FamilySearch has made it a little bit easier for people to find information about their ancestors. They have added 141 million new ancestor hints to their FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch will let you know when it thinks it has found a record that could be about your ancestor.
How does hinting work? FamilySearch has built a cloud of data around an ancestor in FamilyTree using all the information about that ancestor and his or her parents, spouse, and children. Next, the hinting process compares that cloud of data to the data indexed on over five billion historical records that are on FamilySearch.
Hinting then links to the records that have a high possibility of being for that particular ancestor in your family tree. Current accuracy has been verified at better than 98.5 percent.
The 141 million new ancestor hints came from the updated historical records collections at FamilySearch. This includes the 1851 and 1881 U.K. Censuses. FamilySearch updates several collections each month. Often, the updates result in new hints being generated. This means that new hints can be generated every time collections are updated. New hints may also appear for you after you add new people to your family tree.
The majority of hints that you receive are the result of volunteers worldwide that have been reviewing scanned images of records and adding details like names, dates, places, and events to create an index that is searchable. That search can be done by an individual who is searching for ancestors, or it can be done by the hinting system itself.
How can you find hints? One way is to check an ancestor’s person page or his or her entry in the descendancy tree view. Look for a Research Help box at the side of the page. There could potentially be one or more hints about that specific ancestor waiting for you.
It is also possible to find hints on the main page as a recommended task. Check the Recommend Task box when you log into FamilySearch. A hint might be in that box. If so, it will show you the name of the ancestor the hint connects to. You can review it and determine for yourself if you want to attach that hint. Or, you can choose to dismiss it.
Hints are important because they make it easier for you to discover your ancestors in FamilySearch’s historical records. Hints can help you find out when an ancestor was born, where they lived, when they got married or when they died. Hints often lead to more avenues of research regarding that ancestor.
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