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Hints at Findmypast

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by peter, May 23, 2016.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    How have you found this feature (which offers free access to the relevant records until Monday 30th May)?

    If you've got some advice for other users, please post it in this discussion.
  2. DavidP

    DavidP LostCousins Member

    Being a FMP subscriber and also using RootsMagic for my family tree, I find I am currently spending many hours clicking on hints and adding new details of my 2nd, 3rd and even 4th cousins. It's very easy to get sidetracked once you find a 'new' family - which I suppose is the norm anyway! The only issue I have found is that occasionally, I get an error when clicking on a hint (sorry can't remember the exact wording, but something along the lines of 'Bad Request') and the only way out of it is to close down my browser (Firefox) and click on the hint link in my family tree again. I notice that in his latest newsletter, Peter mentioned that there was a 'maybe' button if you use the hints feature in a tree loaded into FMP: this is not an option in a RootsMagic tree - you only have accept or reject, but I can live with that. Anything doubtful gets rejected and I put a note against the person for later follow up. Once I have worked my way through all the hints in my tree, I will have to add quite a few more ancestors to my Lost Cousins page :). The hints constantly renew and revise depending on what you accept. For example, if you accept say Mary Smith marrying John Brown, then you will get (hopefully) a number of hints for Mary Brown, both in Census and NBI and death records. Having used Ancestry in the past, I find the FMP hints far superior as they are not based in someone else's family tree, but on actual historical records.
  3. Norman

    Norman LostCousins Member

    You don't need to bother with hints from other members trees. Just select Records, Photos or Stories.

    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    First impression is disappointment. I uploaded my GED and it produced no hints. I checked the small print to find it currently provides these only for new or edited entries. I would need to go through all 6500 entries for this. I gave up after a few edits, as it was suggesting searches I have already made in 10 years' working with FMP.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. Doreen

    Doreen LostCousins Star

    This looked intriguing so I uploaded my tree (7000+) to FMP - I have not had an online tree before. Several hours later, I have not had any hints - is there a trick or a secret button I didn't click, or ..... :confused:

    Oh, I obviously posted this at the same time DavidL posted his message - so there's fine print I didn't read. I, too, am disappointed.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If this was the first time you've uploaded your tree then they were ALL new entries. It takes time to carry out millions of searches, especially when there are tens of thousands of other people doing the same thing.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 3
  7. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    Aha! Didn't think of that. I'll let it stew for a couple of days.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I uploaded my tree to FMP some time ago but have done practically nothing about all the hints that have amassed since then because I've been so busy working on one particular project and have tried (without much success) not to get sidetracked. However, in response to Peter's first posting on the subject I took a look at some of the hints and was impressed with the system. It's much neater and easier to use than Ancestry's and, as David pointed out, the information is based on real records not other people's family trees.
  9. Norman

    Norman LostCousins Member

    As I said earlier you don't have to look at other peoples trees.

    I don't understand the reluctance to do so though. You may find that they have found information or sources that you haven't. You have the choice of accepting that information or ignoring it. Once ignored it won't appear in your list of hints again but will be recorded as an ignored hint that can be reviewed again later if necessary.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  10. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    As a long time Ancestry user I get frequent (sometimes too frequent) 'Ancestry' hint emails. As Norman relates elsewhere in this post, I place emphasis on Ancestry's vast record library and they always allow a YES/NO/MAYBE option. I do not however discount Ancestry Member Tree hints, being quite able to distinguish between the good , bad & ugly (my definitions). Indeed some of my biggest 'finds' have been uncovered by latching onto a fellow member Public Tree and discovering new information -usually because they have a closer direct or bloodline connection - and this often leads on to communication with the owner. I like to think in reverse, and borne out by people contacting me, that my own Trees provides similar revelations for other Ancestry users.

    I have yet to upload a Gedcom to FMP and create a Tree with them, but propose to do so to see how they shape up with hints of their own. Hints can be very useful and the more the merrier say I despite the work often entailed to check them out. In the end not only do my own Tree(s) benefit, but when the hints relate to new Census information (providing these tie in to LC proscribed Censuses) I can update my LC ancestry at the same time. A win/win situation.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    This led me to believe that I would get something similar from FMP.

