Long gone are the days of having to search for genealogical records all alone. 

When you have any part of your family tree online on any of the “Genealogy Giants” websites (Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch) they do a lot of the hunting for you. They deliver hints that have a good likelihood of matching up with your ancestors. Your job is to carefully review them and determine if they are your ancestor’s records. 

tree to tree hints at Findmypast

(Genealogy Gems Premium Members: Listen to Premium Podcast Episode #175 devoted to hints at Ancestry that includes a bonus download guide on Genealogy Hints at a Glance.)

Up until now, Findmypast offered hints on birth, marriage and death records.

Today, they are joining the other Genealogy Giants in offering hints based on other user’s family tree on their website. 

Details on Tree to Tree Hints at Findmypast

Here’s the press release from Findmypast on the new tree to tree hints:

Findmypast trees collectively contain the details of millions of individuals spanning hundreds of years. This valuable information can now be presented to users in form of tree hints.

As researchers add new ancestors to their tree, Findmypast will automatically compare the relevant names and dates to all those stored on existing trees before suggesting potential matches.

Many people, often unknown to each other, share common ancestors within a few generations. By joining forces and connecting this knowledge, family historians can now benefit from research other members have done on common ancestors.

All tree-to-tree hints can be managed via the normal hint review screens used for Findmypast’s existing record hints.

Shareable information from other trees currently includes:

  • Facts and events, together with sources and attached records
  • Timelines
  • Notes

Initially, tree-to-tree hints will be generated when users actively change a person’s details (or those of a close relative) or open up the hints page for an ancestor’s profile. Between October and November, Findmypast will be running a process to generate tree-to-tree hints for all individuals stored in a tree.

Although a similar service is available on other online family tree providers, tree-to-tree hints are new to Findmypast and the company is keen to reassure users that privacy is of the upmost importance. Information on living individuals will remain strictly private and recipients of hints will not be able to edit or see the original tree.

Findmypast will not share the other member’s details but are actively working a community family tree that will allow exactly this kind of connection and collaboration. Development of the new community tree is still underway and further announcements will be made in the coming months. 

More Details on Hints at Findmypast

In addition this press release the company more specific information has been released today on the company’s blog. Of special note is the following:

Can anybody see my tree?
No, they can’t. No-one will be able to ‘browse’ or ‘search’ other trees on Google, or within the Findmypast site. It’s just the information on deceased relatives that can be shared as hints and even then, only to Findmypast members with common ancestry.

What information will be shared?
Shareable information from other trees will include:

  • Facts and events, together with sources and attached records
  • Timelines
  • Notes

Will photos be shared?
No. Many people may have more stringent privacy and ownership concerns around photos of their ancestors. So we are not sharing photos at the moment.

findmypast not photo sharing

Read the complete blog post on hints here

Who Gets Access to Hints

On Sept. 29, 2019 Findmypast announced that hinting was live on the website. They also clarified who would have access to the feature:

“Tree-to-tree hinting is already helping people find parts of their ancestry they were unable to before. Best of all, it’s free for a limited time, so you can see how it works.”

So like the other Genealogy Giants websites, hints will be available only to subscribers in the long run. 

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