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  • Writer's pictureDon Milne

Using FamilySearch to Research WWII Fallen

Last month one of our volunteers asked me, “Why don’t we use FamilySearch as a tool to research information about the WWII fallen?”

My initial thought was that pretty much has all the material we use so FamilySearch does not bring much more to the table.

A couple of weeks ago I stopped in Salt Lake City on a way to a family reunion in Idaho and had a chance to meet with Jim Ericson, the FamilySearch Europe and North America Marketing Manager.

I learned that although there is a lot of overlap, FamilySearch does have some useful features not available on Ancestry.

Perhaps the most useful is their Detail Person Page / Discovery Person Page.

The Detail Person Page has the family tree of the fallen plus tabs with sources (many of the same found through Ancestry) and memories (photos and stories). It may make for a cleaner first look when researching a name.

The Discovery Page is a dashboard version with highlights that include a Life Summary, Photos and Memories, links to spouse, children, parents & siblings, and a Story Highlight.

As an example, these are the links to the Detail Person Page and Discovery Person Page for Wildcat ace Francis “Cash” Register. By comparison, the initial search for Francis Register on Ancestry only gives you a list of possible related documents. Starting off with a search on FamilySearch may give you a good overview before you look on Ancestry for documents not found on FamilySearch.

A FamilySearch membership is free.

If you know of other unique FamilySearch features, let me know and I will add them to this post for all to see. Just email me at

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