Author Topic: Ancestry "Hints" problem  (Read 9548 times)

Offline johnxyz

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 10:28 GMT (UK) »
Sometime ago, out of curiosity, I did a detailed anaysis of the hints given in early tree I had put on Ancestry. Taking a sample, covering people born between about 1700 and 1900, I checked all the hints I was offered against what I believe is correct and for which I have primary sources - a mix of certificates and parish record data. The overall statistic is that about 50% of the information in the hints was right, 50% wrong. Only about 20% of the people had a set of data that was, in my view, wholly correct and could have been imported en bloc.

Buried amongst the dross there can be useful information. I do still occasionally scan hints, and still do sometimes find useful nuggets. With a litttle practice it's not to difficult to recognise the symptoms of the "size matters" brigade, and to spot the errors that propogate from tree to tree. For some of the earlier history of some of my lines, I have a specific set of markers ( akin to DNA genetic markers !) that, when present, immediately raise the "probably rubbish" flag.

I will also admit that cross-comparing my data with hints and other on-line trees has identified cases where either I'd made the wrong connection, or my initial anaysis though correct was not sufficiently rigorous to eliminate an alternative.

Lastly, remember that all these providers of data / tree software are in the business not out of altruism but to make money. Convincing people "it's easy" is part of the marketing. And making it easy to copy others' data is part of that. Yes they do say that the onus is on the importer to check, but it's obvious many people don't.

Real research, as you are discovering, can be slow, tedious, and sometimes very frustrating. But there is the reward - and I think it particularly applies in this forum - of the personal satisfaction of a job well done.

So overall my advice would be to keep looking but treat anything you find with caution.

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Offline maidmarianoops

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 10:37 GMT (UK) »
hello ,i have had problens with hints being put on my tree without permission
some one decided my relative was hers and changed place of birth. i have proof mine is the correct one.


hopefully i will be able to rectify this

sylvia

notts/derbys clark
      "        "      stenson
        "       "    nicholson
       "     "        jarvis
                         castledine
    rhodes

 
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Offline stevecw

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 10:42 GMT (UK) »
Wise words indeed johnxyz although I do agree with Mike in that some (not all) researchers can be critisised for taking the easy option not realising their action has a knock-on effect for others, just like dropping a stick of dynamite amongst all your hard work and research?
It is due to this that I have a "blacklist" in my mind of people not to take too much notice of and as has already been noted, SOMETIMES you can find little gems amongst the rubbish..........it's a bit like prospecting for gold really ?

Good luck with your problem Sylvia, I am quickly learning to go into a state of denial !

stevecw

Offline smeni

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 11:00 GMT (UK) »
I have found that very, very distant relatives collect data off my tree, then when I ask where the connection is, they refuse to answer!  If I cannot prove the connection or see a relevance in it, I don't add it - why do I need all these "hints" if they are not of any use?  Like you say, perhaps some people just like to increase the size of their tree!
Eidman, Eidmann, Eidmans - London, Cardiff, Somerset
Payne - London, Cardiff, Somerset
Scott - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leith
Lawrence - Edinburgh, Leith
Oriel - Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire
Hobbs, Huggins - Gloucester
Hurlow, Protheroe - Pembrokeshire
McLeod, Dallison

Offline stevecw

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 11:15 GMT (UK) »
I have found that very, very distant relatives collect data off my tree, then when I ask where the connection is, they refuse to answer!
Me too, I naively thought those creating trees, like me would only be too happy to share information and Certificates etc (after all we could be related) but I haven't had a response from any, their silence is deafening.
Still I suppose the positive note from it is that they don't get on my Christmas Card list !

stevecw

Offline msr

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 13:16 GMT (UK) »
Sorry I disgree with most of your points, especially the comment that "the majority of trees on Ancestry are completed by people simply collecting names". As with ALL data, the onus of checking that the data is correct lies with the person receiving the information, not the one giving it. Yes, a lot of information posted on Ancestry is wrong, but it is the odd snippet which is correct, that can find a way through a brick wall that makes it all worthwhile.
With regard to people in the US putting in American counties instead of English ones, that is partly the fault of Ancestry themselves, because on the US website there used to be a drop-down box to enter counties, instead of text entry, and it was all too easy for people to select the wrong one.
And lastly.... everyone makes mistakes, including the people who filled in the census forms, and the enumerators who transcribed them.

