Skip to content
  • Start your family tree
  1. Blog Home
  2. Build Your Family Tree
How to use Findmypast's family tree builder

How to build your family tree with Findmypast

Daisy Goddard
Daisy Goddard
19 December 2022

When it comes to researching your family tree, we have everything you need.

At Findmypast, we want to help you build your family tree and make it as easy as possible. Our free online family tree builder has lots of handy features to do just that.

Before starting your family tree for free, you may be wondering why it's worth doing genealogy research in the first place. These beginner guides have the answers and should leave you feeling inspired to make some amazing discoveries.

Grow your family tree for free

Building your family tree is the best way to preserve your family’s legacy. A single place to store all your incredible finds, it’s also the quickest and easiest way to explore your past.

Like any new activity or hobby, learning how to research your family tree may take some time at first, but the rewards are more than worth the effort. Below are the basics you need to know to begin building your family tree on Findmypast.

First up, take a few minutes to watch the introductory video above. Then follow our step-by-step guides with helpful animations, showing exactly how to trace your family tree on Findmypast.

If you have queries at any stage of the tree-building process, be sure to consult the FAQs on our site.

Start a family tree on Findmypast

Go to our family tree page and follow these simple on-screen steps to get started.

How to start a family tree on Findmypast.

Follow these simple steps to start a free family tree on Findmypast.

Already have a family tree? Upload your GEDCOM

A GEDCOM is an acronym for Genealogical Data Communication and it is a way of formatting your family tree data into a text file. They can be quite hard to read so, to make it easier for you, you can upload this file to our family tree builder for free and your family tree will grow right before your eyes.

Upload a GEDCOM to Findmypast

Upload your GEDCOM family tree file to Findmypast in minutes.

Don't worry if you have more than one GEDCOM file - you can upload as many as you want. Just be sure to save them under different names. Follow the steps below to upload your GEDCOM file now, or consult our more detailed guide.

Grow your family tree

Your family tree will constantly grow and change as you make new discoveries. Thankfully, adding people to your tree is an easy process. Simply follow the steps below.

How to add people to Findmypast's family tree.

It's quick and easy to add someone to your family tree on Findmypast.

Add anyone to your family tree by selecting the '+ Add a relative' icon. Then, simply add their details, however much or little you know.

More handy family tree features

Our intuitive family tree builder is easy to navigate. The zoom tools allow you to view more of your ancestors all at once or get closer to the branches you're focusing on.

How to change the view on Findmypast's family tree.

How to zoom in and out on Findmypast's family tree builder.

You can view and edit your relative's details in the sidebar that opens when you select them on your family tree.

How to change Findmypast's family tree

You can make quick changes to your family tree in the sidebar or view more details in the full profile.

The 'Focus Person' tool highlights the relative you're currently viewing.

What is the focus person on Findmypast's family tree?

As your family tree grows outwards and backward, the focus person keeps your branches in perspective.

Get back to the roots of your family tree quickly and easily by selecting the home icon.

Hints do the hard work for you

Findmypast's clever record hints are, by far, the quickest and easiest way to build your family tree. They prompt you to look at potential matches in our records for people on your family tree.

The more people you add to your tree, the more hints you'll get. It's like having your own family detective always at work in the background. Be sure to regularly review your hints. You never know what they might uncover. As you continue to build your family tree using hints, this easy-to-follow guide will help you make the most of them.

We're constantly working on improving our family tree builder to bring you a more accessible, inclusive, and enjoyable experience.

If you have feedback or ideas you'd like to share, we'd love to hear them. Drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.