FamilySearch has released a feature called “hinting.” With this Search Records feature, we will automatically search for records that match people in your family tree. When you go to an ancestor’s page, we will show you what we have found for that person. That’s right—we do the searching and finding for you!
The Search Records link on the ancestor page is a great time saver. It automatically fills in the search query for you, but you still need to sift through search results to find the key records that relate to your ancestor. The new hinting feature will make finding records of your ancestors so much easier. We’ll even search for you while you sleep.
The high-quality matches that we find will automatically be provided in the Record Hints box on the ancestor page in the tree. No more looking through hundreds of search results. The system does the heavy lifting for you!!! It really is that easy!
When launched, this new hinting feature will go through the vast FamilySearch database of records and find the records for you that the hinting feature thinks might be about your specific ancestor. Just click and confirm the ones that are correct! We think you’ll be impressed.
The new hinting technology, along with other new quick-attach features we’ve added (see the links at the end of this article), will give you the ability to attach records quickly to multiple ancestors at once and will really make finding and adding ancestors to your tree a fantastic experience.
These features combine to make family history so much easier. All you will have to do is:
- Put the information you know about your ancestors into your family tree.
- Review the record hints we find for you.
- Click to attach the ones that are correct. (We think that most of them will be!)
If other people are on the records, we will even help you find more about them. We’ll also help you find people on the records who are missing from your family tree. When you click to add these new people, voila! you now have new names to take to the temple!
Look what users are saying who have seen a preview of our new search tools:
LOVE this new addition to searching, matching, and adding ancestors. Thank you, thank you!!!
This is so unbelievably wonderful. I can’t quit working on it. Amazing—so easy!
Every time I use it, I like it more! It even thinks for me, and it lets me make changes as needed in the reason box. I’m excited to show ward members this new feature.
I love this feature of adding sources SOOOOO much!!!! I just attached a family of nine children in just a few minutes. Thank you so much!!!
This is a wonderful addition. Clean and extremely helpful. It will save a lot of time and keystrokes!
To take advantage of this powerful new feature you can do a few things as a family history consultant to help your ward members make this new hinting feature really work:
- Register and login. Make sure that the members of your ward have an LDS Account associated with their membership record number (MRN) and that the username and password work. Create an LDS Account now if a ward member doesn’t already have one, or add a membership record number (MRN) to LDS member accounts that don’t have a MRN associated with them.
- Check your data. The better your data is about the lives of your ancestors, the better we will be able to match records and provide you with good hints. Check names, dates, places, relationships, and so forth.
- Add new data to your tree as you find it. The more information you have about your ancestors, the better will be the likelihood of a quality hint. So if your tree looks a little bare, add what you know, and fill in as much as you can. It will definitely help.
Remember, hinting is matching. We will match data from your records with the FamilySearch database, but we do it with our powerful servers and state-of-the-art data algorithms. It could take years for you to do what we will do for you in a matter of a few minutes. So take the hint, and get started now so you can get the most from this new FamilySearch feature that will be coming soon.
As a consultant, you should be focused on helping as many members as possible become submitters. These new tools will allow you to teach members how to more quickly and easily use FamilySearch to take names to the temple and no longer rely on one or two relatives or others to do their family history work; every member should know how to submit a name to the temple, including youth. You, as a consultant, can use this new feature to help ward and family members learn to submit. This tool gives you a wonderful opportunity to teach what you know to others.
You may also want to check the following blog articles that explain other new tools that help support this great new feature:
- A New Way to Attach Sources to Family Tree: The New Source Feature—Part 1 of 2
- A New Way to Attach Sources to Family Tree: The New Source Feature—Part 2 of 2
- Two Great New Updates to the New Descendancy View
Hinting is now in beta testing. If you would like to test this new feature and provide feedback, simply log in to beta.familysearch.org. This beta release is for testing only and will be rolled out in phases—you may or may not be able to see it during initial attempts, but keep trying!
Any data you enter or changes you make when you are in the beta version of Family Tree, including temple submissions, will not be saved! If you find records you would like to attach using the beta product, we suggest you make a note of them and attach them to your family tree in FamilySearch.org, or just wait until this feature officially launches in the next few weeks.
From now until around October of this year, the hinting system will remain in development. During that time we will be building the system updates that will, with a reasonably low latency, take a new person added to Family Tree, or a person who has been changed in Family Tree, and re-match them to update the hints. Prior to October, we will only be re-loading new/updated data from Family Tree and the Historical Records systems once a month. What that means is:
1) A new person added to Family Tree may not see any hints displayed for as long as a month.
2) A changed person in Family Tree may see hints that are out of date for as long as a month.
Even with these limitations, we have decided to release this feature to patrons; thus, we feel it is important to let users know the system is under development until late fall with these stipulations.
We hope you’ll be as excited about hinting as we are!