Search Hints

What is a Search Hint?

Search Hints are automatic searches of specific collections of several major record providers. They're different from record hints, as they are recommendations for searching collections based on your criteria and not hints associated with specific records.

When you get a hint from AncesTREES or another provider, they use their search engine to select a few hints to display. Although what you want is in the search results, that record may be record number 8359. 

Being so low on their list, it won't be shown as a regular hint. Search hints help you search appropriate collections of records. So, if you need Minnesota birth records, Search Hints will automatically search the Minnesota birth records. Just click on the Search Hint and AncesTREES will take you to the search results page for the Minnesota birth records. If the record you're looking for doesn't appear, you can change the search parameters.

How to Accept a Hint

To review and accept a hint:

  • Go to the person's page, then look in the hints section

  • Click the title of a hint to open the card. 
  • Click the link to the record. The link will take you to a partner site. You may need to log into the partner site, and a subscription to that site might be required. This is out of AncesTREES's control. Any login, subscriptions, or support you may need from a partner site is completely separate from AncesTREES. We work with partners to provide the best hints possible for our users, but we have no control over access to their actual data and/or images.
  • Review the information at the partner site. 
  • Enter the information into your tree manually. (See "Add Events and Facts to a Timeline" for help adding information manually.)
  • Tag information to people in your tree.
  • If you no longer want to see the hint now that you've added the information, click the delete icon from the card on the person's page.

How to Adjust Tree Hint Settings 

AncesTREES gives you control over what hints you receive to help you grow your tree. To do this:

  • Go to the Hint Settings (accessed from the bottom of the left-hand menu)
  • Select who you want hints for in your tree
    • Direct ancestors only (will not show hints to siblings or collateral lines unless you specifically request hints for someone)
    • People without parents (will only show hints for people at the end of a line, no one in between unless you specifically request hints)
    • Everyone in your tree (you can turn hints off and back on again)
  • Select which sources you want to receive hints from

How to Request Hints for a Specific Person

When you set up your hint preferences, you may have selected "Direct ancestors" or "People without parents," which means you won't get hints for everyone in your tree. If you find someone in particular you want hints for, you can add them to the list of people you're tracking. 

To do this, click the star icon in the toolbar under the header on their profile page. Click again to turn hints off and stop receiving hints if you no longer wish to track them.