Monday, April 21, 2014

Why I like FamilySearch’s Family Tree

In a previous blog post, Public vs. private, and the debate goes on, I mentioned that I like FamilySearch’s Family Tree better than’s Public and Private Member Trees and I thought I would give you a more comprehensive list why.

  • FamilySearch (FS) is a totally free website and even though you can access’s public member trees without a subscription I feel that FS is a better overall environment especially for those researchers just starting out.
  • is a collection of many individual trees.  A certain person could be in hundreds of trees making it difficult to look at each one for information.  FamilySearch is a collective tree that everyone contributes to.  Yes, there is some duplication but not on the scale of  Duplicates are addressed whenever you add anyone to the tree.  
  • Since FS is a collaborative tree, you have a lot less of the big time errors that you see on, things like people having children after they are long dead and people getting married when they are three.  The tree is constantly being cleaned up.  If you see something wrong, you don’t have to email 23 people to try and get it corrected (most of whom will not email you back).  You simply correct it and then back up your corrections with sources and explanations.
  • FS has a place to post discussions so that you can document your thoughts and theories for others to see and comment on.

Family Tree is still relatively new so the programmers are still tweaking.  You can now add photos and sources and links to documents.  I expect more enhancements and refinements will be implemented making it better and better.  A friend of mine that works at the local Family History Center was showing me some cool tricks today that I didn’t know about.  The more I work with it, the more I like it. 


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Michele, you implicitly assume that beginning researchers are starting with ~trees~. Isn't this a pity?

  2. That isn't what I meant at all. I think that a beginning researcher is better served using FREE websites before they sink a lot of money into the paid ones. They will get much more bang for their buck if they wait to subscribe to the paid services when they know what things the paid services have vs. what you can find on the free sites.

    If I was implying that a beginners are too tree oriented I would steer them away from FamilySearch's Family Tree as well because you can download massive amounts of people from FamilySearch just like you can from

  3. Michele- I agree and I am liking FS tree more and more. I love that everyone can make changes and back them up with their sources for everyone else to see. I have also not been a fan of Ancestry since they over chanrged my account 2 years in a row- watch out everyone.

    1. FS is adding so many records that I don't think it will be too long before I drop I probably need to take the time to really see what is on Ancestry that FS doesn't have and do I actually use it.