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Four Ways to Make Ancestry.com Work for You

So many ancestors, so little time. Ancestry.com wants to make your family history life easier, so here are five things that will help make your research on Ancestry.com more efficient and convenient. 

1) Look for Suggested Records
When you find a record for your ancestor, look for the Suggested Records link on the right. Ancestry.com looks for other members who have interacted with that record, and if they've found other records for that person, we suggest them to you.

Suggested Records (Record page)

Suggested Records (Image page)

2) Customize Your Profile
Since family history first collided with the personal computer, tools that help connect family historians who share research interests have helped families reconnect with cousins to exchange family details, stories and photographs. Your Public Profile is a powerful way for potential cousins who run across one of the many breadcrumbs you have left on the site can--with a click--see if your research interests match their own. These breadcrumbs could be in the form of a post to a message board, a comment posted to a record, a profile in the Member Directory, or through your online tree.

You can customize your profile so that other members can easily see your research interests, links to your public trees, queries you've left on message boards, and recently added content.

Profile Page

3) Check Member Connect
If you maintain a family tree on Ancestry.com, you can seek out others who are researching the people in your tree. When you go into a person’s profile page, you’ll see a series of tabs above the Media Gallery, the last of which is Member Connect. Here you can view suggested connections or search for others who are researching that person. 

Once you have made a connection, you can follow that member’s research activity on your shared ancestor through the ancestor’s profile page or through the Recent Member Connect Activity box on the home page. You can also access Recent Member Connect Activity by selecting that link from the Collaborate tab. Through these tools you’ll be able to see when the researcher you’ve connected with adds new life events, source records, photos or stories for your ancestor.

Recent Member Connect Activity Page

4) Customize Your Home Page
We all have our favorite features on Ancestry.com, so why not make your favorites prominent on your Ancestry.com home page? That way, whenever you’re logged into Ancestry.com, you can quickly access your favorite tools. Just click on the Customize Your Homepage link in the upper right corner of your logged in Ancestry.com homepage. Items you can feature and rearrange on your home page include:

- Search Box
- Your Trees
- Your Quick Links
- Links to Record Collections
- New Collections on Ancestry.com
- Recent Member Connect Activity
- My Shoebox
- Message Board Favorites
- Ancestry.com Blog
- Recent Activity
- Getting Started with Ancestry.com
- Your To-Do List
- Jewish Name Variations
- Jewish Community Locator

Customize link in upper right corner+

Customized Home Page Options

Other articles in the 23 January 2011 Weekly Discovery: 

> Bridging the 1890 Gap  

> Family History Tip: Stories in Old Deeds 

> Photo Corner 

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