Permission to Edit: FamilySearch

Two women smiling next to a computer during a family history consultation meeting. The woman on the right is Karynne Moses, owner of Moses Genealogy. The other is a client.

Why would you give someone permission to access your FamilySearch account? Maybe you are stuck and need some help, or you decided to hire a professional researcher. In both cases, this other person would be called a “helper.”

FamilySearch has developed some excellent tools to help users find material that has already been indexed. Its algorithms bring content straight to you in the form of record hints and possible duplicate notifications. If you have a helper working on your family tree, it is often most efficient for them to add individuals and information to FamilySearch as they find it. The more that is on there, the more information FamilySearch has to give hints. Anyone can edit FamilySearch, so why would you give someone permission to enter through your account?

It can be easier for a helper to navigate your family tree when working through your account. Another benefit is specific to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who plan on doing the temple work for the individuals added. Giving someone permission to edit your tree as a “Helper” allows them to reserve temple work on your behalf as soon as they upload information. The same principles apply if a friend is helping you with your family history.

You can give anyone permission to be a helper, and you also have the option to revoke that permission at any time. Keep in mind, anyone added as a helper can see and edit living individuals in your tree. It is a very helpful tool, but you will also want to be cautious.

There are two ways to give someone permission to edit your tree. This one has worked every time I have tried it, while the other has not been consistently reliable. Follow the steps below to give someone permission to edit your tree:

Step 1: Type “familysearch.org” into the url bar, and press the “Enter” key. This is the screen that will display when you go to FamilySearch.org. The image may be different, but the logo in the top left corner will assure you that you are in the right place!

Image of FamilySearch login page. Step 1: Go to familysearch.org and click "Sign In"

Step 2: Sing in! If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, your login information for FamilySearch.org is the same as your login for your other Church accounts. If you have a non-member account, this will not apply. Just sign in with your username and password.

Image of FamilySearch Sign In screen. Step 2 is " Sing in using your FamilySearch username and password."

Step 3: Click on your name. Your name appears at the top right corner of the screen once you are logged in. Click on it to proceed to the next step.

Image of a user's FamilySearch homepage. There is a red arrow pointing towards the name displayed in the upper right corner with instructions to click the name.

Step 4: Click on “Settings” to find the information you will need to provide to a helper.

Step 5: Copy the username and helper number, and send them to the person who will be helping you with your FamilySearch account.

Step 5: Image of "Settings for a User" page on FamilySearch. There are arrows indicating that the user needs to copy their username and Helper Number and give them to the individual who will be helping them with their FamilySearch account.
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