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  1. Findmypast Help
  2. Your Findmypast family tree
  3. Tree Search

Is my Findmypast family tree public or private?

At Findmypast, your privacy is paramount to us. That's why your Findmypast family tree has privacy settings that you control.

No one can browse or search your family tree from anywhere else online. Tree Search and tree-to-tree hints are only available to other Findmypast members.

We never share any family tree information on anyone who’s still alive.

By default, deceased ancestors (or those born more than 110 years ago) in your family tree are shareable with other Findmypast members via tree-to-tree hints, Tree Search, and tree sharing. This helps you and other Findmypast members grow your family tree by connecting with those who share your ancestry.

Family history research is most successful as a shared activity. We can all benefit from each other’s knowledge and discoveries. We encourage everyone to share their family trees. It’ll make family history a more gainful experience for everyone – from beginners to expert genealogists.

Sharing a link to your family tree

There are two ways that you can share your family tree.


1. Invite friends and family

You can send a unique link to a friend or relative allowing them to view your family tree. You can remove their access at any time, so you're always in control. You'll need to assign a nickname to the person you've invited so you can easily keep track of who has access. Each link you share is unique and you can choose whether to share your entire family tree, including people marked as living, or just those marked as deceased.

2. Share a temporary link

Alternatively, you can send a temporary link to someone that will expire after seven days. They'll only be able to view people marked as deceased in your family tree. You can share the same link with as many people as you like.

For both sharing options, when you are ready to share your family tree, just copy the link to your device's clipboard, and then paste it into a message to whoever you want to share with - like an email or WhatsApp message. They’ll need a free Findmypast account to view your tree. We’ll ask them to log in or sign up once they click on your link. It's simple, safe, and secure – just head to your family tree to get started, or read our step-by-step guide to sharing your family tree for more information.

Opting out of sharing family tree information

If you'd prefer to keep your family tree completely private, you can opt out of this setting as follows:

1. Open your family tree and select the ‘Tree settings’ cogwheel in the centre of your screen


2. Untick the ‘Share deceased ancestors’ box and save the changes


We’ll always follow the permissions selected in your family tree settings. If you’ve unticked the box marked ‘Share deceased ancestors’, your family tree details will remain private. If you’ve ticked the ‘share deceased ancestors’ box in your tree settings, other members will be able to search for and view information about your ancestors through our Tree Search feature. Additionally, those ancestors will continue to be shared as tree-to-tree hints.

Your family tree sharing settings are set for the entire family tree, not per person on it. If you've opted to share, the information for every deceased person on the tree will be searchable and discoverable.

When using Tree Search, if you see a result marked as private in your results, this means there is a matching person contained within the Findmypast family tree network, but unfortunately the owner of that tree has kept their tree private, so you are unable to access its details.  

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