Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Record Hints are Now Available on FamilySearch Family Tree

On 28 May 2014, FamilySearch announced in their blog post Family History Research Made Easier! that they would be introducing a feature called "Hinting."  The blog post says:

"With this powerful tool, the site will automatically search for records that match people in your family tree. When you go to an ancestor’s page we will show you what we have found just for that person amongst our vast collections of records. That’s right—FamilySearch does the searching, and finding, for you!

The high quality matches the site finds will automatically be provided in the new Record Hints box added to the ancestor page in FamilySearch Family Tree. No more looking through hundreds of search results. The system does the heavy lifting for you!!! It really is that easy!"
I looked at the FamilySearch Family Tree this morning and it still wasn't there.  And now it is there this afternoon.  Of course, I had to try it out:

1)  On the Person Profile (I chose my great-grandmother, Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920):

Note at the top of the right-hand column - the box containing the "Record Hints."  At the bottom of the box was a link to "Show All."

2)  I clicked on the "Show all" link and saw more information about the six Record Hints that FamilySearch found for me, apparently while I was eating lunch, watching the baseball game, or napping, i'm not sure which.

3)  I clicked on the blue "Review" button for the first Record Hint (the record from "Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910," and saw a comparison of the information in the Record (on the left of the screen) and the information already in the Family Tree for Hattie Hildreth:

Further down the page is more information, including the other persons in the marriage record:

The record above is for my great-grandmother, so I typed a reason to attach the source to the Family Tree, and clicked on the blue "Attach" button.

4)  That took me to the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" and I can attach the information from the historical record to other persons in the Family Tree, her parents, and her spouse:

The process of attaching this record is relatively simple - decide if the record has the correct information and click on the "Attach" button between the two columns.

5)  I attached the historical record to Hattie's parents and spouse in the Family Tree, and when I was done the background for all four of them showed green (meaning the record was attached for those persons):

6)  I was curious to see what the Source looked like in Hattie's Person Profile in the FamilySearch Family Tree, so I clicked on her name, opened her profile, and scrolled down to the Sources:

I expanded the first Source in the list provided, and saw the screen above.

I was curious to see what showed up in the Person Profile for her husband and parents.  Here is Edward Hildreth's Source list in the Family Tree:

There is the source for the marriage record of Hattie L. Hildreth and Frank W. Seaver.  The title says "Edward in entry for Frank W. Seaver and Hattie L. Hildreth, "Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910."  The same source and wording shows up in Hattie's mother's profile, and in Frank W. Seaver's profile - but it shows his name instead of Hattie's in the source title.

7)  This process is very logical, but there are quite a few steps to it.  I think that the many steps make the process an intentional decision-making process rather than a mindless "Attach" task.

I like that I can attach historical records to more than one person at a time - that was possible earlier from within the Search Records function previously (see Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

There is also the check step - the "Reason to attach source" box that should be completed each time the user attaches a record.  Again, that makes the user think about attaching the record, and makes it intentional rather than mindless. I think that is beneficial to everybody!

I will write more about the quality of the "Record Hints" found by FamilySearch in a later post.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/06/record-hints-are-now-available-on.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Geolover said...

It could be noted that only indexed items will appear in such 'hints'. That's fewer than 85% of the online database items.

SearchShack said...

Pretty neat new tool! Knew it was coming but thanks for the heads up that it's here. Only issue I see is that they need to add a few more options when we could say NOT A MATCH for each source. Have an ancestor who moved from England to the US around 1850 and it wanted to match the England 1881 census for another person with the same name. Could not see a way to say NOT a match while looking at the details of the record or when it was trying to match the details. Went to the SHOW ALL feature, said NOT A MATCH but when I go back to this gentleman, the same hint still exits.

Unknown said...

Randy, is great news for the Hispanic people. FamilySearch has the greatest number of records in Spanish