on behalf of someone else. Helpers are able to do the following for the person being helped:

  • Add family information.
  • Edit and delete family information.
  • Print family information.
  • Prepare and print a Family Ordinance Request for the patron to take to the temple.

  • View the GEDCOM files that the person added on the Home Page.

Notes:

  • Any information or Family Ordinance Requests that are printed by the helper will print on the helper's printer, not the patron's printer.

  • FamilySearch Support personnel sign in as a helper to only VIEW the data of the patron being helped.

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What a helper CANNOT do in FamilySearch.

 

Helpers are not able to do the following for the person being helped:

  • Access or make changes to the person's profile information.
  • Make changes to information from Church membership records.
  • Make changes to information from temple records.
  • "Declare this legacy contributor as yourself"on behalf of a person registered or unregistered. (While logged in as a helper for someone else, if you click on Declare This Legacy Contributor as Yourself, the helper, not the patron being helped, will claim the legacy contribution.)
  • Submit feedback for the person from the Help Center. If you are signed in to the new FamilySearch as a helper and you send feedback from the help center, the feedback is treated as if it were from you (the helper), not from the person you are helping. Consequently, any communication sent from Support about your feedback will be sent to you, not to the patron. Also, any cases generated from your feedback will appear in the help center under your "View your existing cases" on the Contact FamilySearch page of the Help Center.
  • See the person's Help Center, including Local Assistance information, the Training and Resources page, or View your existing cases.
  • Sign in as a helper for a deceased member; see 104758.

  • A helper cannot see the discussion category.

    • Only the patron who is signed in can create or add comments to a discussion regarding a specific individual. A helper cannot create or add comments to a discussion.

  • Tell if the person is “watching” an individual through the watch feature.

  • Watch or unwatch on behalf of the person being helped.

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Are there security concerns of the helper feature?

 

  • If you have given your Helper access number to a person in the past and no longer want that person to have access to your account, you should change your Helper access number.

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What other things should I know?

 

  • If the member seeking help is not registered in the new FamilySearch, the system identifies the member as the contributor of the information and the helper as the submitter of the information, the system cannot display contact information for the unregistered member.
  • If the new FamilySearch session times out while a helper is signed in, the helper will need to sign in to the new FamilySearch again and then click on the link to Sign in to Help Someone Else again. If the helper does not do this, any work that is done in the session will be attributed to the helper.
  • If the patron is making changes while you are signed in as a helper, you will need to refresh your screen to see the changes. Press F5 to refresh your screen.

  • The default helper access number of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the last five digits or characters of their membership number.

  • If you are signed in as a helper in new.familysearch.org and then open a new tab in the same browser and go to www.familysearch.org and then click Family Tree, you will see the pedigree of the person you are helping in the new FamilySearch. Currently, all of the helper features are not available in Family Tree.

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Troubleshooting problems with the Helper feature:

 

  • The system won’t accept a member’s Helper access number.
    • Some members have a Helper access number with four numbers and a letter at the end. The letter at the end of the number MUST be capitalized.
  • Information entered by a helper is incorrect.
    • All information entered by a helper is shown as being contributed by the person being helped. That person can sign in and correct the information or have another person sign in as a helper and correct it for him or her.

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Helpers should never register on behalf of another person. Instead, help the person through the registration process, letting the person register for himself or herself. This is important, since it allows the user to indicate his or her preferred method of contact and further requires that he or she agree to the conditions of use statement.

Please follow the counsel of Church leaders and do not work on someone else's line when signed in to the new FamilySearch under your own registered name. Members' preeminent obligation is for their own kindred dead.


See Also:

1008451 Using the New FamilySearch Website for Someone Else




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