Another perspective on Ancestry hints

I think that in the past almost all of my postings on Ancestry member hints have been negative.  Well in the interest of fairness and sharing, I think this posting is perhaps a bit past due.  I have to admit that as with most observations, there are many perspectives possible.  So here is a personal tidbit offering a counter-point to my earlier Ancestry Member Tree Hint observations.

Genealogy-IdeasLike most genealogists, I make mistakes. I think it is safe to say that my mistakes are almost always simple accidents.  At least, I can not think of a single situation where I have made an error on purpose.  I don’t like admitting that I make errors but in all honesty, I do.  Maybe others are more highly thorough and skilled than I and have a differing view.  However, I digress.

Back to my story… today I found myself looking at my Senger family tree; and as you may already know almost none of my Senger data  has been sourced from Ancestry (almost all of it has been obtained by my reading of West Prussian church records and my maintaining a photographic log of findings).  I do, however, keep an FTM version of my family archive on Ancestry both on the chance that I might get a Historical Record clue as well as for redundancy and backup purposes. Although in all honesty, I never seriously thought I might actually find someone else in the Ancestry universe rummaging for information on my family members who lived in what was once West Prussia.

Well, I was wrong.  I not only found one person, but, I found two.  The second person was researching the Baarenhof Evangelische (Lutheran) Kirche (Church) and had found a second Anna Ziemen.  Yes, it turns out there were two Anna Ziemen’s alive and attending the Baarenhof ev. Kirche in the late 1700s.  Who’d a thunk!  Not only were there two Anna Ziemens, but I had mistakenly used the data from the second Anna Ziemen for my Anna Ziemen (wrong husband, wrong death date).  Oops!

Needless to say I have removed my error from my files.  And, tomorrow, I intend to plow through the church records once again, page by page.  This time I hope to find the correct version of my Anna Ziemen’s death record. Whether I do or not is, as yet, undetermined.  But what I know for certain is, if I had not received this Ancestry Hint from another member’s tree, it might have been years before I ever stumbled on my mistake.

I guess it pays to read those hints.  They can be helpful.  But tread carefully and analyze thoroughly!