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Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching Ancestry.com

From: Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

Video: Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is such an important website that I am going to do a separate video on it and I am going to start by going through it via Family Tree Maker, which I think is the best way to access it. Now you've probably discovered these Ancestry hints by now and done some work with them. I am going to click Ancestry hints for your Johann Sengstacke IV and that'll open up the two hints that ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker picked for Johann that are in fact are accurate. They are about him specifically, but there are thousands of other records out there that could possibly be related to Johann Sengstacke and the way you go find them this is by clicking on this thing called More Results.

Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is such an important website that I am going to do a separate video on it and I am going to start by going through it via Family Tree Maker, which I think is the best way to access it. Now you've probably discovered these Ancestry hints by now and done some work with them. I am going to click Ancestry hints for your Johann Sengstacke IV and that'll open up the two hints that ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker picked for Johann that are in fact are accurate. They are about him specifically, but there are thousands of other records out there that could possibly be related to Johann Sengstacke and the way you go find them this is by clicking on this thing called More Results.

This takes you to ancestry.com inside this window here. This is like a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox, but it's built inside Family Tree Maker and this is in fact the search box that appears inside ancestry.com and the thing that is great about this, all the information from that person are loaded up right here to then narrow down your search. Now if I click Search, we'll get some results and I'll show you how that works or we can check out these other sites. But let me first click Search to show you that. And it shows all these possibilities. 132 different censuses that might be Johann Sengstacke.

A hundred 1920 censuses. Obviously there is only one that applies to him and we've already found it. But it shows you that as you go into ancestry.com it's going to broaden your search and give you many more possibilities because ancestry.com's programmers know that sometimes there are spelling issues and things like that and so they don't want to limit the results to only the narrow view that the Family Tree Maker works with, but they want to give you the wider view. So that's why sometimes you go beyond the Ancestry hints and go inside ancestry.com to do your search. I want to backup briefly though to show you that there are other sites here inside Family Tree Maker. We'll just going to briefly go by them and then continue on the ancestry.com.

You see there is Rootsweb and Genealogy.com, but the thing is basically they all search inside ancestry.com, because all these three are owned by the same company. These are three general search sites. Google.com and again, it puts the information in the box so that you can search Google quickly without having to type the information in. So I'll click this and here are four websites or two websites with sort of sub-websites that are probably about Johann Sengstacke. They're both genealogy-related based upon that search and Yahoo will find I think one and then Bing here finds I think one as well.

But that's how these search sites work inside Family Tree Maker. Let me go back to ancestry.com and I'll click on Search again and you'll see the results that it brings up and this is a great way to go about searching. Though it is inside the sort of narrow view but the advantage is if you find something here, if you find a census that's right or a birth, marriage or death record that's right, you can then use these Merge features, the Merge and the Save feature to save these images and merge this data into your family tree within Family Tree Maker. So that's a real advantage of working inside this little box.

Now I scroll down to one little thing here. There's pictures. And you notice there is a Private Member Photos and Public Member Photos. I uploaded my family tree from Family Tree Maker onto ancestry.com using my Family Tree Maker file and when I uploaded it, I uploaded photos. And so my photos are in ancestry.com and they are accessible if I allow people to see them. As it stands now I don't allow people to see them unless they get permission from me. So someone sees that there is a photo and they see what the information is and they go, "this is probably the Katherine Marie Damke that's related to me." They can click on this and then they'll get to place where they can send me an email through ancestry.com.

So my email address remains anonymous and so does theirs and we can discuss things back and forth and finally if we care to we can reveal our email addresses and start collaborating. So this is a great way for people to get photos but not display them, to keep them private but allow people to get them if you choose to allow them to get that. But now I am going to switch out of Family Tree Maker and go right to a browser. I'll show you how ancestry.com works inside a browser. If you're not a subscriber to ancestry.com, this is the interface you'll see when you first go there and it's perfectly all right for you to do work inside ancestry.com and not be a subscriber, but at some point you are going to run into stuff that you have to pay for to get. There are some free things but you are going to find stuff that you need to pay for at some point almost certainly.

And I want to show you just the basic layout here and then we'll move on to what this site looks like if you are a subscriber. This is where you can load up a family tree, if you care to. I am not going to do that right now and this is really of the meat of ancestry.com, the Search. And if we go Search All Records then you can put in information here and start searching and it'll search every single document they have, and notice these things are all blank. When you work inside Family Tree Maker, they're all filled out for you, which is great, and you then enter ancestry.com directly inside a web browser. They're blank.

So it's a little bit more work but this is another way to do searches inside ancestry.com. Let me show you all the documents that they have, all of various catalogs they have. We'll go down here. These are the various sets of documents that they have in ancestry.com and they are listed here in order of popularity. Let me change it to Record Count. They've Phone Directories, Public Member Trees, which have a half a billion names in them, Public Records Index, and looking on down the line you can see how many individuals or records are inside these particular subsets of documents.

