Sunday, January 31, 2016

ANCESTRY HINTS ~ Do you take advantage of this resource?


Maybe it’s only me, but sometimes I get in a rut with my research.  I sit down at my computer, look at my Legacy database, and try to decide who I’m going to work on today.  Or, maybe there was some note I wrote yesterday that’s on my desk that I need to go back to.

What would give me a fresh look and a new direction?  How about looking at my hints on Ancestry?

Do you look at your hints on Ancestry? 
Do you go through all of them?

Here’s what I am in the habit of doing.  I will see a new number up by the “shaky leaf” at the top right of the screen.  I’ll click on that to see what names pop up.  Generally, it’s people in a group I have recently worked on.  I may or may not look at the hint.  I rarely scroll through the hints list or use the other options available to us.  

My habit is to look at the hints, from the Facts page, for whichever ancestor I am currently working on. 

Here is what showed up for me today in the way of current hints.

Ancestry current hints

I do see two people on that list that I was working with yesterday.  Mary Johnston and Addison Boggs.

Next, I clicked on “See all recent hints in” and selected my primary tree on Ancestry.

That brought up this screen.

Ancestry hints - 2-circle on number

WOW!  That’s 13,905 hints total. 
I have 3,535 people in this tree.  NOTE:  I use my Ancestry trees for connections & sharing with cousins, gathering hints and for my DNA.  My primary records are all in Legacy, on my computer.  Any record I find on Ancestry is downloaded to my computer, saved in the appropriate digital folder and added & sourced in my Legacy program.  Ancestry is simply a tool for me.
I have to admit that I don’t do a lot of fiddling with the hints page.  However, maybe I should.
You can sort by
  • Most recent
  • Last name
  • First name
Or you can filter by name.

These are all very helpful ways of focusing on a particular ancestor.
I love working with and finding photos for my ancestors. I see from the hints page that I have 1730 PHOTO hints.  Let’s take a look at those.  I didn’t sort these in any order, however, you do have that option.

In looking at the first 10 pages of 87 pages of photo hints, most of them were familiar.  They were images that have been added by me and then saved to other trees, or added by cousins.  By the time I got to page 15 I was seeing some new items.
It was actually very difficult to not stop and take a look at those items instead of finishing this post.  Guess where I’ll be going back to when this is published?

What about STORIES?  I have 119 story hints.  Those might be interesting to take a look at.

I see lots of interesting items here.  Everything from abstracts of war pensions to lineage to divorce packets to an entry that says “attacked by Indians.”  Certainly many of those are worth looking at.
The bottom line is, I don’t take enough advantage of the options offered to us on this website.  Do you?

I’m off to investigate some of those stories and other hints right now.  Please share with me what your experience is and whether or not you use all the options on this website.


OCCUPATION FILES ON ANCESTRY - 1600-1995 - What are they?  Have you seen these?


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.