Have you built up your family tree on and are looking to enhance your experience? Then I’ve got the tool for you! (No, no webcams are involved.)

The Ancestry Family Search Extension for Google Chrome looks up information on using the vital info from your Ancestry tree. The initial release was a nice addition on its own, but wasn’t able to look up maiden names for women in your tree, so was limited in its value.

However, version 2.1 was released a few weeks ago has added that functionality and some other nifty tweaks making it a <cue the echo> Must Have Tool </echo>.

Google Chrome Logo
For those not familiar with Google Chrome, it is a free web browser that can be used as an alternative to Internet Explorer, Firefox, and binoculars strong enough to peer into your neighbor’s window to see what they are surfing on the Internets. (For shame, Mr. Stanislaus, for SHAME!)

An Extension (sometimes known as an “add-on”) is a tool that adds some sort of functionality to the browser. There are many kinds of extensions. For example, I use password database program to keep track of my passwords and have installed a Firefox extension that allows that software to insert my passwords into forms with a simple keystroke combination. Thus saving me the burden of remembering the password 1yoPUhpTVU@:q(GEk. (Note to self: change password.)

Chrome Browser with Ancestry Family Search Icon Screenshot

Click on the image to see it full size.

Once you have Chrome installed, simply use it to login to your Ancestry tree and visit one of your esteemed forebears. (Or Uncle Ned.) If you peer at the right side of the address bar at the top of the window you will notice a small FamilySearch tree icon awaiting you.

If you click on the tree, the extension will pop open and immediately search for records using the information of the person you have open in your Ancestry tree.
Ancestry Family Search Extension Screenshot
You can then fiddle with the options in the Name, Event, Relationship and Location dropdowns to zero in on long lost Uncle Ned.

The results are sorted with the most likely at the top, à la normal Familysearch results. If you find any you would like to investigate, simply click the result link and it will open in a new tab so you don’t lose your place at Ancestry.

Win. win. and… win.

If you are un-Chromed at the moment (I almost typed “Dull”) you can download Google Chrome here. Once you have that installed, visit the Ancestry FamilySearch Extension here and click the install button. Next stop: World Domination. But first: dinner.


  • avatar

    Comment by Alison — March 11, 2011 @ 10:51 am

    Thanks for this tip.

    I’ve nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog Award

  • avatar

    Comment by John — March 11, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Alison, Thank you for your nomination. I shall endeavor to continue to be loverly.

  • avatar

    Comment by Valerie — March 11, 2011 @ 10:23 pm


    thank you for this info! Very helpful indeed!

  • avatar

    Comment by Catherine Pendleton — December 13, 2011 @ 12:25 am

    Saw your comment on 1 Ancestry 2 Little Time about this extension, so I had to swing over to your blog to see what it’s about. Thanks for this tip! I added it to Chrome and tried it out. Had trouble getting anything on familysearch, though. I tried it out on a couple of ancestors. Then I tried a third who I know has records on familysearch. The ancestry search worked fine. (I was able to get into directly, just not through the extension.)

  • avatar

    Comment by John — December 13, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    Hi Catherine, thanks for commenting!

    Hmm, I hadn’t used the extension for several months and it does look a little wonky – when choosing a female in my tree it doesn’t let me switch between birth name and married any longer.

    I am seeing Familysearch records on my tests though – although it is always hit and miss. I was lucky in that I found a few records on Familysearch that I hadn’t found directly – including my wife’s great-grandparents’ marriage index record.

    I’m wondering if some new Familysearch site changes have made some of the extension features misfire. I’ve left a note over at the download site to see if the author has any ideas.

    Later update: As Ancestry changes some fields, the extension sometimes has trouble accessing the fields correctly. I’ve reported the problems each time I’ve seen them, and the extension developer is very responsive. As of this edit, everything seems to be working correctly. (02 FEB 2012)

  • avatar

    Comment by David — November 6, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Hi Alison

    Lovely tool! I have used chrome and ancestry for a couple of years.

    any idea why the Ancestry ‘signin’ button has failed on chrome.

    Chrome is not a ‘supported browser’ when I call Ancestry support in Ireland??

    Have to go back to Explorer!

  • avatar

    Comment by John — November 6, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    Howdy David,
    Alison was a commenter here – I’m the bloggist in residence.

    I’m not seeing that Ancestry signin error on Chrome – working fine for me. I would check for a Chrome update and see if that is it. (I’m currently at Version 22.0.1229.94 m)

    If not, you might also try to disable any extensions, see if logging in works, then re-enable the extensions one at a time and see what, if anything, breaks it.

    Pretty odd if they are telling you it is not a supported browser. While I do like Ancestry, I find that their first line support people often have little technical background and tend to use support scripts.

    (Not a knock on them, as many support groups do that, but as an IT professional can be frustrating when trying to explain things to them when I call.)

  • avatar

    Comment by David — November 6, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    Thank you John, good thinking, switched them all off and it works

    Seems to be something to do with AVG Secure Search, which is a little worrying!

    I agree re first line support, I was told to defrag my disk!!

  • avatar

    Comment by John — November 6, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    Defrag your disk?! Maybe you should rotate the tires on your car too. 😉

  • avatar

    Comment by David — November 6, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    you have the sense of it

    I went and got a hair cut, but that didn’t work either

    It is good to find that someone knows what they are talking about.

    I did observe that Ancetry having no support for Google Chrome was a little short sighted in the light of its enormous popularity as a browser

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