They're not necessarily separated by type right here, but you can go back and see them by type by clicking on this. This shows all the census records, something like that. So that's the basic way you can search a particular item. Probably the best way to do things initially is to search the whole darn thing and then if you get too many hits, you can narrow it down. I am just looking for military records and we'll go to military records. If you go to Collaborate, this is where you can go to their message boards and I talk about message boards in another video. Member Connections is a pretty good way to share information.

Let me try that out. The Learning Center is a great way to just learn about ancestry.com. It has little videos that explain how everything works here. So I suggest you pursue that. If you want to purchase their DNA Service where they can do a cheek swab and then determine your ancestry that way, that's how you do that. This gives you access to what's called My Canvas, which is the way that you can create books inside ancestry.com, which are then printed out and mailed to you. This is the shop where you can buy other books and in fact, you can hire a genealogy expert if you want to, through ancestry.com.

So this is the basic way that ancestry.com is laid out for folks who are not members. If you're a member, it's going to look like this when you log on. It'll have any trees that you've uploaded listed here. So for example, I've uploaded two trees. If you click them it'll show what's been going on while you've been away and what's amazing is that they constantly are searching their website for any new documents that have been added and if there is any kind of an ancestry hint that they discover for any of your ancestors, they'll add it to this tree here. You can go out and check out the hints for this particular person and if you want to merge this hint into this particular file, you can attach that hint and merge it into the file, which does two things.

It adds credence to your family tree that's loaded ancestry.com because you've now sourced a particular piece of information and the other thing is that it gives you a chance to go out and get that image and load it up on to your hard drive and take that data and put it in your family tree back in Family Tree Maker. The thing is these two are not connected when you work this way. It doesn't automatically put this information on site Family Tree Maker. If you looked within the browser to get that information, you've to transfer it manually that way. But that's a real important part of this, because these little hints are constantly popping up. Every time you go back to the site, you'll see that they've found more hints and about once a week or so they'll email you and say, "by the way we found four more hints for your ancestors," and you go back here and you can track them down.

So this is the basic way that ancestry.com works. It's a very deep site. I can only give you with kind of a brief view here but the more you work in it, the more you'll discover it has to offer to you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

43 video lessons · 6606 viewers

Jeff Sengstack
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Why grow your family tree?
      1m 43s
    3. Workflow for growing and sharing a family tree
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 12s
  2. 39m 37s
    1. Installing Family Tree Maker
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Family Tree Maker
      4m 38s
    3. Standardizing names, dates, and locations
      1m 59s
    4. Getting started with Family Tree Maker
      4m 50s
    5. Including source information
      3m 29s
    6. Adding more names: children, spouses, unrelated individuals, and parents
      6m 0s
    7. Inputting notes, facts, and media
      7m 36s
    8. Fine-tuning information
      5m 45s
    9. Viewing and printing simplified ancestor charts to identify gaps in knowledge
      3m 51s
  3. 16m 44s
    1. Going on a treasure hunt
      1m 20s
    2. Getting photos and documents onto your computer
      12m 12s
    3. Using DNA to trace your roots
      3m 12s
  4. 12m 56s
    1. Finding others who have researched your family tree
      5m 4s
    2. Importing family tree files
      5m 10s
    3. Talking to older relatives
      1m 1s
    4. Visiting ancestral locales
      1m 41s
  5. 24m 10s
    1. Leafing through Family Tree Maker's ancestry hints
      2m 44s
    2. Installing Family Tree Maker's viewer
      1m 34s
    3. Merging ancestry hint document data into your family tree
      12m 23s
    4. Saving documents and linking them to individuals
      7m 29s
  6. 24m 53s
    1. How the internet can help you
      3m 53s
    2. Drawing up an internet research strategy
      5m 28s
    3. Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching Ancestry.com
      7m 43s
    4. Reviewing the major internet genealogy sites
      7m 49s
  7. 48m 18s
    1. Associating place names with people and events
      8m 55s
    2. Adding, viewing, and linking images and media to people
      9m 41s
    3. Customizing and printing charts
      9m 34s
    4. Backing up, restoring, and exporting files
      5m 46s
    5. Setting the home person
      57s
    6. Finding relationships
      1m 19s
    7. Sorting children
      1m 1s
    8. Replacing terms
      1m 11s
    9. Making facts private
      2m 35s
    10. Moving data items
      1m 42s
    11. Reviewing data
      2m 7s
    12. Merging two trees
      3m 30s
  8. 7m 49s
    1. Creating family history audio recordings, videos, slideshows, and DVDs
      3m 43s
    2. Collaborating and sharing online
      4m 6s
  9. 2m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 17s

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