1) On Pruning My Ancestry Member Tree Hints (posted 23 November 2012):
* Diane B wished: "Randy, how I wish we could sort the Ancestry.com hints by Record Collection. That would be so helpful to me. In fact, there are several sorting capabilities that I would like - for instance, pulling the hints up, sorted by birth date of the person - that would be great. Another wonderful option would be if we could just eliminate certain Record Collections from the hints entirely. Well, we can dream!"
My comment: I seem to recall that there is a way to do this by editing the Hint URL to a specific database. Someone described it back during the Ancestry Death Contest posts.
* Taco Goulooze said: "Hi Randy, even though I never add the Ancestry.com indexes as a source, they do let you know there is material out there that could provide more insight. I don't accept them as sources, and the same goes for the user trees, but they do contain a wealth of information; whether it's accurate or not is something to be researched. That brings me to this point: wouldn't it be nice if you could somehow store that information directly in your to-do list, or in some other way connect it to someone in your tree without adding it as a source straight away? In that way, you could create a sort of research aid set of records to go with each individual, family and/or event, and keep that separate from your actual source list. Does that make sense, or is it just the ramblings of someone that wake up too early and needs to go back to bed?"
My comment: Different strokes for different folks here. I use indexed databases as sources all the time, noting that they are derivative sources. Every source has errors, and derivative sources probably have more errors than original sources. But they are often the only source available that doesn't cost money to obtain. I only chase original sources for my ancestors, not for the collateral lines in my database. Of course, if original sources are found for the collaterals, I use them. I mine the indexes for information on persons in my database. If someone contacts me about it, then the index provides the means to find the original record.
To your point about storing the information in a to-do list, did you mean right on Ancestry, or in a software program? You can type, or copy and paste, the index information right into a To-Do list in your genealogy software. It makes sense, and I'm sure that some researchers do that. I do it on occasion, and should do it more often!
* Unknown commented: "You can choose to hide all of the hints from Ancestry member trees, just leaving the hints from record collections or indexes. If I find an index, and don't already have the original record, I add that item in my to do list in my software."
* Rorey Cathcart noted: "I've used "Ignore Hint" extensively. It's particularly helpful in those instances where the Member Tree Hints are not actually a match. But I am with Diane B. Some serious upgrades to the hint functionality would be great.
"Taco, I do attach indexes as sources. But I like your suggestion alot. I've found the To-Do and Shoebox features becomes unwieldy over time. And I'm trying to decide how to incorporate them into my new database.
"I'm moving my primary database to RootsMagic from Ancestry. Attaching an index as a source allows me to pull up a list of all references to that source. That way, when I go to the original, I have a list of everyone I'm looking for in that record set. I realize indexes are not quality sources and weight them accordingly in my database, but they are sources until the original record is obtained. For my paying clients, where time is limited, these sources are frequently in the Research Recommendations portion of my reports."
"As an aside, are you not using the 'Quality' feature in RootsMagic? I'm curious that you editorialized the info here in your post but it is not reflected in your sources at your my.rootsmagic database. I ask because I'm in the midst of deciding to use them in my database or not. "