RootsTech 2015

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

FamilySearch Family Tree is open to everyone

I got this comment from my post about the huge update to FamilySearch Family Tree.
I signed into and was unable to find how to get into Family Tree as you described. requires you to be LDS. A search in under Family Trees brought up items from Ancestral Files and Pedigree Resource with no indication that they could be edited, sourced, etc. Where to I need to go to access what you described?
I will try to be as specific as possible.

Family Tree is a user submitted program seeded by data from has had limited access, especially to those who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family Tree, on the other hand, is available to anyone who registers for either an LDS Account or a FamilySearch Account. Access to all of the resources is entirely free.

You can follow the instructions below to sign in and register, or you can click the Sign In link in the upper right hand corner of the screen and follow the instructions. 

Family Tree is available through a link on the website, but you have to initiate the link before it will appear.  The instructions for gaining access to the program on a PDF file called Gaining Access to the FamilySearch Family Tree (pdf).  Here are the instructions:
1. Go to
2. Enter the required information in the fields provided.
Important: When you enter your user name and password, enter the same user name and password that you use on and This lets you see your FamilySearch Family Tree and all of your changes as they appear in in the FamilySearch Family Tree.
3. Click Register.
The FamilySearch FamilySearch Family Tree appears. You are in the main position on the screen. To get to the FamilySearch Family Tree from now on, go to, and sign in. The link to the Family Tree appears in the upper-left corner of the screen, next to the FamilySearch logo.
 Please feel free to post additional questions about this topic.


  1. people seem to be having trouble making the distinction between FamilyTree and Trees on the FamilySearch website. The FamilySearch developers are aware of this, but to date don't seem to have a plan to clarify further.

  2. I now have access to the Family Tree tab, but for some reason, the page reloads automatically every few seconds. Has anyone else had this problem or know how to solve it?

    1. Same thing happening to me - I have tried and tried again over a few hours but it still won't load.

  3. Went to the web site but received an error message.

  4. I followed instructions exactly, and tried several times - always with the same problem. I end up with a series of screens flashing by, cycling and recycling, as if there's a broken loop somewhere. I've apparently registered successfully for the Family Tree program, as the tab appears next to the logo. However, pressing the tab leads to the flashing and recycling. The only way I can make it stop is to crash out of FamilySearch altogether. I'll submit this same message as Feedback. Hope the problem can be resolved - but glad I can still use FS as I always have, to locate records and download their images.

  5. I had the same problem with the refreshing, so contacted an online FamilySearch agent. It turns out that you _must_ first log into and set up at least your own personal information in, and create a five-character "helper access number" (although it can be alpha-numeric). Once you have saved your profile data, you can then reopen Family Tree and you should see the data that you entered about yourself without the refreshing! Kudos to the FamilySearch agent for helping me to sort this out.

    1. Thank you for the tip. I tried it and then discovered that I cannot simply register at with the same personal information that is in my account at - I would have to set up a whole new account/name/email/password. Heck widdit. I look forward to learning from all of you whether any of the new features are worth all the aggravation. If they are I'll try, try again!

  6. Thank you James for posting that solution. Why don't they just tell us that when we register in the first place?

  7. uFollowing your instructions to register on the Family Tree site will not work because at least today the anti-spam "captcha" type image does not display, so the registration parameters cannot be fulfilled - in FF12 and IE9, anyway.

  8. I did copy my comments to FamilySearch Feedback. Today I received this answer: "I understand you have registered for Family Tree, but are unable to get the program to run. We would like to help you get the program to work. The best way for us to do this is to make a remote connection to the computer and help determine where the problem lies . . . ."

    I decline to do that.