TIP: Finding Your Way – narrowing the focus of ancestry research

The number of people in your family tree grows exponentially the further back you go. It’s easy to get lost in all the siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and second and third wives or husbands. The goal in the beginning of your ancestry research is to narrow it down to direct DNA blood relatives before going out on the tree limbs of their relatives. Use these tips to get a clearer picture of your family tree and clues for how to proceed with your hunt for family stories.

You will notice little arrows next to and under a profile block. Hover over them with your cursor and it will tell you how many siblings (horizontal) and how many children (vertical). For now you want to collapse these so you only see your blue asterisk DNA relatives. The tree and your searching becomes much more focused and manageable.

There is one other useful tool to keep your focus on direct family members as you begin to build out and fill in the details on your family tree. Use the ThruLines feature that comes with DNA results. It’s easily selectable in the tool bar.

ThruLines on Ancestry site

These are just a couple tips and tricks to make your family history research more productive and less overwhelming. Using city emblems for profile avatars is one of the top five tricks to get the most out of the tree view, and we will show you more ways to use these to solve family mysteries and break through dead ends in an upcoming post. The Mapping Your Family History blogpost here is the first part of that discussion. Check it out, and subscribe to get notified when part to is posted.

Mapping Your Family History

We are always interested in hearing about your family research and are glad to answer questions you may have. Add both in the comments or send an email and we will respond soonest. Thank you for stopping by and all the best in your genealogy research.

One comment

  1. Great tips! Thank you for posting them.


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