Use Record Hints to Find Records of Your Ancestors

June 23, 2014  - by 

Finding your ancestors among the billions of records on just got easier with a new feature called Record Hints. finds the records for you. For each person in Family Tree, now compares the person’s information with all of its indexed records and displays the best matches. You don’t have to fill out a search form or click a button to request a search—the results are already waiting for you. You don’t have to weed through hundreds of search results—you have a short list that usually includes records for your ancestors.

Keep in mind that the accuracy of the matches depends on the information that is in Family Tree and the information that was indexed. If doesn’t have much information to compare, you may still get records that don’t match. But the percentage of accurate matches is high, and the list you look through is short.

When you find a record about your ancestor, it’s easy to attach the record to Family Tree as a source. This lets others see where you got your information.

Here’s a list of Record Hints for Olive Benedict Livermore. (Livermore was her married surname.

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These indexed records include Olive’s name and match her information in Family Tree. To see a record, you click Olive’s name above the record.

Where to Find Record Hints

You can access Record Hints from two places in Family Tree: In the Descendancy view on the right of the person’s name or on the person’s Details page on the right side. To see the list of Record Hints in the Descendancy view, click the Record Hints icon.

Record Hints Icon on the Descendancy View

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Record Hints Section on the Details Page

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How to Use Record Hints

The Descendancy view is the quickest way to see which ancestors have Record Hints. When you put an ancestor in the main position in the Descendancy view, you can easily display all of the ancestor’s descendants who are in Family Tree. Then scroll down the screen looking for Record Hints icons.

  1. Go to the Descendancy view. (On the pedigree, in the upper left corner, on the View button, click the down arrow, and click Descendancy.) By default, you appear as the person in the main position.

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2.  Move an ancestor to the main position. Use one of these three ways:

  • If the person is already displayed on the screen, click the name. On the summary card, click Tree.
  • Click the Expand link above the person who is currently on the main position. A small pedigree appears. If the person you want is on the screen, click the Select button under the person’s name. To choose an ancestor even more generations back, repeat the process (click the Expand link, and click the Select button for the ancestor).
  • On another view, find the person, put him or her in the main position, and then click the Descendancy view. (To put the ancestor in the main position in the other view, click the name, and on the summary card, click Tree.)

3.  To see the Record Hints icons for all of the ancestor’s descendants, scroll down the page. Click all of the arrows that point to the right (>). This displays all the spouses and children and their Record Hints icons.

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4.  Click a Record Hints icon.

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The system displays a list of records that match the information for your ancestor.

  1. Review the records for the person.
  • To review one record at a time, click your ancestor’s name above the record.

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  • To see more information about all the records, click Show All at the bottom of the list of records.

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The information from Family Tree is at the top of the screen. The other Information is from the indexed records. If the information in the indexed record matches your ancestor, click the Review button on the right side.

  1. Compare the information in the indexed record with the information in Family Tree.

On the left, you will see the person in the indexed record and on the right, the person in Family Tree. If the indexed record has extra information that isn’t in Family Tree, you will see a + Add link after the information.

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  1. If the indexed record matches the person you are looking for, attach the record:
  2. To add the new information to Family Tree, click + Add.
  3. In Reason to Attach Source, add the reason you feel this is a record for the person in Family Tree.
  4. To add the source to your source box, click Add Source to Source Box. The system adds a check mark and adds the source to your source box.
  5. Click the Attach button. The system attaches the record to the person in the tree.
  6. If the indexed record does not match the person you were looking for, click the Not a Match button.

Attach the Source to the Other People in the Record

Once you attach the source to the original person you looked for, the attach links for the other people in the indexed record are displayed.

  • An Attach link means the system found a possible match in Family Tree.
  • An Add link means the system didn’t find the person in Family Tree. (Click Add to add the person to Family Tree. Details will be given in “Add a Person to Family Tree” in What’s New on FamilySearch, June 23, 2014.)
  • A Detach link means the record is already added as a source to the person in Family Tree.

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  1. To attach the source to the person in Family Tree, click the Attach link.

On the left, you see the person in the indexed record, and on the right, the person in Family Tree. If the indexed record has extra information that isn’t in Family Tree, you will see a + Add link after the information. The reason statement you already created appears in the reason box.

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  1. To add the new information to Family Tree, click + Add.
  2. If you want, change the reason statement.
  3. To add the source to your source box, make sure there is a check mark by Add Source to Source Box.
  4. Click the Attach button.
  5. If there are more Attach links, click each link to add the source to those people in Family Tree.

Congratulations! With one icon, one sentence, and a few clicks, you’ve found a record for your ancestors and added it to their sources in Family Tree.

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  1. On certain records it has other people that are related to my ancestor but haven’t been linked to them before. They aren’t siblings, children, spouse or parents. How can I add them?

    Like, it is my grandmother’s obituary that was published in a paper. It has all of her living relatives written on there. How can I link myself to that record?

  2. Is there someone I can contact with questions about golden hints? I’ve struggling to find someone who knows how to help me.

  3. A record hint turns red after I look at it. The source also applies to several living people and so I can’t attach to them. The blue badge persists even after I attached it to as many deceased people as appropriate. How to finish the job so the blue hint marker does away?

    1. When there are multiple copies of a record, such as a marriage record, you attach them all. You only move the date over though once. The rest of the sources you only attach. Death records also many times have more than one as do birth records.

  4. You can no longer go back to the historical record indexing after you connect a source. You are required to go back to family tree. That means if you are working with a married woman you must type in her married surname, the state she is living in, the name of her spouse each time you attach a source to her. If you are working with an man you are still going around and around to attach sources from the historical records as well. We use to be able to go back to he indexing on Historical records but we can no longer do that.