Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Record Hints and RootsMagic Data Entry!

 I go down this rabbit hole several times a week - spending an hour or more after dinner or before I go to bed updating my RootsMagic family tree profiles with Record Hints from Ancestry, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage.  

I usually access the Record Hints from the website. has an "All Hints" link in my Ancestry Member Tree that I can access.  Or I can click on a profile in my Ancestry Member Tree and see the unresolved Hints for that person.  Alternatively, I can access Ancestry WebHints from within RootsMagic.  The process is almost the same in MyHeritage and FamilySearch Family Tree.

If I add a person to my RootsMagic family tree and then TreeShare it to Ancestry, or share information with FamilySearch Family Tree, then Hints are generated almost instantaneously.  On Ancestry, they appear at the top of the Record Hint list.

1)  Here is the Ancestry Member Tree screen showing my current Record Hints for my current family tree:

I have 25,678 Record Hints for persons in my current Ancestry Member Tree.  I try to work through several hundred of these Hints every week to add facts (e.g., birth date/place, death date/place, spouse, marriage date/place, burial information, and more), and source citations to my RootsMagic tree.

I don't add every Hint to my RootsMagic tree - the exception is for my ancestors.  When I'm doing descendancy research (about 90% of my time now), I try to find birth, death, marriage and burial data to add to the profiles in my RootsMagic tree.  I usually don't add census data (the first one on the list above) unless I don't have a spouse and children, or index data (the second one on the list above). 

I add information only to my RootsMagic tree by hand - typing it in.  After I have information in a profile, then I can update my Ancestry Member Tree using RootsMagic TreeShare and the FamilySearch Family Tree using FamilySearch Central - both are in the "Publish" tab in RootsMagic.

2)  My process for adding information from a Record Hint to a profile in my RootsMagic tree is to:

a)  Review the record to ascertain if it applies to my target person.  If it doesn't, then I "Ignore" the hint.

b)  I click on the record to see if there is a record image, and if there is, then I review the image and the indexed information from the image.

c)  If it is for my target person, then I add or edit the event, name, date, place and any other fact information from the record.

d)  I add a source citation for the event, and then copy it to add it to other facts (for example, a Find A Grave Hint may have a burial place, a death date and place, a birth date and place, and an alternate name, plus a note if there is a life story or obituary in the memorial - they all get the same source citation.

e)  When I'm on the Record Summary page for the Hint, I check the "Suggested Records" to see if there are other records for the target person.  If there are, then I click on them and add that information so that I don't have to come back to it another time.  Here is an image showing the "Suggested Records" for Franklin W. Seaver on the right-hand side of the screen:

f)  Finally, I go to the Ancestry Member Tree profile and click on the "Search" button on the profile to see if there are more records for the target person (because Ancestry's "Suggested Records" only provides the top 10% of all Ancestry databases).

g)  At the end of the day, or end of the week, I activate the RootsMagic Ancestry TreeShare and upload the updated profile to my Ancestry Member Tree.  

h)  I also click on the RootsMagic FamilySearch Central button to add information to the profile on the FamilySearch Family Tree.

i)  I move on to the next Hint on the Record Hint list after marking "Ignore" for the Hint I worked on.  It's still in the Ancestry Hint List, but I don't spend time adding Hints to my Ancestry Member Tree through their Hint system, I prefer using RootsMagic TreeShare to do that.

3)  Unfortunately, I cannot do a "TreeShare" with my MyHeritage family tree.  I make a new  GEDCOM file every year and upload a new tree to MyHeritage, and then check the Hints generated by MyHeritage occasionally.  

4)  My RootsMagic family tree continues to grow almost every week - I now have 69,574 profiles in it.  I keep feeding it, and it keeps growing!

5)  Just like a bunny rabbit - this bunny needs some carrots to keep the Record Hints train moving!


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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