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Ancestry Member Tree

Dear Randy – "What is Your Work Flow With An Ancestry Hint?"

 Reader Nancy emailed me asking:

“…For now I will continue with RootsMagic 7. I have once again read your post: and you are very clear on what you do not do with respect to Ancestry hints but I am not clear on what you actually do. Do you go to the hint, accept or reject, and then if you want the information you add the record (image) to RootsMagic with your own citation, as if the hint never existed? Where do you store the image? When you sync RootsMagic with your ancestry tree how does this record appear, i.e. is the image and your EE source online?”

My response to Nancy (edited a bit):

1)  When I see an Ancestry Hint, I decide if it is one I want to use in my family tree.  For non-ancestors, I don’t bother with the compendium type of Hints – e.g., Millenium File, Public Records, Phone and Address Directories, City Directories, School Yearbooks, Family Histories, etc.  For ancestors, I look at them more closely and add them if they have value.  For other records that come from a real record (e.g., BMD vital records, indexes of BMD vital records, Find A Grave, draft registrations, Social Security, church records, census records, some military records, passenger lists, passports, etc.) In RootsMagic, I create an Event (or use an existing event), and add the date, place, and a free form source citation.  Many of my Events have more than one source citation.  I also  create Alternate Names in RootsMagic when the entry has a different name for the person, and add the source to them. 

2)  I almost always check “Ignore” rather than “Accept” the Record Hint to my Ancestry tree because I don’t want to spend the time dealing with the Ancestry Member Tree, which I will eventually delete.  The “Ignore” Hints are still on the Hints page on the Ancestry profile if I want to see them again, and they are in the RootsMagic WebHints for each profile.  I don’t download the record image unless it is for an ancestor.

3)  If I do download an image, I rename it and put it in a family file folder in my digital file system.  I’ve written about the file system in Dear Randy: “What Is Your Naming Convention for Downloaded Documents?” and My Genealogy Digital File Folder Organization.

4)  When I TreeShare my RM tree to my Ancestry tree, all of my RM sources appear as “Other Sources” in my Ancestry Member Tree (even the Evidence Explained sources) and are linked to the event in the timeline.  I mainly use free-form sources in RootsMagic because the EE source templates don’t export well in a GEDCOM file.

5)  If I have an image connected to the RootsMagic person, I usually choose not to upload it to the Ancestry Member Tree because of the time it takes to upload and the relatively short-lived Ancestry Member Tree.  

6)  The above reflects my goals for my RootsMagic family tree (and by extension my online family trees):  I want to gather every bit of information on my ancestors and include them in my trees.  For the profiles in my collateral lines, surname studies, and descendants studies, I want to gather names, relationships, birth or baptism date/place, marriage date/place, death date/place, and burial date/place.  


Disclosure: I have a complimentary all-access subscription from, for which I am thankful. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 10 January 2021

 Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Attended the Chula Vista Genealogical Society board meeting and reported on the monthly Research Group meeting, the monthly DNA Interest Group meeting, and the monthly newsletter.   Wrote, edited, published and distributed the January 2021 CVGS Family History Gazette to the society members via email.

2)  Attended the San Diego Genealogical Society monthly meeting featuring two presentations by Diahan Southard on “Organizing Your DNA Results” and “Ask the Wife!”  Excellent talks.

3)  Participated in today’s Mondays With Myrt webinar.  We discussed 2020 genealogical research successes, the Nantucket Historical Association records, Facebook groups, the FAN club, USA passports, Norway visits, DNA company changes, and Myrt’s Journal.

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of my 7th great-grandmother #575 Bennett (Freeman) Paine (1671-after 1716) of Eastham, Mass. for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday. 

5)  Transcribed a probate record in Amanuensis Monday — 1703 Will of John Mainord (1630-1711) of Marlborough, Massachusetts  for Amanuensis Monday today.  

6)  Added Notes to 13 more AncestryDNA matches with cM values, relationships and known common ancestors, and added connecting lines of DNA matches to three Common Ancestors in my RootsMagic family tree.  Ancestry added 67 new DNA matches this past week, with one new ThruLine.   MyHeritage added 21 new DNA matches.   Reviewed the new DNA matches on  AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.  

7)  Started my first DNAPainter Chromosome Mapping using known relationships on MyHeritage, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.  I still have many more to do, but I started (a year after deciding to do it).

8)  There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 39,875 of my RootsMagic persons with FamilySearch Family Tree profiles (up 149).

9)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 60,985 persons in my RootsMagic file (up 126), and 131,516 source citations (up 485).   I TreeShared with my Ancestry Member Tree twice this week updating 306 profiles, and I resolved 1,536 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 146,202 to be resolved, but I work on them almost daily. 

10)  Worked a bit gathering copies of supporting evidence for two generations on my Mayflower Society application for William White.  Doing this, I identified several more “certificates” I need to obtain for the application.  

11)  Wrote 16 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which one was a press release.  The most popular post last week was Saturday Night Genealogy Fun — What Do You Take After From Your Parents and Grandparents?  with over 281 views.  

12)  We are still fine here at the Genea-cave, hunkered down and not going out much in Week 43 of COVID-19 isolation.  I went to the grocery store on Monday and Friday, and it wasn’t too busy.  I went to the dental hygienist on Thursday.  Other than that, it was stay-at-home on the computer doing genealogy, eating, sleeping, cleaning, and a little yard work.  I watched some of the playoff  football games on Saturday and Sunday, and I continued reading a mystery fiction ebook on my laptop.


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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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