Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trouble with obtaining an LDS Account to

During the past few months, I have helped dozens (hundreds?) of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to sign into to obtain their "free" account from Many people try to sign into receive the account but do not follow the steps outlined carefully and then end up with a limited, "free" account with that does not include the features of a full subscription to the program. When the potential user tries out, they receive a message saying they need to pay to receive the special Record Match and Record Detective features of the program. 

Today, I got yet another question from a reader and sent her the following instructions about how to solve this issue.
Hi,Yes, as a matter of fact. You did not set up an LDS account completely. You needed to go back through the process. If I were there to help you, it would take less than three minutes to set up the correct free LDS account. Here are the steps:
  1. Go to and sign in. You must have an LDS Account with FamilySearch.
  2. Go to the Get Help link in the upper right hand corner and click on the pull-down menu
  3. You should see a link to the Help Center and click on it.
  4. In the Help Center there should be a number of icons. One is the Partners icon.
  5. Click on the partners Icon and then click on the bar that says Partners.
  6. There should be a list of the free partnership programs.
  7. Click on the link to
  8. Follow the screens carefully and watch for the small check boxes at the bottom of the screen. Make sure you check the boxes. Also, choose the option that you already have an account.
  9. Sign in to with your email and password.
  10. Click on your name and look at “My Purchases.”  
  11. You should see two 1s in parentheses and it should say you have an account. If not, try doing the whole thing over again.
I have done this over a hundred times since I got here to Provo. The trick is to carefully read the screens and click on the boxes. Also if you have ever had an account previously, free or otherwise, you need to choose the box that says you had an account before. 
 You can also go directly to the Partners page by going to but you will still need to make sure you are signed in to with an LDS Account.

Once in a while, I have found that people have actually signed up for multiple accounts with This can cause a problem. The account with is called a "Website." Your Website can have several family trees. Some people confuse the family trees with the website. If you want to see which Websites you have, you click on your name in the upper left-hand corner of the start up screen. If you have created or joined family trees that you do not wish to have, you can "Manage" your trees from a link under the Family tree menu tab at the top of the page. One of the options is to delete a tree. Be careful not to delete a tree you are working on.

If you get too tangled up, you may have to delete all your trees and start over again.

I do not suggest uploading GEDCOM files to (or any other online family tree program for that matter). You should begin your family tree by entering the information you already know, one person at a time. This will allow to help you build your family tree from sources. There is a rather long discussion here about my opinion, but in the long run, I have found this to be a better strategy. You may have to add enough individuals with dates, places etc. before will "kick in" and start giving you Record Matches. Once the Record Matches start to come, it is important to use every one of them. If you don't get any Record matches for a while, it is usually because you are not working on the tree. Try doing a research search on one or more individuals to find additional records and that will usually start the Record Match process again.

The key here is working with the program systematically. The main reason that I do not recommend adding a GEDCOM is because very, very few people have a completely sourced family tree. Why add unsubstantiated data? You can watch my video on about here:

If after all this, the program still does not seem to work, then seek help from someone using the program or contact me. In some cases, I have spent up to two hours untangling what people have done without knowing how to use the program.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO much!! I had no idea how to get into the smart matches. Now I feel like I'm part of My Heritage for the first time since it was made available. This is a good day!