FamilySearch’s Compare-a-Face Family History Activity

By Diane Haddad
FamilySearch compare-a-face feature

Who looks like whom always makes a fun topic of conversation at family gatherings. Now you can back up your opinions with proof—kind of—from the fun Compare-a-Face tool at FamilySearch.

Compare-a-Face uses facial recognition technology to analyze a picture of you, along with old family photos. It gives each pairing a resemblance percentage and ranks relatives’ faces in order of resemblance.

It’s a bit of a twist on the Celebrity Look-Alike feature at MyHeritage, which brought that site a ton of visibility back in 2005.

Using Compare-a-Face

Looking like Grandma is great, but I have to point out that resemblance alone doesn’t prove or disprove your relationship to someone. Compare-a-Face is fun, but it has no bearing on your genealogy research.

Also keep in mind that FamilySearch wants Compare-a-Face to encourage people to add photos to the site. It’s easy to use Compare-a-Face without putting your photo on FamilySearch if you don’t want to. You do need to log into your free FamilySearch account.

Who do I look like?

First, click Get Started to upload a photo of you. Then you’re prompted to either choose a family portrait from the FamilySearch Tree, or upload an old family portrait. If you upload, click Yes or No when asked if you want to add the image to your FamilySearch gallery.

Then the site goes to work comparing you to the people pictured. Your results look something like this:


This is my mom, around age 12. Below is me compared to my dad, when he was about five.


Tips for Best Compare-a-Face Results

You get a list of all your comparison faces, ranked in order of resemblance to you.


The site did pick out me at age seven as the best match to me at age … well … recently. After that, my closest match is a cousin twice removed.

Your results seem to depend a lot on what kind of photos you have, the angles of the faces, the expression, ages shown, length and style of hair, and other changeable qualities. Like I said, it’s for fun.

For best results, rather than a scattershot approach, I suggest deciding which relatives you want to compare yourself to. Then find close-up photos of them at a similar age and pose to your picture.

I’m going to try my kids’ pictures next, and prove once and for all that they DO look at least a little bit like their mom!

Learn how to use with this easy-to-follow guide and tips for maximizing your genealogy research time.