Thursday, April 21, 2022

1950 United States Census Record Hints on - A Veritable Feast!

 I received my first Record Hints on last night - but only for the states with the completed index - including Vermont, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Wyoming, etc.  

1)  Here is part of my Record Hints page for my current Ancestry Member Tree (which has over 69,000 profiles in it, and 10,000 or more profiles for people who were alive in 1950 and might have been enumerated):

For the two profiles with a 1950 census hint in the image - my 9th cousin 1x removed Beulah I. Seaver and my 7th cousin 3x removed Nellie Abbie George (who are already in my Ancestry tree) - you can see I don't have a death date for them, or a marriage, or children (since I only had a maiden name for them).  

2)  I looked first at the Beulah I. Seaver entry listed as "Benlah McNally" in the 1950 U.S. Census index:

There is the indexed information for her, her spouse's name (John McNally) and her two living children (Susan McNally and Slaran McNally).  Over on the right side of the screen are "Suggested Records" for Beulah (Seaver) McNally - including more census records, an obituary entry, social security death index, and more. 

Here is the record image for this family:

I can see the indexed information for Beulah on the right side of the screen, and the family members highlighted in the main part of the screen.  The name "John McNally" looks correct to me, but "Benlah McNally" is very likely "Beulah McNally," Susan E. McNally" looks correct to me, but "Slaran J. McNally" is very likely "Sharon J. McNally."  I would have indexed them as John, Beulah, Susan E. and Sharon J.  It certainly appears that this particular census page was not reviewed very carefully - over  half of the names on the page are probably wrongly indexed.  Examples from these 13 lines shown above - "Quigley" was indexed as "Jungley," "Terrence" was indexed as "Jerence," "Morreson" as "Marusons," "Ishbel" as "Dahkel," "Fletcher" as "Hatcher," and "Nellie B." as "Nelhe B".  I haven't checked adjacent pages.  I understand the AI indexing getting some names wrong, but the review is supposed to catch most of the wrong ones based on human intervention.  Hopefully, this is just a bad example - I did not pick it out because of that - I picked it out because it demonstrates the value of Ancestry Record Hints.

3)  I did not have John McNally in my RootsMagic family tree or my Ancestry Member Tree.  On the second image above, I clicked on his name and saw his indexed information and the suggested records on the right:

So I can find John McNally's birth, death, draft registration, burial, military service, census, obituary and other information by reviewing the "Suggested Records."  And then I can enter them into RootsMagic, which I will TreeShare into my Ancestry Member Tree as a husband to Beulah.  And then I can do the same thing for the two children.  

It's a veritable feast of information from one record and Ancestry's excellent system of finding record hints for a person in their billions of records.  I didn't even have to search for Beulah - they pushed it to me in a Record Hints list.  

4)  How do I know these suggested records apply to these specific people?  Because I review them - it takes just seconds to click on each sourced record, review the records for consistency in names, relationships, dates and places.  It takes minutes to add events, dates, places and source citations to the profile in RootsMagic and Ancestry, and if they are deceased, to add them to FamilySearch Family Tree.

5)  I wondered how many 1950 U.S. Census Record Hints I have today.  I created my link to my current Ancestry Member Tree (number 179682319) and the 1950 U.S. Census (database ID 62308) and saw:

See Using the "Mining Hints From a Specific Collection" Tool for the detailed process to do this process of mining an Ancestry database for your tree people.

Here is the link to the 1950 U.S. Census record hints for my Ancestry Member Tree -  If you click on that, it won't work.  Find your Ancestry Tree Number (for me it's 179682319) and copy my link into your browser field, but change my tree number to your tree number.  Then click Enter and you will have a list of your current 1950 U.S. Census Ancestry tree people.  You can "Review" or "Ignore" them as you wish, and if you do either task, it will disappear from this list.

At this time, I have over 400 1950 U.S. Census entries to work on (see the "1 of 21" in the upper right on the screen above?  There are 20 hints per page, so 21 pages is 401 to 420 hints for this database at this time.

6)  One more thing - see the Hint for Rita J. on the screen above?  I didn't know Rita's maiden name - she was a wife of someone I added to my tree and I have not researched her yet.  The 1950 census provides clues to her maiden name (Masterson) and the Suggested Records for her may provide more information about her birth, death, burial, marriage, etc.  

7)  I look forward to working on the 1950 U.S. Census Record Hints provided by Ancestry for the rest of this year.  I will do a few - maybe 10 to 20 - each night (well, maybe not every night, but many nights!) and peck away at them until the information from them all is in my RootsMagic and Ancestry trees.

Needless to say - I love and appreciate Ancestry's Record Hint system because of all the above.  It makes researching most of my tree people much easier than the "old days."  There are still some profiles that I can't fully define, but the Record Hints and Suggested Records reduce their number every day.

UPDATE:  Reader histme2 commented that "You missed that Ancestry have put a new link on your All Hints homepage on the left side below the link to "Members Trees" which says "1950 U.S. Census" so anyone can find it quickly and easily. No need for a special URL."    

Yep, I saw it and forgot about mentioning it.  Thaks for reminding me and my readers.  However, the "special URL" works for any Ancestry database (as long as you put the correct "database number" into the URL. 


Disclosure: I receive a complimentary all-access subscription from, for which I am thankful. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

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histme2 said...

You missed that Ancestry have put a new link on your All Hints homepage on the left side below the link to "Members Trees" which says "1950 U.S.census" so anyone can find it quickly and easily. No need for a special URL.

Marian B. Wood said...

Wow, you have a lot of hints for this Census! My first hints showed up yesterday and although I have only a handful to start, they were quite useful and definitely convenient.