Monday, June 15, 2015 Sends Me a Hint Notice, and Now a Problem! UPDATED: Fixed!

I received an email two days ago (it went to my Spam folder so I didn't see it until today) from, saying:

All right!  More Hints.  When I clicked on the orange "View all hints" button, I saw my list of Hints on this tree:

I have "only" 31,106 Record Hints at this time.  I've been keeping track of my Record Hints each day, and have been receiving 5 to 10 each day.  Except back on 11 June I received 238 Record Hints!  And on 8 June, I received 658 Record Hints.

For those two big days, I figure that Ancestry found Record Hints in new databases.  Or not.  Who knows!

I usually go through about 100 at a time, and add content to my RootsMagic database for actual records plus some indexed databases (like California Birth and Death, Find A Grave, etc.) but not the AGBI, Millenneum File, etc.

I usually click on the Database file name on the screen above - for instance, for John Wheeler, the "U.S. Find A Grave Record, 1600s-Current Record" link; that opens:

WHAT?  Why did it do a Search for John Wheeler?  I don't want 688,691 matches to find the Find A Grave entry, I wanted only the Find A Grave entry.  Fortunately, it was the third entry.

But this should not work like that - why didn't it open the Find A Grave result for John Wheeler?  I expected Find A Grave and want Find A Grave, not the "U.S. International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database."  If I click on a link to a database, I expect the click to result in the record summary with a link to a record image (if it exists), not to another list of Hints.

Was this a change resulting from the recent Ancestry Beta improvement?  If so, I don't like it.  If I want to search for records for John Wheeler, I can do it from within my Ancestry Member Tree profile.

 I know, I can click on the "Review Hint" and see a comparison of the Record to what I have in my Ancestry Member Tree.  But that's more clicks - I just want to see the Record Summary I expected when I clicked the database link for the Hint.

I appreciate the Hints, and use them.  I don't like what I have to wade through to find the Hint once I click on it.  It didn't work this way up until early June when the Ancestry Beta improvement was implemented for all users.

UPDATED: fixed this perceived problem on Tuesday, 16 June.  See my blog post:

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Denise Doyon said...

I, too, am having the same problem. Up until recently, I was keeping up with hints fairly well. Many, if not most, were not matches and were ignored but occasionally something worthwhile would show up. Now, I am getting hundreds and hundreds of hints each day, most of the hints aren't even close to being related to the ancestor and the links provided are, as you mentioned, not bringing up the actual record. This is a HUGE waste of my time and energy and like you, I am very unhappy with this new iteration of Ancestry.

Unknown said...

Sounds like Ancestry has extended its "surely you don't mean what you entered" philosophy to Hints. The sliders on that auto-search are all at low levels, which probably accounts for most of your 31,000+ results. And you clicked on one database, surely you didn't mean to limit yourself? Surely you wanted to see as much as possible from as many databases as possible?!? I don't get their thinking. I can't imagine this is anything but overwhelming for newbies; it's certainly not what experienced researchers want. But Ancestry is sure they know best. They'll keep changing your search parameters to give you the most possible results. With each "improvement," Ancestry gets less user-friendly. Claire K.

T said...

ancestry is determined to drive researchers away in an attempt to attract the gamers. It will be a disaster for the researchers. I've already found alternate tree sites and alternate search sites. In addition GEDMatch is far and away a better DNA matchmaker than is ancestry. I am abandoning my tree at ancestry. I will leave it but I won't work on it there any more. The first day that I had to use 6-8 clicks where I used to use 2 was the clincher for leaving.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't having the ridiculous number of hints problem until today! I got an email today with 15 hints from Virginia birth records. I have ZERO ancestors who were born or ever lived in Virginia and all the ancestors that the hints were matched to ALREADY had birth records in other places. I have deferred the "big swtich" to the new site as long as possible and I dread the day they force me, extra clicks is one of my biggest pet peeves in any technology redesign and that's all I see in the previews. All I can say is I hope things improve and I will be leaving my feedback wherever possible on Ancestry.