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My Experience with Geneaology and Ancestry.com – part 3

Searching Other members Trees.

When you are a user of Ancestry.com, you basically perform searches to find people you want to add to your family tree, connect them in the place you want, and add additional discovered facts to the people in your tree. So you may have a place for a grandmother, and you find a record of her marriage, you can add that record to her.

Here’s the useful thing:

Within Ancestry.com, you are able to perform searches for people you seek in the constructed family trees of other Ancestry.com members.

Searching other members trees can be very rewarding in several ways and comes with a caveat.

It’s awesome because you may find someone who has done deep research and you can add entire branches to your search very quickly. You also may find someone who has found a few missing people from your branch, an additional piece of information, a cross validation, etc.

The caveat is that you don’t know the standards and abilities of the person whose tree you find matches on.

It’s very easy for someone to add the wrong person to their tree. Maybe the person they are working on had the same name as an ancestor, maybe it’s a father or son with the same name, maybe it’s just someone different. Some searchers think they have a hit when a record comes up and just add the people to their trees or only do a cursory cross check and add. In either case, the quality of the match may be different than your standard.

The other way searching other peoples’ trees benefits you is in finding living unknown or missing relatives.

I have found 2 distant cousins, one from each side of my family and found a long missing living relative on my wifes’ side.

These people can also supply information that may direct your search.

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