Gransnet forums


Advice if poss re Ancestry

(28 Posts)
winterwhite Sat 07-Jan-23 21:40:06

Cannot work out how to stop Ancestry coming up with records and hints about people several generations beyond the person I’m interested in. I ignore the hints; it asks Why; I write ‘I have no interest in this person’, but that is ignored.

I’m working on someone born in 1720. I’ve logged his only son and the son’s 4 children but have no interest in those children’s marriages, offspring and deaths. I’m drowning in them.

I’m sure this must be simple to fix but I can’t work it out, the Help button on the website doesn’t cover it and the interactive help is never active when I try.

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

Cabbie21 Sun 08-Jan-23 12:59:22

I don’t know if this would work, but there is something a bit like a luggage label, which offers various tags you can attach to a person, eg Direct Ancestor, died young. There is also a list re research status, one of which is Completed. I have never tried it, but I wonder if adding this tag would work to stop the hi ts? Probably not, but worth a try.

winterwhite Sun 08-Jan-23 13:08:50

Great Cabbie thanks. The second sounds what I want. Never noticed Research status before.

Cabbie21 Sun 08-Jan-23 16:32:29

It is accessed via the “ luggage label”.

1987H2001M2002Inanny Wed 11-Jan-23 13:53:23

I didn't know about luggage label either so thanks.I've been researching for 12 years so should have seen it by now!! I do add everyone that come up in hints and have found some very interesting things that way.I did contact them last week to ask when the 1921 census will be added and they can't give a date as yet.I do like the information I got from doing a DNA test.

Ph1lomena Wed 18-Jan-23 11:35:16

Make sure you make sure that the hints definitely relate to your ancestor. Looking at other family trees highlighted by hints can highlight all sorts of inaccuracies where people have just added information without checking it's fact. I have all the historical paperwork for the maternal side of my family so I know the actual details but one example was my Grandfather acquiring a middle name he didn't have in someone else's tree.

lemsip Wed 18-Jan-23 11:58:16

The 1921 census is already on 'find my past'. have to have a subscription though and then pay again to view record, so pricey. I'm with ancestry and hope they will get it soon within the subscription

Cressida Wed 18-Jan-23 12:11:17

Definitely make sure the hints are correct.

I can clearly remember my great grandfather but have found several trees with his death 15 years before I was born.

rubysong Wed 18-Jan-23 12:40:20

I have had 1921 census results (paid) but don't pay FMP subscription.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 18-Jan-23 12:46:41

You don’t need to subscribe to fmp to view the 1921 census. Subscribers get a small discount on the price of viewing entries.

Elegran Wed 18-Jan-23 13:47:40

Don't believe everything you read on Ancestry, particularly from family trees across the pond. I have been "reliably" informed that people in my tree went to the States and lived the rest of their lives there, when I have known them personally in the Uk, and they never travelled further than the next county.

There are people who collect relations as though they want to join up to the whole world. They contact an Ancestry tree-owner who has someone whose name (by marriage) corresponds with a member of their (extensive) family tree, and get access to their tree, the whole of which they join onto their own, without doing any source checking. They then have hundreds more names, some of which are (by marriage) the same as a name in yet another Ancestry member's tree - so they repeat the process.

It is as though there is a prize for the most relations - even if they are only the most tenuously linked.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 18-Jan-23 13:52:05

Spot on elegran. Some people on these trees are born before their grandparents. I think it tends to be American users who latch on to a name and add it to their tree without any research, but doubtless they’re not the only culprits.

Chestnut Wed 18-Jan-23 13:55:56

Never believe someone's Ancestry tree unless you research yourself to check their findings, because 50% of them are absolute fairy stories. Their own close family may be correct, which is where you may find helpful information, but the rest of their tree may be way out.

winterwhite Wed 18-Jan-23 14:36:39

Does anyone think the Hints process is a bit clumsy? The Ignore button doesn’t seem to do what it says and names come round again. Ditto No when it prob is someone relevant to my tree but I don’t want to add these relations.
PS I can’t find the Luggage label function kindly mentioned by Cabbie

Callistemon21 Wed 18-Jan-23 15:04:55

I havent done any research for a while so must look for the luggage label, thank you * Cabbie*.
Yes, it's annoying zipping through pages of hints to find any relevant ones.

Don't believe everything you read on Ancestry, particularly from family trees across the pond

I agree - in fact don't believe anything until you've cross-checked it.

According to a couple of American trees, I'm related to all these people in the USA I've never heard of or found in research and we're all descended from Anne Boleyn. 👸
My great grandparents did emigrate to America but came back again - I have records to prove that!

Chestnut Wed 18-Jan-23 15:52:59

The mapping facility is very prone to errors. Be very careful when entering a place for birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial. If in the UK you must put the town and county! For instance, Chelsea should not be London, it should be Chelsea, Middlesex. If you write 'London' for anything the map won't recognise it (unless things have changed).

