9 Timesaving Hacks for Ancestry, FamilySearch & Other Top Genealogy Websites

By Diane Haddad

These quick tricks for some of the genealogy websites you use most often will help you get to the records you want faster. You’ll find even more genealogy website hacks in the March/April 2017 Family Tree Magazine, our special genealogy websites issue. Contributing editor David A. Fryxell shared these hacks:

Map your family tree locations in MyHeritage.

In the menu on the left side of your MyHeritage home page, select PedigreeMap, and the site generates an interactive world map of events in your online tree. Read more about PedigreeMap in this blog post.

Search GenealogyBank for all newspapers in a city.

Searching the entire site when you really want hits only from one place can flood you with useless results. To search all the newspapers from a single city, click on the state (on the map or text link) on the GenealogyBank home page. You’ll see a page with a map and list of links by city. Select a city, and the next page lets you search all the applicable titles.

See what’s new at your favorite genealogy websites.

It’s good to repeat searches to find recently added records, but annoying to slog through the same matches you’ve already seen. Here’s how to check out the latest additions on several sites:

Find free records on Findmypast.

By registering for a guest membership at Findmypast, you can access 850 million free records, including US censuses, US and Canadian public records, family trees and Irish Catholic parish records—without paying a cent. You’ll find the Findmypast freebies listed here.

Review search results faster.

Once you’ve got some search hits on or FamilySearch, you can save time by not clicking through to review every possible result:

  • On your results list, hover your pointer over the blue, underlined collection title (such as “1940 United States Federal Census”). A window pops up showing key data from that record, so you can decide whether to investigate further.

  • On your FamilySearch results list, click in the area below the person’s name and database name.