5 Cautions to Ancestry Hints

So you’re interested in genalogy and went onto Ancestry.com and began to look at the hints.

There are so many options and there the information differs.  How do I know which is correct?

hints and tips
hints and tips


  1. Reliable source—does the tree have reliable sources attached. This includes items such as census records, city directories and military records as a beginning. The more sources you have the better.  Search for at least two to three sources to verify information.
  2. Does the information provided match up with the sources—are the people and agres in the census records the same?
  3. Do the dates match up?—all too often I have seen a person born in 1924 with children listed as being alive from 1674-1754. Clearly this is incorrect.  Don’t keep copying this erroneous information.
  4. Look at comments—are there comments on the tree or is the person willing to reply and provide their resources?
  5. Remember this is just for a reference—researching your own family tree is much more rewarding and fun than just taking someone else’s research. However, use other trees as a reference and not as 100% accurate.  Be willing to check after them and verify the information.

These are just a few cautions to be aware of.  However, don’t stick to just one recourse or website.  Check both online and offline {libraries, obituaries, museums, etc}.

What ways should you be cautions of genealogy hints?

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