Dealing With Ancestry Hints

Recently a lady joined the Getting My Poop In A Group Facebook page and one of her reasons for joining was that she wanted to understand how to work through her hints.

If you have an Ancestry tree then you’ve seen those tiny shaky leaves. Those leaves that give you possible hints about the ancestors in your tree. They may point to other members whoe’s tree contain the same names you have. Or to census records, birth, marriage or death records, stories or just about any other record.

It’s up to you to go through the hints and decide if they are the same person in your tree. But only if you want to.

First of all, let me mention that you don’t have to receive hints if you don’t want them.

If you have more than one tree you can change the preferences for each tree. First, go to the tree in question. Then click the name so you get the drop down and then choose tree settings.

On the right, you will see hint preferences. Click that and then you’ll see…

Here you chose what hints you will receive. So if you don’t want to see those other trees you can uncheck and you won’t see them.

If you don’t want to receive hints at all you can uncheck the Potential Ancestor Hints.

You can also choose if you receive emails about hints and for which tree.

Personally, I like the hints.

What I do is I research the person or family I’m interested in. At one point in my research life, I had a “family of the month“. I focused on that one family for the entire month. This stopped me from moving from ancestor to ancestor. Then after the month if I wanted to continue with that family I can or I could change it up and choose another.

During the “family of the month” I would look at the hints for each member of the family and decide if I would accept them or ignore them. I don’t usually put any in the undecided because I typically don’t go back to my undecided list. But rest assured you can go back to the ignore and put them to accept should you find information that makes you realize that the hint was actually a good one.

I also look at the tree hints. Don’t get me wrong I don’t take anyone else’s tree as gospel but I have been known to look at them because there are good researchers out there and by looking at those trees you may find something that you want to research yourself.

Currently I only have 29 hints. There are many more but at the top of the page it’s only showing the recent ones. If that little blue bubble with the number bugs you then just click the leave and it will show you the hints but it also clears the number away. Otherwise it keeps growing until it’s at 99+

Don’t worry just because you clicked the bubble and the number went away doesn’t mean that the hints went away. You’ll still find them when you look at an ancestor’s profile and also when you click on the name of the tree and get that drop down again that has “All Hints“.

Here you will get just that.. all the hints for the entire tree. But if you do decide to look at this you can filter by date, first and last name and you can choose to look at one category of hints , such just records.

You are truly in the drivers seat when it comes to hints. They are there to help you not to overwhelm you.

Note the above link is to Ancestry.ca You can go to all other here Ancestry.com , Ancestry UK and Ancestry AUS

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