While most of the Hints I have are for Ancestry Member Trees (every one in my ancestral tree has one - because I also have my full database as a separate tree), there are times when I find a gem from the Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 collection on Ancestry.com. These are, in general, images of the original town record books, or, in some cases, images of a transcription of a town record book.
While I have many source citations for the published Massachusetts town vital records books (which are clearly derivative sources since they indexed and sometimes transcribed the town record books), I want to capture as many of the original town record images as I can, and source them, because they are usually the original source record.
I'm doing a bit of my ancestral tree at a time in my Ancestry Member Tree. Here is one example of how I am pruning away the Hints that I don't need or want, and saving the ones I really want:
1) In my Ancestry Member Tree, I listed the Hints for my 8th great-grandmother, Ruth (Hill) Willis (1644-1736):
There were 8 Unreviewed Hints for her. They included:
* Ancestry Member Trees
* American Marriages Before 1699 Record
* Family Data Collection - Individual Records Record
* American Marriages Before 1699 Record
* Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 Record
* Public Member Photos (page from Dorchester Vital Record)
* Public Member Photos (page 229 from Pioneers of Massachusetts)
* Public Member Photos (page 230 from Pioneers of Massachusetts)
I choose to ignore all of those, except for the Town and Vital Records item, because the others are Derivative sources, and I already have a published town vital record book source for most events listed in the Ancestry.com index collections for American Marriages, the American Genealogical and Biographical Index (AGBI), the Family Data Collection - Individual Records, etc.
2) I clicked on the "Review Hint" for the Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 Record:
This is a record that I want to save to my tree - it is the death record for Ruth (Hill) Willis in Wayland in 1736. I saved it to my tree using the orange "Save to my tree" button.
3) After saving it, I can look at the record by clicking on the image in my list of Accepted Hints:
There is the death entry for "Ruth Willis widdow Died September 1st 1736" - the 4th entry on the left hand page (page W (penned) or page 342 (stamped).
4) At this point, I saved the image of the page to my hard drive, noting the database name, the specific town record book (Wayland births, marriages and deaths, image 174). My saved file name for this image is:
RuthWillis-1736-DeathRecord-WaylandMA Births marriages deaths-page 342stamped-pageWpenned-image174 (Ancestry Mass Town and Vital Records).jpg
With that file name, I can then easily create a source citation for this image in RootsMagic:
"Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com), "Wayland [MA] Births, marriages and deaths," Page 342 (stamped), Page W (penned), Image 174, Ruth Willis widow death entry, 1 September 1736; original data from Massachusetts town and city clerk records in Jay and Delene Holbrook, Massachusetts Vital and Town Records (Provo, Utah : Holbrook Research Institute) Microfiche collection.
The Ancestry.com source citation for this collection (note that it is not for the exact digital image) is:
Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
My devoted readers will recall that I save the images of records to my computer hard drive rather than leave them attached to a person in my Ancestry Member Tree. That way the image can be attached to a person and event in my software database, which is independent of any one online family tree.
5) I now can upload the saved image to my RootsMagic file for Ruth (Hill) Willis, and Tag it to the Death Event.
I have thousands of these to eventually find, so I'm grateful for the "low hanging fruit" of these indexed records on Ancestry.com showing up in the Ancestry Member Tree Hints. Similar original records are on FamilySearch, but they are not indexed.
This is not as tedious as it could be (e.g., searching page by page on FamilySearch or on microfilm), and I have tried to streamline the process in order to minimize the number of clicks required to get the specific record into a source citation and an image attached to an event in my database.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/11/pruning-my-ancestry-member-tree-hints.html
Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver