Monday, July 3, 2017

Using RootsMagic/Ancestry WebHints - Part 1

In the latest version of RootsMagic (Version released last week, RootsMagic added a WebHints feature.  

In order to access WebHints, the RootsMagic user must have:

*   their RootsMagic family tree database linked via TreeShare to an Ancestry Member Tree.  

*  the Ancestry Member Tree has to be fairly mature - the green leaf Hints on an Ancestry Member Tree appear sporadically over months of time, not all at once when a tree is uploaded.

I created a new Ancestry Member Tree last week with a RootsMagic TreeShare upload operation.  I intentionally selected key ancestors while working in the Ancestry tree which resulted in Ancestry adding Hints to many of the persons in my tree.  Last week, I had about 6,000 Hints in this tree, and today I have over 32,000 Hints, but I had to work to get them.  On my other, more mature tree, I get 10 to 50 Hints a day for random persons.

In this post, I want to see how to collect the Ancestry Hints for a person, and what the source citation looks like.

1)  Here is my pedigree chart in RootsMagic.  All of the persons have a light bulb on the right side of the name, and those with a yellow color have an unresolved Hint from one of the four record collections - Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and/or MyHeritage.  On the screen below, I clicked the light bulb for my 2nd great-grandfather, David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902):

The WebHints screen opened and showed that I have 18 Ancestry pending Hints, 0 FamilySearch pending Hints, and 1 Findmypast pending Hint.

2)  I clicked on the Ancestry pending Hints number, and the Ancestry WebHints screen opened:

There are three areas on the Ancestry WebHints screen:

*  The top half of the screen provides the list of WebHints in three categories - Record Hints, Other Member Trees, and Photos.

*  The bottom left of the screen contains the Facts and relationships in my RootsMagic tree for this person.

*  The bottom right of the screen contains the Facts with indexed information from the selected Record Hint.

The Find A Grave Record Hint is highlighted in the top half of the screen above, and the indexed information for this record is presented in the bottom right part of the screen.

3)  In WebHints, the user can bring information for one or more Facts in the Record at a time from each WebHint.  For the Find A Grave Fact above, I could have selected one, several or all of the Facts checked - in this case, the name, birth, death, burial, spouse and children.

I chose to select only the Burial Fact.  I checked that, and was presented with the choice of:

*  Add as new event in RootsMagic

*  Update existing event in  RootsMagic:

I chose to "Add as new Event in RootsMagic" and it appeared in blue font with a green background in the bottom left area of the screen.

In order to add this information to RootsMagic, I have to click on the green "Accept changes" button at the bottom left of the screen.

4)  I clicked the "Accept changes" button on the screen above, and then clicked on the "Edit RootsMagic" button (located below the top half of the screen on the left-hand side of the screen).  That opened the "Edit Person" screen for the person, and I scrolled down and saw that the new Burial was listed:

I can see the information for this Fact on the right-hand side of the "Edit Person" screen - it has only a place name (as "National City, San Diego County, California, United States of America").  There is also "1 Burial source" noted to the right of the "Sources" button on the right-hand side of the screen.

5)  I clicked on the "Sources" button, and the "Citation Manager" screen opened, and I clicked the "Edit" button to see the "Edit Source" screen:

The source template used for ALL Ancestry WebHints is called "Ancestry Record" and has five Master Source fields (for Author, Title, Publish Place, Publisher and Publish Date) and one Source Details field (for Page).

The Footnote source citation crafted by RootsMagic from the available information is:, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012).

This source citation is not in Evidence Explained format, and does not name the person, or the cemetery name and its' location) in the record. provides that information in their record summary for the record, but does not include the person's name and the cemetery information in the source for some reason.  Consequently, RootsMagic doesn't include it either.

The process is similar for all of the other Record Hints and for the Other Tree Hints.  You check the Facts you want in the Ancestry Hint, they appear on the RootsMagic side of the screen, and you accept them.

6)  If I accept a Hint with an image, the image comes into the Media file for the source, but not for the Fact or the Person.  I have to tag the Fact and Person if I want the image to be shown for the Fact and the Person on the "Edit Person" screen.

7)  The Photo Hint screen is a little different.  I scrolled down the list of Ancestry WebHints and clicked on the one Photo Hint:

If I want to add the Photo Hint to my RootsMagic person, I have to click the "Accept" button below the top half of the screen on the right-hand side of the screen above.  Then I have to click the "Accept photo" button at the bottom right of the screen.  I could choose to click on the "Reject" or "Undecided" button if I don't want to add the Photo to RootsMagic.

8)  There is one more way to add these WebHints to my RootsMagic database, and I will describe it in another post.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Linda Stufflebean said...

I have a question for you about the images in the WebHints. If an image is "brought into" the RootsMagic tree instead of downloaded, saved and attached, will the image still be visible if you don't have an active subscription to Ancestry?

Randy Seaver said...

Linda, I think so, but don't know so. The attached image shows up in your media, and is located in a file folder for Ancestry images on your computer.

If you did not have an active Ancestry subscription when you brought the information into RootsMagic, then the image is probably not brought into RootsMagic.

It's a question you should ask RootsMagic about on Facebook or their forum.

Linda Stufflebean said...

Thanks, Randy. I always save and attach myself, but the question came up at a users group meeting I recently attended and no one seemed to be sure if access would be blocked or not.

JukeboxLinda said...

With all the steps involved to get the new info one's RM database and then still
have to, maybe, edit location (to correspond to the format one has bee using)mad
well as "improving" the source citation, I still think my time is more efficiently spent manually inputting the found information and downloading the document (renaming it to something meaningful to me).
I appreciate the webhints as it may point me to a document I hadn't yet located on Ancestry, but I'll do the rest myself. Just my preference.