Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday's Tip: Review Your Ancestry Member Trees Hints Every Day

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  If you have an Ancestry Member Tree, review the Leaf Hints for your tree every day, and use them.

I have several Ancestry Member Trees, and almost every day Ancestry.com's always-running servers provide a number Hints from Ancestry.com databases while I live life to its fullest.  In other words, they work on my genealogy even when I don't work on my genealogy.

1)  The user can select the Ancestry Member Tree to see Hints for on the "Family Tree" tab:

On the screen above, I selected my "big" database, the "Randy Seaver's Genealogy - July 2014" tree.

2)  Further down the Ancestry.com home page, the section for the "active" family tree shows my most recent family tree activity, and tells me how many persons are in my tree, how many photos are in my tree, and provides a link to "View people with hints:"

3)  If I click on the "View people with hints" link, I can see links on the left for "All hints," "People with hints," "Records," "Photos," "Stories," and "Member Trees."  On the screen below, I clicked on the "All hints" link:

Ancestry lists the Hints added "Within the last day," then "Within the last 7 days, then "Within the last 30 days," then "Within the last 90 days," and then "Older than 90 days."

Here is the top of the "Within the last 7 days" list:

I had 11 Hints in the "Within the last day" category.  Two of them were "Photos" of wills of Carringer persons in my database.  Nine of the Hints were for Records for persons in my database from a number of databases ranging from straight indexes to original town records.

4)  I try to review these Hints every day, and since there are relatively few each day. I often add the useful ones to my RootsMagic family tree database immediately, creating an event, adding the source citation, and an event note, along with capturing the image to my computer files and adding the record images as a Media item in RootsMagic if desired.  I only capture record images for my direct ancestors.

I can then either Review and accept the Hint and attach the record to the person in my Ancestry Member Tree, or Reject the Hint if it doesn't provide useful information for me (e.g., I already have the information, or I have better information than the Hint provides).

Since I have more than one Family Tree on Ancestry.com, I get different Hints for those.  I usually look at the "Seaver-Leland Family Tree" database also because that is my tree with only Ancestral Families.

I love it when Ancestry.com helps me find records of my ancestral families!  This is fun!

5)  Unfortunately, I've heard that only the top 10% of the Ancestry.com databases are used to provide Hints, so there are still a lot more many more records to be found by searching for a specific person.  There are over 32,000 Ancestry databases, so that means there are over 3,000 databases providing Hints if the 10% number is correct.  More fun!!!

A benefit is that when the user clicks on a Record Hint, there may be "Suggested Records" from other databases (apparently obtained from records attached to the same person in other users trees).  These "Suggested Records" can then be reviewed to provide more useful records.

Another drawback is that the Hinting system may find more Hints for persons in my database tomorrow or next month or next year.  The Hint system seems to select a certain number of persons in a tree to provide the daily Hints.  If a new database becomes available, the Hint system eventually may find Hints for tree persons but it may take months for them to appear.

Even so, it is better than searching person by person.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/05/tuesdays-tip-review-your-ancestry.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

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