Friday, October 17, 2014

More on Finding Record Hints for a Specific Database on

As a follow-up to my blog post Finding Record Hints for Persons in a Specific Database on (15 October 2014), Russ Worthington has created a short how-to video of the process he uses:

This covers how to find your own Ancestry Member Tree number (the 8-digits required) and how to find the Database ID number (unique for each of Ancestry's databases - a 4-5 digit number).  Good job, Russ!

Both of those are required in order to search Ancestry Hints for a specific database for persons in your Ancestry Member Tree.

1)  To review:  Once you find those two numbers, you can get a list of Ancestry Record Hints for persons in your AMT for the apecific database.  The process to use is:

*  Copy this URL to your browser address bar:

* Click in the address field and edit it to:
**  Substitute your AMT code number for xxxxxxxx
**  Substitute the Database number you want for dddd

If there are more characters after the Database number, don't add them - add only the 4 or 5 Database numbers to the URL above.

For one of my Ancestry Member Trees and the Social Security Death Index, my URL is

Note:  You cannot click on the link to my tree above - it will not work since you don't have Owner access to my Ancestry Member Tree.

I also recommend that you save the link to your tree and at least one Database number in your Bookmarks or Favorites on your computer.  I put it in my Bookmarks Bar on Chrome so that I can find it easily.  You could also put it in a document in Evernote or in your Dropbox (or other cloud service) folder so that you can find it when you are on another computer.

2)  You can find the Database ID number on the Database search page.  For example, here is the Database search page for the U.s. World War I Draft Registration Cards (found from the Card Catalog):

I highlighted the URL at the top of the page.  The dbid=6482 for this database, as shown below:

The dbid number is what you write down and put into the URL described in 1) above.

2)  I want to list some of the more popular (at least for me!) database numbers here for my own use, and also for my readers' use:

*  1940 U.S. Census:  dbid=2442
*  1930 U.S. Census:  dbid=6224
*  1920 U.S. Census:  dbid=6061
*  1910 U.S. Census:  dbid=7884
*  1900 U.S. Census:  dbid=7602
*  1880 U.S. Census:  dbid=6742
*  1870 U.S. Census:  dbid=7163
*  1860 U.S. Census:  dbid=7667
*  1850 U.S. Census:  dbid=8054

*  Social Security Death Index:  dbid=3693
*  California Birth Index, 1905-1995:  dbid=5247
*  California Marriage Index, 1960-1985:  dbid=1144
*  California Death Index, 1940-1997:  dbid=5180
*  Texas Birth Index, 1902-1997: dbid=8781
*  Texas Death Certificates, 1903-1982:  dbid=2272
*  Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1944:  dbid=5164
*  Pennsylvania and New Jersey Church and Town Records, 1708-1985:  dbid=2451
*  Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988:  dbid=2495
*  U.S. Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935: dbid=2189

*  U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current:  dbid=60525
*  U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989:  dbid=2469
*  U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012: dbid=1265
*  New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957:  dbid=7488
*  U.s. Passport Applications, 1795-1925: dbid=1174
*  U.S. World War I, Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918: dbid=6482
*  U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942:  dbid=1002
*  U.s. World War II Army Enlistments, 1938-1946: dbid =8939
*  U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949: dbid=1143

*  1911 England Census:  dbid=2352
*  1901 England Census:  dbid=7814
*  1891 England Census: dbid=6598
*  1881 England Census: dbid=7572
*  1871 England Census: dbid=7619
*  1861 England Census: dbid=8767
*  1851 England Census: dbid=8860
*  1841 England Census: dbid=8978

*  1921 Canada Census:  dbid=8991
*  1911 Canada Census:  dbid=8947
*  1901 Canada Census:  dbid=8826
*  1891 Canada Census:  dbid=1274
*  1881 Canada Census:  dbid=1577
*  1871 Canada Census:  dbid=1578
*  1861 Canada Census:  dbid=1570
*  1851 Canada Census:  dbid=1061

Your choice of dbid number may be different - go find some and write them down for easy reference.

4)  I am not sure that ever finds ALL of the Record Hints for persons in your Ancestry Member Tree.  In one of my trees, which is more mature than the other (it's been an AMT since about 2011), the People count is 7,389 and the Record Hints count is 18,575.  This changes occasionally, and the number of Record Hints is reduced when I Attach or Ignore a Record Hint.

In another of my trees, added in August 2014, the number of People is 42,920 and the Record Hint count today is 20,619.  That is up 2 Hints from about an hour ago.  So Ancestry continues to add Hints.  I found that I could spur the production of Record Hints by looking at an ancestor in my AMT in the Family View, wait for the Hints to be added (it sometimes takes 20-60 seconds), and then go back and do the next ancestor in my AMT.

