Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FindMyPast Introduces Hints in Family Trees - UPDATED

FindMyPast, a D.C., Thomson company, is a genealogy records provider with a U.K. website (http://www.findmypast.co.uk) and a U.S. website (http://www.findmypast.com) in addition to several other sites.

They recently introduced an online family tree feature (see my series of posts from Family Trees on FindMyPast.com - Post 5: Search Results Are Improved, and Can Be Attached).

Now, the company has introduced Hints to online records for persons in a FindMyPast family tree.  There is a good description of the Hints feature on the website - http://www.findmypast.co.uk/hints.  Note that this feature is still in beta development and the system may take some time to be fully functional.

The Hints page looks like this (two screens):



The Hints page notes;

"Once you start to add to your family tree, Hints will sift through 755 million of our birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, death and burial records to identify matches between them and the people on your tree, providing you with historical records and potential new relatives from our collections. 
You can expect a lot more from Hints in 2015, including Hints on census records and other collections. By reviewing all of your Hints, you'll be helping us to ensure that our process continues to improve."
At the bottom of the screen above are links to a video of "How to use Hints," a step-by-step "How to use hints" report, and a link to "Build your family tree" which has several screens about using Hints (a free registration is required).

The 5-minute video for "How to use Hints" is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NStRoOsANnw


Basically, the video explains that when there are Hints for a person on a user's FindMyPast tree, an orange circle with a number will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the person profile photo or icon, as shown above.  The number indicates how many Hints are available that may pertain to the person in the tree.  The user can then review the Hint, compare it to other known information, and either accept, reject, or wait on the Hint.  If the user accepts the Hint, then information can be added to the person profile in the tree (either All information, or selected information items).  Accepting Hints may generate more Hints because more is known about the person.

I checked my FindMyPast family tree, and do not have any Hints yet.  Hopefully, they will appear in the next month or so.

Use of the Hints feature is explained very well in the 5-minute video on the website.

Note that building a family tree on FindMyPast is free, but a subscription is required to view the Hints for the tree persons, and to add information to your tree.

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UPDATE 18 December:  Phil Moir of FindMyPast commented that:

"I thought your readers would be keen to know that the Hints feature is not restricted to subscribed users, and is actually available to all users with a tree. Even better, the review and merge options are also not restricted, so the information that is normally available through record search results can be applied to your tree using the same simple review and merge format. 

"At the moment the hints are generated for a person as you create and edit that person (or spouses) , but the feature will continue to grow and expand throughout 2015. Hopefully it'll give a lot of people something new to try out and enjoy over the holiday period. "


Thank you to Phil for explaining these issues.

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I look forward to using these Hints, especially for my English ancestors and relatives in my tree.  I have not taken the time to go through English FindMyPast records searching for each person (since I don't have an Ancestry world subscription), but I have used FindMyPast to search for specific U.K. records.  With this Hints feature, it appears that FindMyPast will do the job for me - finding at least the low-hanging fruit (with names spelled correctly, or at least not mangled).

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/12/findmypast-introduces-hints-in-family.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


1 comment:

pgmoir said...

Hi Randy,

Thanks very much for this posting this blog about the new Findmypast Hints feature on the family tree.

I thought your readers would be keen to know that the Hints feature is not restricted to subscribed users, and is actually available to all users with a tree. Even better, the review and merge options are also not restricted, so the information that is normally available through record search results can be applied to your tree using the same simple review and merge format.

At the moment the hints are generated for a person as you create and edit that person (or spouses) , but the feature will continue to grow and expand throughout 2015. Hopefully it'll give a lot of people something new to try out and enjoy over the holiday period.

Best wishes to you and your readers for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Regards Phil Moir
Technical Lead - Findmypast Family Tree team