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

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Look at the FamilySearch Family Tree Private Spaces

It has been a while since I have written about the Family Tree Private Space. Users of the Family Tree are justly concerned about their "privacy." But it also important to know that dead people do not have privacy rights that can be violated by anything in the Family Tree. There is a confidential setting for a very few dead people usually due to a confidential data issue. Each living person in the Family Tree has a private space. Basic information about Private Spaces comes from a Help Center article entitled, "Understanding Private Spaces."
You can click on the image or the link and read the entire article. One of the least understood issues concerning a Private Space is the fact that entering a living person or a dead person without a death date, creates a possible duplicate within the system. Potentially, assuming that numerous family members enter the same living person when a person dies there could be multiple duplicate copies. Theoretically, there could be a number of merges required to eliminate the duplicates. In reality, the number of duplicates is usually not significant.

For example, let's suppose that a person has a large family including grandchildren and great-grandchildren if any of those descendants; children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc., enter the person, assuming the person has his or her own name in the Family Tree, then each additional entry creates a duplicate. When the person dies, each of those duplicates will have to be merged into a final, single copy of the deceased person. Since this also applies to any person for whom there is no death information, care should be taken to mark people correctly as deceased.

It is also not a good idea to guess about whether a person is living or dead. The simplest solution for this issue is to apply the 110-year rule. Assume all people born within the last 110 years to be alive unless you have specific death information.

Family Search has talked about modifying the Personal Space to create family spaces, where members of the same family could share information, but the concept is not yet beginning to be codified.


  1. Bro. Tanner: Could you help me with a problem with Google Search. For some reason recently (we are now living in Argentina) whenever I try to search with Google I get all kinds of unwanted or unsolicited search results to my search, even some pornographic sites. This has never happened before, and I don't know what to do. I googled the problem and downloaded Chrome Cleanup, and tried it, and nothing seemed to change. I've scanned for virus, and my computer is supposedly clean. If I can't solve the problem I will probably quit using Google Search. Thanks for any help you can give me, and thanks for your blogs and classes at the BYU Family History Center. Jack Nielsen

    1. You can email me at Here is the page for setting parental controls, this is one way to manage that type of content.

      You may also want to use the Opera browser. Here is the link

    2. Let me know if that helps. If not let me know and I can give you additional suggestions.