On Thursday, Jan 22nd FamilySearch began displaying 570 million additional historical record hints for ancestors in Family Tree. With this release, over 120 million Family Tree ancestors, with no attached sources, now have potential records to document their vital information. A significant percentage of these records also reference new family members previously not identified but who can be added to Family Tree relationships.
Users of Family Tree will see these new hints displayed in the Record Hints box in the top right section of the person’s details page, or with the Record Hints badge on the descendancy view. Clicking on a hint presents the user with information about a person or people in the record in relation to an individual in the Family Tree and displays the known information about each, enabling the user to quickly determine if the two sets of people are the same. If so, they can link the records to Family Tree ancestors as documentation.
FamilySearch hinting builds a cloud of data around an ancestor in Family Tree using all the information from the ancestor and their parents, spouse and children. It then compares that cloud of data to the data indexed on over 5 billion FamilySearch historical records and returns records for a person that displays a high confidence of being the same as the Family Tree ancestor. Current accuracy has been verified at better than 98%.
Impact of Hinting
Since its release last summer, the simplicity of hinting, coupled with the side-by-side data comparison, has opened up opportunities for new researchers to contribute valid genealogical information and add new ancestors to the Family Tree based on actual historical records. Because of how hinting works it is not uncommon for it to identify and present records that would have been very difficult to locate through other means.
Users are currently attaching hundreds of thousands of new record sources to Family Tree ancestors each day and these new 570 million hints are expected to dramatically increase those numbers. These record hints have resulted in the Family Tree becoming one of the largest and most accurate genealogical trees anywhere.
We invite everyone to visit FamilySearch and see records you may have never seen about your ancestors, find a new ancestor in records to add to your tree, and if you are experienced with genealogy, reach out and share your excitement and skills with family and friends who have yet to discover the joy of getting to know their past.