08 May 2012

What Are You Missing By Relying on Those Ancestry.com Leaves?

Sometimes I wish I understood the leaves on Ancestry.com.

In getting ready for a seminar, I was using Ancestry.com's tree to save and organize some images on a few families that I'm going to be using as illustrations. In so doing, I came upon a person for whom Ancestry.com had several suggestions--via their leaves. Elizabeth (Watson) Frame was born ca. 1845 in England and was living in Chicago by the 1870s.

Ancestry.com pulled up several hints for Elizabeth--some under her maiden name and some under her married name as shown below.

What I did not understand was why Ancestry.com didn't pull up hints for Elizabeth in United States Census records. Her 1870 enumeration clearly matches the birth parameters I have for her in the database.

The birth year and place matched exactly what was in the Ancestry.com Tree match. It seems odd to me that the 1870 census match didn't appear on the list of potential matches for Elizabeth.

My information for Elizabeth originally didn't have any death place information entered. I put in a death place of Chicago, Cook, Illinois, thinking that the "matches" might include other records. Sure enough, two more suggestions appeared--both from Illinois death records.

Still no 1870 census (or any other US census, for that matter--and Elizabeth is in the 1880, 1900, and 1910 federal census living in Chicago).

Makes no sense to me. I doubt I get an answer from Ancestry.com on WHY the search works the way it does.

Personally I don't use the leaves very often. My concern is that many people DO rely on them. I wonder what they are missing.

And now on those few times I use the leaves I wonder what I am MISSING.

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