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  • Writer's pictureDevon Noel Lee

How One Ancestry Hint Led to PAGES of Genealogy Discoveries

Genealogy Records with How one Ancestry Hint led to Pages of Discoveries

Did you know there is a common mistake many of us are making, including myself, over on

I invite you to stop making this mistake!

The big mistake we're making on Ancestry is our failure to search the entire hint.

After we see a promising hint, we often think, "Oh, that's for my ancestor. Let me attach it and move on."

Good genealogists will evaluate the hint after they click through to view the original image instead of stopping at the index for our ancestor's entry in a collection.

A significant step in the evaluation process is to:

Always look at least one page before and one after the page where your ancestor's information is recorded.

Video: How one Ancestry Hint led to Pages of Discoveries

Throughout the video, I'll highlight a few additional items of interest.

  1. How to access record hints on

  2. How to filter hints in the master list of hints for one tree.

  3. How to rotate images.

  4. How to advance and rewind images in the Ancestry film viewer.

  5. Explore the Canadian World War I CEF Personnel Files from 1914 - 1948.

Discover just how much you're missing when you do not look at the pages before and after an Ancestry Hint gateway image. You might crack through your genealogy brick walls.

↪️ Are you new to genealogy? Grab your copy of this FREE Beginner Guide:

laptop and writing notes with title Free Guide: 5 Steps for Successfully Starting in Family History

Fun Finds in the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Files

As I chose to obey the rule of browsing pages before and after the hint CEF file for my ancestor. Imagine my joy when the recordset continued for over 20 pages of documentation about my Canadian veteran?

Some of the cool things I discovered within this record include:

  • His signature. (I love signatures. Use the copies of the signatures like photos when you're writing a family history.)

  • Residence information before the veteran's service.

  • The veteran's next of kin and relationship to that relative.

  • Self-reported birth date and place.

  • Physical Descriptions - eye color, hair color, complexion, height, weight, and scars or tattoos.

  • Health history - an evaluation of body systems, vision, hearing distance, missing or damaged teeth, and a log of dental work.

  • Service history - dates and location for enlistment, transfers, postings, ranks, casualties, reductions, discharge, medals, and so on.

I highly recommend that you transcribe all of the information in this document. Then create a timeline to track where your ancestor served and any medical treatments they received.

Go out and explore all of the hints that you have. Be sure to view the images before and after the record hint you see on

More Articles on Using Ancestry

A reference for all blog posts and videos mentioned in the YouTube episode.

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