I think the message here is that there will always be newly found Record Hints because keeps adding databases and finding Hints from previously added databases.  It seems like their search algorithms never stop.  However, we may have to wait for a very recent "New" Ancestry.ycom database to add the Record Hints to our AMT persons.

Now I'm wondering how accurate these Record Hints are.  I have looked at about 100 1940 and 1930 U.S. Census Hints over the past two days, adding content and source citations to my database.  Of these, I think there were only 2 or 3 that were not correct - same name usually, but different family.  That's encouraging!

5)  Some readers may ask "Why don't you just do this person-by-person?"  My answer is that this is a much more efficient method to "mine" databases for my persons of interest.  I don't have to wade through 20-40 Hints for my persons of interest to find the 3 or 4 that are "real" records (and not indexed records) for my ancestral families.  I can control what I add, and creating the source citations is much easier using the "source memory" function in my genealogy software.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

UPDATED:  18 October to correct one dbid and add 3.


Cousin Russ said...


Very cool. I have been collecting these dbid numbers as well. I'll post them at some point in time.

Also, I did ALL my the DBID of 3963 and 3 days later I had 20 new ones in my same ATM.

Right now, I have 8,968 people with 4,358 Record Hints. Now, I have also hidden 1,200 hints for records that I might use as a last resort.

I used the Most Recent sort, for the Last Day, and I had 400 new hints from the previous day.

Remember that as you look at the Most Recent Sort, you will see an indication from Last Day to Last Week. So these 400 hints were ADDED since 7 days ago.

My reason for using this (new to me) way of handling of Hints, is that I can deal with my database by Record Group, which really boils down to the formation of a Citation. I do NOT use the citation, so I move those citations into the Evidence Explained Template format in my program

I get into the rhythm of the record group and just knock them out< one at a time, Cite my source AND make a Research Log entry.

For me it, like you said, is much more efficient method to "mine" databases. and use of my time.

I hope others give it a try.

Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.


Christine said...

Wow, very cool! Thanks for sharing these tips! I have so many hints it's not even funny.

Jay at 1FamilyTree said...

I am like you that I would rather work a database and mine as much info from it, instead of going person by person.
For those more 'distant' relatives that I will research later, I save their 'ancestry hints' from my World Connect tree.
It makes for a fast set of databases to review if I need to quickly work on them (like when a distant family member wants to meet and talk genealogy and I havent worked on their branch in years)
I just save the URL address into the notes for future use. Like here is the url for hints on Edward Flynn Husband of my First cousin 2x removed

Found in my World Connect tree at

And also for those Legacy Database users who have not yet moved to Ver 8 (I still use ver 7.5) you can use the greatest tool ever LTools "Data Bridge"
I just updated over 400 persons in less than an hour, including the source info , all from the Wisconsin Death Index 1959=1997!
Keep up the great Blog posts!!

Unknown said...


Great list of the dbid numbers. I would add the 1921 Canada Census - dbid 8991 to your list.

Thanks for posting the listing and saving me the time needed to gather them.


Jan Murphy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Celtic Tree said...

This doesn't seem to work with the new ancestry? I've tried playing around with it, but can't get it to work. Any ideas?

Cousin Russ said...

Midwest Ancestree,

Works for me and has worked on the old and "new" / now current


Celtic Tree said...

well, I don't know what i was doing wrong! it sure does work!

Cousin Russ said...

Midwest Ancestree,

BUT you haven't given any details of what you do and what you see. I use it all of the time from an EXCEL file I created to do this.


Celtic Tree said...

When I want to sit down and do just "findagrave" for example, I was using your suggestions.
I just hadn't done the specific database searches since the switch to new ancestry,until tonight. Sorry I didn't check my work before commenting. Mea culpa.

Randy Seaver said...

Ancestry changed their URL system somewhat. Russ Worthington figured it out - I wrote about it in

Good luck -- Randy

Unknown said...

Frustrated, I hate it when I try to do what is shown and it does NOT work. Just get different webpage that is of no use. I know what my tree # is and what bdid I want to use, still nothing. Can you break it down even more?

Unknown said...

This is what I get....

We’re sorry, this page is temporarily unavailable.

You can try, or come back later.

Randy Seaver said...


I'm sorry I forgot to put the updated info in this particular post - Ancestry changed their address system several months ago. I added the following in a comment on 3 May:

Ancestry changed their URL system somewhat. Russ Worthington figured it out - I wrote about it in

Try that -- Randy