So London is either Middlesex or Essex, (north of the river) Surrey or Kent (south of the river). For everywhere else, write the county as if you were 100 years ago. Then the mapping will show the correct place for the event.

If you get it wrong then your British ancestor will suddenly get married or die in the USA even though they've never been there. Seen it dozens of times because people don't bother to check their work.

Callistemon21 Wed 18-Jan-23 22:51:33

Of course, place of registration is not necessarily where your ancestor was born. Most babies were born at home and registration would be in the nearest large town.

Although civil registration was introduced in 1837, it was not until 1874 that the registration of a birth became compulsory. Between these dates, children may not have been registered. There was in fact a loophole as the act was not fully understood and people genuinely thought that to have a child baptised was to register that child. The 1874 Act made registration compulsory within a 6 week period and imposed a fine for non-compliance.

M0nica Wed 18-Jan-23 23:06:06

What do you do when you discover your ancestors are on someone elses family tree?

I was disconcerted to discover my unmarried great aunt on someone's family tree as the wife of their grandfather and therefore their relative. needless to say this was in the US.

Callistemon21 Wed 18-Jan-23 23:41:07

I had a very long discussion with someone who had my great-great grandmother in his tree married first to my great great grandfather then to his ancestor!
As my great great grandfather lived until his 80s and they didn't get divorced it was obviously wrong.

But he would not listen and his tree is published on the web.
Different place of birth too.

Some people's research is very slapdash but they are adamant they are right.

I have more wandering relatives, too, who appear in other trees with different husbands, wives and umpteen children.
Possible but highly unlikely especially for a woman.

Chestnut Wed 18-Jan-23 23:57:24

I'm afraid you can't tell them, they don't want to know. If they've done their tree then that's it, no amendments required.

I told someone he had my grandparents and all their children on his tree (my mother and her siblings). None of them were related to his family. He never bothered to remove them. Complete idiots, the lot of them.

nanna8 Thu 19-Jan-23 07:12:02

I use ancestry for researching my tree and sometimes I don’t correct mistakes or forget I have made them because it is not my main tree. Lo and behold people copy my mistakes and claim them as part of their trees. I always check every single thing from other people’s trees because there are a lot of inaccuracies, particularly some of our American cousins who like to trace things back to the UK.

Elegran Thu 19-Jan-23 10:19:25

Someone living in the Uk got in touch with me, and we proved that we were quite closely related, so I sent him the details of our common tree. We then corresponded about our subsequent research. I told him I thought I may have found something about a further common relative, who was in my direct line, but a sibling on his, but soon after that I discovered that I had been wrong. Too late! He had already put the "fact" into public view on a local genealogy page, under the byline "X's research" - X being him, not me!! I contacted the page to give them the correct info, and had the satisfaction of seeing his withdrawn.

rubysong Sun 22-Jan-23 19:36:49

Some good advice on this thread about being cautious of other people's trees. I use Ancestry and I can usually tell if trees with my ancestors in are wrong. I don't put my trees on line. They are for me and my family as they do contain information gleaned from various places on the Internet, not all of it checked. I am happy with it though. It is huge and I have my own way of recording it on Word. I have fan charts for direct ancestors, then work sideways to find siblings and their families. Most of mine stayed close to their native areas, and I know the places well, which helps. Just Googling a name and year of birth can be quite productive, then I go to Ancestry to do some checking. I am quite obsessed with it and have traced families for friends and to try and solve family mysteries.

Chestnut Mon 23-Jan-23 00:19:57


I use ancestry for researching my tree and sometimes I don’t correct mistakes or forget I have made them because it is not my main tree. Lo and behold people copy my mistakes and claim them as part of their trees. I always check every single thing from other people’s trees because there are a lot of inaccuracies, particularly some of our American cousins who like to trace things back to the UK.

Unless your tree has been checked and double checked for accuracy then it's probably best to make it a private tree. People will always copy information from a public tree, and they will take photos and anything else from it, whether the info is right or wrong.

My Ancestry trees are all private trees, one tree for each grandparent. I encourage people to contact me if they are related to anyone on my trees, then I will send them an invitation to see the tree. I am confident there are no errors (as much as humanly possible) as I couldn't live with myself if I gave people the wrong information. They are not massive trees (about 200-250 each) just direct ancestors and their siblings' families, but they are accurate. When I see trees of 5,000 or even 20,000 sometimes, I keep well clear because I know they will be nonsense. You cannot research that many people.

nanna8 Mon 23-Jan-23 00:54:50

Thanks Chestnut, I think that is good advice. My main tree is on tribal pages and is private but what you say is right, I have had a lot of photos taken ( I don’t really mind this so long as they are actual distant relatives ) . My tree is very large now, about 8,000 or so so now I am concentrating on building up info on each individual rather than expanding the connections. DNA is good and I have met some of my distant cousins here in Australia, which is always a pleasure.