P.S. If you don't want Ancestry hints, you can exclude a tree in database searches in the preferences section for that tree.
I agree with Nick's comment on the above.

Aren't we all collectors of names? Some, I will agree, do seem to collect rather a large quantity, but in the main the objective is to find out as much as we can about our forebears and their siblings.

I add partners of gt aunts and uncles in the hope that their descendants will also be looking and can offer me more information about my own family. If nothing comes of these additions they can always be removed at a later date.


Offline Sue in Aust

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 13:55 GMT (UK) »
The proliferation of family trees on Ancestry is to me a sad sign of the times, gone are the days of the hard slog that family history research used to be.

All to often the 'modern' researcher appears to think the only source of information to be found is on Ancestry. I greatly value the resources available via the site and my research has certainly progressed with the databases added in recent times but I am at a loss to understand why anyone feels the need to have a public tree that very obviously is a compilation of information sourced from other public trees. Yes we can ignore them, but in my experience there is many, many poorly reseached trees appearing on Ancestry and I can't help but feel both sad and frustrated by this.

I would love to drag (kicking and screaming if necessary) a few folk with these trees into a record office or a LDS centre to spend a few hours working their way through a film or two ....... reading of PR films puts an entirely different aspect on research and very often provides the defining clue that ties everything together, well at least it has for me!

With regard to the number of names we have in our tree shouldn't it come down to quality rather than quantity. I have no issue with a tree a zillion names in it IF if has been thoroughly researched, after seven years of constant research I only have about 2500 names and I'll admit to a not being completely confident my research has been thorough on all those people.

My thoughts anyway.
S in A

Adams/ Evans/ Jackson/Rowland/Whaley/Howard/Carlisle/Bennett Wirral Cheshire, Wheeler/ Baker/Urry/Draper Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Cummings/Wilkinson London. Borland/Clarke Scotland. Roberts/Taylor Wales. Wilkinson, Merrott/Merritt or Merret Gloucester, Wilkinson Derbyshire.

Offline Emjaybee

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday 08 March 11 15:40 GMT (UK) »
I am told by hints half my familywere either born or died in USA. Rubbish. They never left Worcestershire! I have told the other member twice but have been ignored. (Rant over). On the up side I have finally found a link back to 17th century. So not all bad.
Beard Voyce, Scrivens in Worcestershire

Offline Nick29

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Re: Ancestry "Hints" problem
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 09 March 11 08:37 GMT (UK) »
Well the bottom line is that Americans 'don't do' geography !  I am a member of Facebook, and when I'm there I'm continually being encouraged to put my home town on my profile.  Well, apart from other security concerns, one reason why I don't do it is because they insist that the small market town where I live is in Norfolk, when it's actually in Cambridgeshire  ::)

And re the comments on 'name collectors' - well I suppose you'd better count me in with those !  I have about 6000 names on my tree.  There are a few reasons for this .....

1. I (unwisely) decided to research my wifes family tree by including it in with my own.

2. I like to go down all the 'branch lines', because this often flushes more distant relatives out of the woodwork who could help with my research, and maybe I can help them.

3. Going down branch lines sometimes finds unexpected useful information.

With 6000 names, I can't afford to spend a load of money doing detailed research on the outer reaches of my tree, so it's quite possible that I do have mistakes in there, so its a case of 'buyer beware'  :)

RIP 1949-10th January 2013

Best Wishes,  Nick.

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