Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ancestry Matches Death, Burial, Cemetery, Obituary Records with Family Tree People, Except it Doesn't

I noticed that has started matching records in for Death, Burial, Cemetery, and Obituary collections with persons in my family tree.

On the Death Records Education page,, there is a box at the bottom right that shows how many persons there are with Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituary collections in my Ancestry Member Tree:

As you can see, the box says that there are 2738 Hints in the Seaver-Leland Family Tree from the Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituary collections.

I was excited about this - I would love to have the Hints on Ancestry for persons in my tree categorized by record type and record collection.  That would be very helpful - it would short-circuit the search process significantly.

Here's what I saw when I clicked the link for "View all hints from this tree:"

There are about 887 pages of these, for Records only, not Photos, Story or Member Tree hints.

I expected that this would be a list of the Hints in only the Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituary collections, but it isn't.  It's a list of All of the 25,749 Hints for the 7,372 persons in this tree, including the birth, burial, cemetery and obituary matches, but it also includes birth, marriage, census and other record collections too.

There is another link on the page - for "Search for them now," which goes to the Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituaries search page:

However, and it's a BIG However, there is no list of the matches of persons in my tree with the records in the Death, Burial, Cemetery and Obituaries records.  In order to use this search page, I would have to go through every person in my database and enter their name, birth year, etc. in order to find the death, burial, cemetery or obituary record for them.

This was disappointing -  I thought that I would be able to search from one selected database (e.g., Massachusetts Death Records, Find-A-Grave, Social Security Death Index, Newspapers Obituaries), or at least from within this category.  I thought that there would be a button that says "See your Hints here" for this set of record collections.

In my "Ideal Ancestry World," the list of death collections on the right (in the screen above) would have the number of matches in each collection for persons in my database.  In my ideal Ancestry World, I would be able to Review and Accept the Hint, or Reject or Ignore the Hint. That was my expectation when I started looking at this feature today.

It is evident that they have the ability to do it for ALL collections (they found over 25,000 for me in this tree).  It is evident that they have the ability to do it for a set of collections (they found over 2,500 for me in the Death, etc. collections).  The next step should be to identify matches in each collection for persons in my tree.

I hope that Ancestry adds this "Ideal Ancestry World" feature to their search features in the near future.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Terry and Linda said...

Thank you for this!!!


Celia Lewis said...

Wouldn't that be helpful! I'm constantly checking for possible matches by category, rather than general (all) collections. Your specific blog post may have some influence...

Geolover said...

Interesting, I had not noticed this peculiar item. Be aware that the 'hint' total is not strictly a search-engine result for people in your tree. In addition to items you have already attached, there are also items that others have attached (rightly or wrongly) to individuals in their trees. Many of these were just silly irrelevant items that others mindlessly clicked on.

Presenting such awesome totals must be the reason that the Member Trees were indexed the other day, for perhaps the third time this year.

Kristi Hancock said...


I have had the same dreams of this "Ideal Ancestry World"! I have found a little bit of a work around that I figured out when Ancestry started the link on the 1940 Census page to see your hints from that database only.

When I go to that link for my tree, this is what is in the address bar:

The last four digits (2442) is the code for the 1940 Census database. Now, go to another database and look in the address bar for its "code". For example, the code for the Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 is 8781.

If you go back to that original link and change the 2442 to 8781, you will see the hints for your tree in that database.

You may already know this, but I thought I would share just in case!

K. Hancock

Philia Fresnan said...

I never thought that Ancestry can be used like this one. Tracking down your ancestors are pretty awesome. Finding where your roots started and where their graves are is like an adventure. I wish there is also an app that can track or record your pet's family. I also would like to make a cemetery for them if I have the money. Pets also deserve their place and their own pet grave markers.