Help! I can’t find my ancestors on FamilySearch!

Are you in this category? You know that there are lines and lines of ancestors linked together in FamilySearch (you’ve seen them on your mom’s or grandmother’s tree) or you are trying to get linked to your spouses’ long ancestor lines, but you just can’t figure out how to do it! Then this post is for you.

What you need to do is to create what I call a “Ghost Record” or a “Bridge Record from yourself through your living relative to your first deceased ancestor. Once you hit that deceased ancestor, then it will populate your tree with all of the deceased relatives in your (or your spouses’) lines.

I have a video on YouTube: FamilySearch Ghost or Bridge Records that walks you through it –

A few quick reminders hat you can find in the video:

  • You have to create a record for a living person (let’s say it’s your mom).
  • That record is NOT your mom’s record. Your creation and her living record are two different records.
    • For privacy, only you can be in your own record.
  • Don’t do much with that record
    • It’s best not to add documents (census records, etc.) to your ghost record. those should be added by your mom into her living record.
    • Add only a few pictures or memories if you wish, but they will not show up for the living person, unless your ghost record and their living record are merged after their death – which of course we don’t want, but I speak of it as an eventuality in the FAR FAR future of course!
  • Make a note that it is a bridge or ghost record to help with confusion when the person dies and you need to merge the records together.

In 2016, Ron Tanner from FamilySearch talked about sharing living records with family members in a video called: How to Share Living Family Trees on FamilySearch. In that video, he said that we would soon be able to be in another’s record (with a permission or password, etc.) but that was 4 years ago and I will update this post when that exciting feature does emerge!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share below.

Please take a look at some of these posts –

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