FamilySearch’s Compare-a-Face Family History Activity

By Diane Haddad

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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 Begin 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.


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 5.


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 7 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!

First published in September 2018. Last updated, May 2023.

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