Friday, April 3, 2015

Mining the U.S. Passport Applications on

One of my ongoing projects is to "mine" the Hints (the "green leafs") by record collection rather than by person.  I've completed the Social Security Death Index, 1940 U.S. Census and 1930 U.S. Census, and I'm working on the 1920 U.S. Census Hints (only 840 to go!).

Sometimes I get curious about a record collection, and that was the case today.  I saw Marian Pierre-Louis' blog post (Putting a Face On Your Ancestors) about the U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 database on  I immediately thought "gee, I wonder if I have any Hints for that collection?"

I figured out the database number (it's dbid=1174) and quickly used my scheme in Tuesday's Tip - Search Hints by Record Collection to find that I have 23 Hints from this database for persons in my Ancestry Member Tree (there are probably more because Ancestry hasn't given me Hints for about 80% of my AMT).  

Here is a screen shot of some of the Hints on the list:

Look at that, my great-grandfather Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) applied for a passport.  I didn't know that.  I was excited, and couldn't wait to see what new revelations there might be for him.

But wait, the record is for Franklin W. Seaver born in about 1851, and born in West Roxbury, not Westminster.

I clicked on the link next to the record thumbnail image and saw the record summary:

Then I clicked on the green "View" button to see the record image:

If this was my ancestor's record, I would save the record image (after checking for another page or two) to my computer, attach it to the Media for the ancestor, create an Event, craft a source citation, transcribe the record and put it in the Event Note, and tag the Media item to the Event.  I'd also write a Treasure Chest Thursday post about it.  

There are only 23 Hints for this database at present - that's about one hour's worth of adding content and sources to the RootsMagic database, well worth doing.  I'll then add the database to my list of databases that I've "mined."  At some point in time, I will go through that list and see if there are more Hints that were added since my "mining" was done.

I think that the other 22 Hints from this database are for the right persons.  My experience is that Ancestry Hints are 80-90% accurate because of relatively common names and the nature of the Hint search.   

My wish is that would put a button on each specific database (like the U.S. Passport Applications) that says "See who in your Ancestry Member Tree is in this database."  That would be really helpful!   It's not hard to do if I can do it using two numbers in a URL.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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