    I loaded a Gedcom file of about 1,000 individuals taken from GR in just over 2 mins and sat and waited (more or less) for the hints to be identified. Two days later, I still had not been notified so went back on to FMP to have a look at my tree. About 650 hints had been added across many individuals but there did not appear to be a consolidated list. I had to navigate around the tree to find them. That is rather slow and tedious. Moving around my GenoPro trees on my home PC is much easier and faster.

    So far most, if not all, hints reviewed appear to be for BMD and census records that have already been incorporated into my tree. I had expected the hints to be additional to my existing tree definitions. I did not expect to be told about a birth record when I already had the birth date/place recorded.

    This may take a while for me to check all of the other hints. Presumably, future checking of 'new' hints should be much quicker.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I have found two rather annoying (to me) features of navigating the FMP tree. They are not strictly on topic but I place them here as they are new to me and for others in a similar position that might not have used this online tree before.

    1. When clicking on an off-page connector arrow, the next display is positioned at the top left of the branch just one generation earlier/later. I would find it much more convenient to be positioned with the highlighted individual central that I had just left rather than having to search for that person.

    2. Similar to what I have found on Ancestry, siblings are not necessarily displayed left to right in order of birth date. Spouses can also appear in an unexpected order. This can be rather confusing at first glance.

    Does this annoy others or am I being unreasonable?
  13. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I agree but find the same with many of the hints from Ancestry, which doesn't recognise the way I've recorded the source. A very good point about FMP I discovered yesterday is their Help. In the bottom left hand corner there's a note about a help chat (or something like that; I can't remember exactly). I entered my problem (how to retrieve a rejected hint) and got the answer from a person with a name - Sophie - within a few minutes.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  14. Sue345

    Sue345 LostCousins Member

    It seems that they only have BMD and Census records as hints at present. I am really looking for the 'other, unexpected' records that will be new to me. I hope they add these at a later date. Otherwise I will probably stick to the Ancestry tree I am familiar with.

    I find the FMP hints well set out apart from a few niggles . For example I like to keep on a pedigree view of the tree while researching direct line, but FMP has the default 'Family View' which it keeps returning to in the same session. I expect there will be a way round this if I use it on a regular basis.

    I do like the way it opens a new tab if you click on 'Search for his **** record' or ' Things to Investigate' navigation. Up to now I haven't found Bryman's sibling problem, but I do agree spouses are in the wrong order with the last wife before the second or first.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. SuzanneD

    SuzanneD LostCousins Star

    I have been having a similar issue with FMP hints into RootsMagic (a similar interface). Some sleuthing suggested that it is caused by your browser accumulating too many cookies for the site, so depending on how confident you are, you may be able to clear cookies for the FMP site from your browser.
  16. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Interesting posts and now one of my own. Finding my gedcom upload reported as 'unsuccessful' I decided to contact FMP via their 'Chat' support. Like Gillian I encountered Sophie who was most helpful. She suggested I email the gedcom as an email attachment to FMP support (she provided the address) for them to try a manual upload. About an hour later they reported the upload was successful and my Tree available to view. I have yet to do this but will do so later today.

    I am sure I will encounter the 'niggles' mentioned and possibly may not be too enamoured with the end result; I will however give it a fair trial. I hope the 'other hints' as mentioned by Sue materialise as they do often with Ancestry, and I would have wished the hint algorithm had enough 'savvy' to exclude BMD records which clearly the gedcom should show included (as noted by Bryman).

    As for the display and spouse order comments, it just shows how we all like what we like, and woe betide anything that changes things. It is clearly time I checked things out for myself .
  17. TriciaF

    TriciaF New Member

    Pleased to see Bob Spiers' post as I have tried three times now. Each time it says unsuccessful and that I should check it is a gedcom file, which obviously it is. I shall try using their help chat and hopefully they will offer a manual upload too.
  18. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I didn't think I would be the only one and from the way Sophie quickly prompted I was sure that was so. I assume you will be successful with the help chat but if not just send an email to support@findmypast.co.uk with the gedcom as an attachment, explain your problem and ask them to manually upload the gedcom. They answer by email reasonably quickly. Good luck.
  19. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    It took me three goes to upload my GED. The first reported an error, the second froze and the third reported an upload time of almost two hours. My latest irritation is that the "hints" replicate information already in the GED - such as "found in birth/death/census records."
  20. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I wonder what's gone wrong since I uploaded my gedcom a couple of years ago. Back then it sailed through without a murmer.

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