Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Stimulating Ancestry Member Tree Hints

Some time ago, I noticed that I could "stimulate" Record Hints on my Ancestry Member Tree.  That is, just by showing someone in my Ancestry Member Tree in the Family View, Hints could be generated very quickly.

Here is an example I did today:

1)  I looked at my "View people with Hints" page from the home page:

The screen above says:

*  People with Hints - 7943
*  Records - 30841
*  Photos - 3632
*  Stories - 530
*  Member Trees - 7201

I noticed that, even though I have 42,922 people in this Ancestry Member Tree, I have only 7,943 with Hints.  That means less than 20% of my tree people have Hints.  Are there really over 34,000 people in my tree without Hints on

2)  I found a portion of my tree (in the Family view) that didn't have Hints for two generations - the descendants of Chester Cornelius Carringer (1856-1915) and Valeria Magdalene Schick (1853-1929). Chester is my first cousin 3 times removed.  By the time I had the screen set up to take a screen shot, it was populated with Hints for most of the children and grandchildren of Chester and Valeria, as shown below:

3)  I was interested in Buryl Carringer (1929-2012), one of Chester Carringer's grandsons, because I had just found his burial record on Find A Grave.  On the screen above, I clicked on his green leaf on the screen above:

There were 11 Hints added for this person in the 15 seconds between getting Chester Carringer on the screen in the Family view, and the time I took the screen shot.

4)  I went back to the list of "View people with Hints" and saw:

Now there are:

*  People with Hints - 8011 (+ 68)
*  Records - 31353 (+ 512)
*  Photos - 3650 (+18)
*  Stories - 530 (+ 0)
*  Member Trees - 7261(+ 60).

Just by spending 15 seconds on this particular View of my Ancestry Member Tree, I added 512 Record Hints for 68 persons, most of whom are my cousins! For the record, Buryl Wayne Carringer is a 3rd cousin 3 times removed.

Sometimes you have to click on a person on the Family View, bring up the profile, and then go to "View in Tree" and more descendants of the person will appear with Hints.

Reviewing the Hints provided by Ancestry may lead you to discover more ancestors and/or descendants thereby extending your tree.

5)  Well, that was fun!  I think I'll go stimulate more Hints on the Carringer line because this is one of my most promising tree branch for relatively close DNA cousins.  

It is apparent that just by putting a person in your Ancestry Member Tree, using the Pedigree View or Family View, that you can stimulate Hints for the person and several generations of descendants. 

6)  Have you stimulated Hints on your Ancestry Member Tree?  You may really enjoy the experience, and uncover records for your tree persons in the process.

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Michigan Girl said...

Yes, I have Randy, but not purposely. I have come to realize that if I work on or view a particular person, I suddenly have new hints for them and their family. However, I haven't ever thought "gee, I think I'll see if I can generate some hints." I wonder why I hadn't thought of doing that as a goal? This is why we collaborate with one another. Right? We all look at things a little differently and that's a good thing. If I was home right now, I'd say, "off I go to generate some hints." But, I will do that once vacation is over.
Thanks for the post.

Geolover said...

I have found that "hints" generated in this manner are usually pretty useless: an index entry for a marriage that I've already cited an actual record for; as many as 3 findagrave entries for people I've already entered burial data for; duplications of records already attached. And so forth.

Louis Kessler said...


If you are really fast and are able to review and if necessary incorporate information from your 8,000 hints in, say, 5 minutes each, then it should only take about 650 hours of your time.

Of course, by that time, you'll likely have another 16,000 hints to process.

The system overdoes it. We can't spend the rest of our lives reviewing hints. We need something to help us sort all this out.


Jane Bonny said...

The things about hints I find most curious is that the number increases for every entry I make, namely by my own information. As an example, I can select one ancestor who has 92 hints. Of those 92 hints, 5 are either information I already have or not the right person, one is to trees, which include my own, and the other 86 are entirely my own documents, scan, photos and the like. I talked to Ancestry about this and they said I would have to send them an example because that shouldn't happen. Of course, I did send them a page capture.

So, have you checked those hints? They could be your own data.

Jacqi Stevens said...

I routinely try to clear out old hints on my trees, Randy, but when I happen to go back along that particular branch of a tree, I often find more hints generated (sometimes months later). Best I can figure is that, as Ancestry adds additional resources to their digitized holdings, those additional collections then generate more hints for our individual, pertinent members of our own trees.

For instance, when the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index was added to Ancestry's holdings, everyone (of the applicable candidates) in my trees falling within the collection's date ranges got a shaky leaf. It's just another way to announce, "Hey this new collection was added, come see what it has in store for your ancestor."

Jan Murphy said...

Some Ancestry members routinely upload as documents or photos the images they've downloaded from FamilySearch, Ancestry, and other places of census, vital records, and other sources. I understand why they do it, because Ancestry won't let us access the images if our Ancestry subscriptions lapse.

But the result is that I am constantly seeing hints for 'photos' that are actually records I've already found on Ancestry and attached to my tree. I could ignore the hints to get rid of them, but I don't necessarily want to do that -- I prefer to reserve the ignore feature for hints that don't belong to that person.

On 'Ancestry Classic' there used to be a breakout on the Overview page that showed you how many hints were historical records and how many were photos. On the new system, you can only see how many of each type you have by displaying all the hints and then filtering out the photos. But if you never look at the photos, you may miss actual photographs of your people that you'd like to know about.

I wish there was a button for 'yes I've seen this and it's my person but I don't need to attach it to my tree'.