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Ancestor Discovery

Have you heard about Family Search’s new feature called Ancestor Discovery Pages? I hadn’t heard of them until yesterday when I saw a Facebook post urging people to ‘google’ an ancestor’s name and check out the Family Search page.

So I did. I googled Judson Foster Crawford. The second site in the list had a familysearch.org URL. When I clicked on it I was thrilled at what I found.

This page is loaded with a variety of information and links including

  • a short biography.
  • photos and memories.
  • links to spouse and children.
  • links to parents and siblings.
  • a family time line.
  • sources.
  • meaning of the surname.
  • a world events timeline.

Since I hadn’t heard of this new feature, I searched for some background information. In early January, the FamilySearch blog post, “New Ancestor Discovery Pages Provide a Rich, Engaging Family History Experience,” introduced the pages. This blog post explains the various sections on the page. Toward the end of the post, details are provided on how to find an ‘ancestory discovery page’ for a particular ancestor.

  • Google ancestor’s name and significant dates and then look for a familysearch URL in the results
  • add the ancestor’s FamilySearch ID to the end of the URL “ancestors.familysearch.org/”
  • Use the Browse Surname Directory site to navigate thru the alphabetical listing of ancestors in the FamilySearch tree

These Ancestor Discovery pages depend on the collaborative efforts to add information to each person’s profile on the FamilySearch tree. In the example shown above, the photos and memories section is not blank because descendants were willing to upload their photos to the ‘Memories’ tab of a person’s profile.

However, the ‘Photos and Memories’ section is blank when descendants have not uploaded any photos or other memories.

There are icons on the right side of the header that makes it easy to share an ancestor’s page to Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or an email message. There is also an icon to ‘copy’ the link.

Unfortunately, a Facebook post is pretty boring since it doesn’t capture any of the page.

For me, these pages are a fantastic addition to the FamilySearch site! They will provide incentive for me to improve my contributions to the collaborative tree.