Attach Records – new feature

The second piece added this week to the jigsaw, more commonly known as the Findmypast family tree, was the ability to attach records.This has been eagerly awaited by many users, and in fact was one of the highest voted for tree features on the  forums. The concept is simple. You find a record transcription and / or image and you want to save them to your tree, or more specifically attach them to the relevant person(s) in your tree. Either for a permanent record, or to review and merge data later.

AttachRecords - start your search

There are a number of places where you might start searching for records, but for this example, lets start with the profile page of someone in your tree. This also gives me the chance to mention some improvement tweaks we made to the “Search” link in the Things to investigate section. Following a great 4 part series of blog posts by Randy Seaver about the Findmypast family tree at, we took on board his suggestions and tweaked this link to give the best search for a person across all Findmypast records. I thoroughly recommend trying this as the starting point for any general search of people in your tree as this will not only bring up the obvious record sets, it may well uncover the less obvious.

AttachRecords - search results

Without any need for filling out complex search screens, we’re taken straight to the most likely matches for our person. Note that these results open in a new browser tab. There is good reason for this as it lets you flip back and forth between records and your tree. From the example shown, we’ve got two probable matches at the very top of the results.

AttachRecords - view transcription

In this instance, I’ve clicked through to the transcription.

AttachRecords - attach to tree

Next to the Print and View Image buttons, is a new Attach to tree button. The button also appears at the bottom of the page, as well as on image pages. At the moment, this option is not available on articles from the British Newspaper Archives. Click on the button to open the attach modal window.

AttachRecords - attach modal

The attach record to tree modal is fairly simple. However,if you don’t have a tree already, you need to go back to the tree builder to create one. If you only have one tree, then the name of the tree will be shown.

AttachRecords - select tree

If you have multiple trees, then a tree selector is shown. It is important to pick the right tree, as only people from the selected tree will appear in the following type ahead. Of course, this does not stop you from selecting from one tree and then from another. Just remember to switch the selected tree.

AttachRecords - person name type ahead

After selecting the tree, just start typing in the person(s) field. You can use any of the given names, surname, nickname or even the year of birth or year of death. When you see the person you want in the list, just click on the name.

AttachRecords - private note

The name will appear highlighted, with a cross beside it. This allows you to remove it from the list, if you selected in error. You can always detach a person from the record at any time later. You can also attach as many people as you like to any record. After attaching the people you want, there is also a separate section to add a private note about a record, that is only relevant to your tree.

AttachRecords- confirmation

After clicking on the Save button, a confirmation box will appear indicating that you have successfully saved the record to the selected person(s) or from who you have detached the record. Close this window to return to the record. Any time you return to this record this information will be available. And you can add, edit or remove the attachments and notes later.

NOTE: Remember to attach both the transcription and the image to your tree.

AttachRecords - attached media

When you return to your tree and the profile for a person you attached the record to, click on the Media tab on the Profile page. Here you will find the attached record. You can click through from here directly back to the transcription or image. You can also now attach the record to specific facts and events, by using the attach existing option when adding media.

This is obviously a very popular addition with over 18,000 records and images now attached to trees. So what are you waiting for? Time to start trawling the massive collection of records that Findmypast has, and attach them to your tree.

Let us know what you think of this new feature and how you would like it improved.




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