Overshadowed by Ancestry.com’s denial of service attack, last week FamilySearch quietly released its version of the Ancestry.com shaky leaf hinting. I’ve been asked to encourage experienced users to use this new feature to help new users get excited about genealogy. Don’t scarf up all the hints yourself.
FamilySearch has compared all the records in its historical records collections to every person in the Tree. In those cases where it found a possible match, it displays a record hint on the person page in the right hand column.
I say possible matches because the records aren’t guaranteed. That is why they are called hints. FamilySearch has tried to be correct 95% of the time. I think I could probably chug through 100 records in a sitting. I would expect to find five bad hints during that time. Unlike the Possible Duplicates feature, I didn’t see a way to indicate that a particular hint was not a match.
If there are too many hints, Family Tree may not display all of them in the margin. Click Show all to move to a page that shows them all.
Click the hint in the right column of the person page or click the Review button on the hint page. Family Tree displays the enhanced attach records page. Use it to attach the record to everyone mentioned therein.
Family Tree displays on the left hand side the information from the record. On the right, it shows the information from the tree. If the fact is new (such as the marriage in the example above), click Add to copy it into the tree. Don’t forget to specify the reason you think the record matches the tree. (In the example above, I might say something like: “The bride’s and groom’s names match as does the marriage date and place.”) After specifying a reason, click the Attach button. Repeat for each person in the record to prevent errors that computers make when they automatically make matching decisions.
Remember: use this feature to engage new genealogists when possible.