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Findmypast family tree hints

Branch out with tree-to-tree hints

The Findmypast team
25 September 2019

Grow your family tree with the help of other Findmypast members' research.

As you build your family tree on Findmypast, you can benefit from research other members have done on common ancestors with a useful feature called tree-to-tree hints. These additional clues to your family history are available on all Findmypast family trees so get growing today.

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Tree-to-tree hints - frequently asked questions

What’s tree-to-tree hinting?

Collectively, our trees contain millions of ancestors spanning hundreds of years. We can now use them to offer you tree hints. As you add more ancestors, we’ll compare them to all of our existing trees. When we think we’ve found one with common ancestry, we’ll send you hints with newly discovered ancestors.

What’s the benefit?

Many people, often unknown to each other, share common ancestors within a few generations. By joining forces and connecting this knowledge, we can all discover new parts of our family history – parts we never had access to before.

Is this common practice?

Yes, most major family history sites do this. So to make family history an even better experience for everyone – from beginners to expert genealogists – we’re introducing it too.

Where does this information come from?

All the information in a tree-to-tree hint is taken from other members’ trees. They will have used Findmypast records and hints in their own research – so you are benefitting from both our records and other members’ work.

How do I accept tree-to-tree hint information for my own tree?

All of this can be managed via the normal hint review screens you see for other forms of hints.

Will I see the owner of the tree? Can I contact them?

You won't see the tree owner's name but you can get in touch with them via Private Messaging to chat about your shared heritage.

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.

Will I see everybody on the other member’s tree?

No. We will only offer information on deceased ancestors. Information on living relatives in members’ tree won’t be shared.

What information will be shared?

Shareable information from other trees will include:

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

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.

When will I see these hints?

We will be rolling out these new hints from September 2019. They won’t be available to all users right away, so you may have to wait a few weeks before you see any on your own tree.

How will hints be presented to me? What will they look like?

Tree-to-tree hints will appear in the same place as record hints and will be labeled as a hint from another tree. Accepting them will also follow the same experience as adding a record hint.

How and when will these hints be generated?

Initially, tree-to-tree hints will be generated when you actively change a person’s details (or those of a close relative) or open up the hints page for a person’s profile. (please note – it may take a few seconds for them to appear – we have a lot of trees to search!). Between October and November, we’ll be running a process to generate tree-to-tree hints for all people in your trees (this may take a while) – so in time, we’ll generate potential tree-to-tree hints for anybody in your tree, whether you have worked on them recently or not.

How do you class someone as living?

We won’t share any information on anyone who’s still alive – they’ll stay private. We’ll assume any relatives born more than 110 years ago are deceased, and regard them as shareable ancestors.

How will I know if hints have been shared with someone?

We won’t tell you if your tree has been suggested to another user. The plan is that if they accept a hint and ‘merge’ some ancestors from your tree into their own, we’ll offer them the ability to send you a message (or just a ‘thank you’), and we will be hopefully building this capability over the next few months. We won’t give them any direct contact information, and you’ll be able to choose whether or not to respond. However, if you don’t want to receive any messages, that’s fine, we’ll give the capability to opt-out of receiving any of these communications.

Have you got exciting family discoveries waiting in tree-to-tree hints? Grow your family tree now and find out.