With FamilySearch’s two mobile apps (the FamilySearch Tree app and the Memories app), you can take your family history with you anywhere you take your phone! This makes it more convenient than ever to fit a few little family history tasks into even the busiest schedules. The first step, if you haven’t used FamilySearch before, is to create a free account. Next, make a quick stop at the App Gallery to download the apps. Then read through our tips and tricks below, and you’ll be off and running in no time.
And since both apps sync with the website, changes or additions you make on your phone will show up on the site.
Using the FamilySearch Tree App
Designed as a companion to FamilySearch’s online Family Tree, there’s lots of great things you can do with this app. Here are two highlights to get you started.
View and edit your tree
When you open the app, your family tree will appear—with as much or as little information as you’ve put into it so far. Use your fingers to move or expand the tree. To add a new person, tap on a black plus sign to reach a screen where you can enter those details. As you enter deceased people, the app automatically searches for possible matches already in FamilySearch’s Tree. This helps avoid duplicates and could link you into material that might already be there. To search the Tree for a particular person, select the magnifying glass in the upper right corner.
If you’d like to add or change information about a specific person, tap on him or her to reach his or her individual screen. From here, tapping the green plus sign in the lower right corner will bring you to a screen where you can type in further details, such as a birth date and place.
Find and add sources
Besides exploring and expanding the ancestors you have on your tree, you can also find and add sources to your tree with this app. From a person’s individual page, select Sources, and then choose the green plus at the bottom of the screen. This brings up three options: add a URL for a web page, add a source with a photo—which might include photos of a records taken with your phone, or search FamilySearch’s historical records to find sources that match this ancestor.
Tapping Search Records will give you a choice to search FamilySearch or Ancestry. The search will try to find records with information that matches that particular ancestor, like it did here for Samantha Mcmullin on the right. If you find a record that matches, tap it to see more information. Then you can even attach it to the Tree with just one more tap.
Another way to access historical records is by choosing More from the tabs across the bottom of the screen. For more information on adding sources, try the article “How to Attach Sources” in this series (link to previous article).
Using the Memories App
FamilySearch’s second app, the Memories app, is a companion for the Memories section of FamilySearch. This section of FamilySearch offers a place to store and organize family memories, such as photos, documents, stories, audio clips, and more. The beauty of the corresponding app is that it allows you to capture these memories as they happen—and upload them directly to the Memories Gallery. Here’s how it can help you with your family history.
Capture new material
Your phone offers you quick and convenient ways to record memories—and the Memories app helps you preserve them. The app opens to the My Photos section. In the upper right corner, select the plus to see the option to upload a photo from your camera roll or take a new photo. Select Stories to type in a family story or memory. And by using the Audio tab, you can record an interview with a family member and instantly have it be part of your Memories Gallery.
Label and attach memories to your tree
Once you bring in a photo, story, or audio clip, you can make it even more useful by making it be part of the Tree. Tapping on the photo will take you to a screen to do this. First choose a title for your photo. Then you can tap Who is this about? to make circles appear on faces in photos (or on names in documents). Start typing in the name, and FamilySearch will find possible matches from your tree. Selecting one of these people will attach the photo or document to that person on your tree. The same general process applies to stories and audio clips.
Of course these apps can do much more than what we’ve covered here. But you’ll find they are fairly intuitive to use. With these few tips, you’re more than ready to jump in and start finding and preserving your family history right from your phone.