Guide: What You Can Do on a Surname Page

This guide is permanently available at: https://www.ancestorian.com/guides-how-to-use-ancestorian/guide-what-you-can-do-on-a-surname-page/

Every surname in Ancestorian has it's own page. There are a few things you can do on an Ancestorian surname page - even more if there are a few active researchers there. Let this guide show you around a surname page and introduce the possibilities.

1.) Visit a Surname Page - Add Surname as Research Interest

Here, we are seeing the page for Scotney

At the top of the page, if it isn't already one of your researched surnames, is a button to enable you to add it to 'Your Surnames'.
In this guide, 'evitester' had already added Scotney as one of his research interests but the name is not shown publicly in his account profile.

 



2.) Surname is 'Your Surname' and Public

Clicking the Public/Private toggle makes the surname research interest public.

Now, other users on Ancestorian can discover their shared interest in the Scotney name and reach out to 'evitester' via the message system or in a group.



3.) Find Researchers and Help for the Surname

A little further down the page you will find the Researchers/Experts/Historians section. You may find an advert first but unfortunately that is necessary to pay the huge hosting bills.

The members listed here are people like you who have added Scotney as a research interest and made it public. The guide was made using member 'evitester'. You see he is here in the list and because he is the logged in user, we see he is highlighted blue. This could be you!

You can click on a member's name to get to their profile and reach out to them. Maybe they can help with your Scotney research. 

 



   

4.) Places Where the Surname Appears

Ancestorian takes things a step further. We can see what places each surname is found in.

You can add places to this list via place pages... rather than here in the surname page. Visit the page of the place you want to add the surname to and use our 'What You Can Do on a Place Page' guide to find out how.

Otherwise, upload a GEDCOM using the button below the places list and all of your place and surname links will be found and added to Ancestorian.



5.) Surname Group - None? Create One!

Ancestorian is about community, so just like Facebook, we have the ability to start and join groups.

A powerful feature is that you can connect a group to a surname. If the surname you are viewing doesn't yet have a group, you can create it with one click on a button. You will become the first member and administrator of the group. 



6.) Surname Group - Visit and Join

'evitester' clicked the green 'Create Group' button and the page has reloaded. Now Scotney has an official group and 'evitester' is admin.

Any user visiting the Scotney page in the future will see this 'Visit Group' button and can go and join.

How many groups are you active in so far?



7.) Comments - Open Text

Finally, every surname page has a comments area. Just like on a Blog site, you can use your Facebook account to comment here. You can also choose to share your comment on Facebook, which will link it to this surname page on Ancestorian and can be a helpful way to share the page directly to your friends. 



Guide: How to Find People Researching the Same Place as You

This guide is permanently available at: https://www.ancestorian.com/guides-how-to-use-ancestorian/guide-how-to-find-people-researching-the-same-place-as-you/

This is a really short guide because, well... frankly, this is what Ancestorian makes so easy! Read on.

1.) Visit the Search Places page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Places → Search Places



2.) Search for a Place

In this example, we have searched for ‘newcastle’

You will see a result list of places featuring the searched term or related terms.

You can order the list by clicking on a header. Here, we have clicked on ‘Researchers’ so we can see which places have the most activity.



   

3.) Visit the Place Page

For this guide, we have searched for and selected Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire.
We have also made Rickmansworth one of our places. This means that other people searching here can see that we are interested. Maybe they will contact us via the Ancestorian messaging system, perhaps we will see each other in a group, etc.



4.) Find Researchers and Help for the Place

A little further down the page (maybe an advert come first, these are the only way that Ancestorian makes a few cents that we need to pay the huge hosting bills) you will find the Researchers/Experts/Historians section.

The members listed here are people like you who have added Rickmansworth as a research interest and made it public. The guide was made using member 'evitester'. You see he is here in the list and because he is the logged in user, we see he is highlighted blue. This could be you!

You can click on a member's name to get to their profile and reach out to them. Maybe they can help with your Rickmansworth research. 
See all those symbols to the right of each name? They tell you what expertise each user has... as soon as users start to activate them. See how to activate these expertise icons in our 'What You Can Do on a Place Page' guide.

 

Guide: How to Add a Missing Place to Ancestorian

This guide is permanently available at: https://www.ancestorian.com/guides-how-to-use-ancestorian/guide-how-to-add-a-missing-place-to-ancestorian/

1.) Visit the Search Places page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Places → Search Places



2.) Search for a Place

In this example, we have searched for ‘Fakeville’

Fakeville is not found in Ancestorian so we need to add it.



3.) Use the 'Add Your Place to Ancestorian' Button

At the bottom part of the screen, use the huge green button to add your missing place to Ancestorian.

A dialog box appears and and asks if this is the full place name. It is not... so we really need to fix it. Click the red button in the dialog to cancel the adding of the place. Wer will correctly fill out the full name and click the green button again.

If you are unsure about how place names should be correctly formatted, please refer to our Place Naming Conventions page. The rules there ensure the most robust interoperability of place names in Ancestorian with other Internet services such as Google maps and Wikipedia.
It also makes your family history research much tidier if you use consistent naming conventions throughout your work.



4.) Correct Full Place Name and Add with Button

We have corrected Fakeville to now include the state/region and country separated by commas as per generalised place naming conventions used throughout the world and internet services.

Now that we have the correct details of 'Fakeville, New South Wales, Australia' we can confirm by clicking the 'Yes' Add it to Ancestorian' button.

5.) Your Missing Place was Added

Voila, your missing place has been added to Ancestorian. You have been registered to it as a researcher of that place and can now also be found by other users who research the same place.

What's more, other users of Ancestorian can now also register themselves as researchers of the newly created place.

You can see that the place has been added and a place page has been created in the small table beneath the green button you used to add it. Also, you can see and change the public/private status.

If you want to view the newly created place page, you can click the place name link.



6.) Go and View the new Place page

There are very powerful features available from place pages on Ancestorian.

Read about them in our 'What You Can Do on a Place Page' guide.



Guide: Manage Places You Research

This guide is permanently available at: https://www.ancestorian.com/guides-how-to-use-ancestorian/guide-manage-places-you-research/

1.) Visit the Manage Places You Research page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Your Ancestorian → Manage Places you Research

Like on nearly all listing pages on Ancestorian, you can use the 'Filter results' box or click on column headers to sort the table to suit your needs.

The table shows the place name (linked to place page), how many times it is mentioned in your research (if it came from a GEDCOM import), details of GEDCOMs  it appeared in, a toggle to make public/private and a button to remove it from your researched places list.



2.) Make a Researched Place public

If you click on the currently grey toggle next to a place name, you can make the place public or private.

When a place is private (grey) only you know that you are researching the place or have expertise and knowledge here.

If you want to allow others to find and contact you based on this place, click the toggle and it will go blue and therefore, public.



3.) Make all visible places public

If you want to make all of the places that are showing in the current list view public, you can use the toggle above the table to do this. You may have to click twice, first to make all private then again to make all public.

This is especially helpful if you have used the list filtering and sorting options.



4.) Remove a place from your research interests

If you no longer want to be connected to a place, just click the red 'remove' button next to the place name.

This removes the place from  your research interests but, naturally, leaves the place in Ancestorian so that others using it or researching there can continue to do so.

No surname or place on Ancestorian is unique to you. All places and surnames are shared with the whole site... you are merely able to link yourself to them as a researcher. Don't ever be concerned that removing a place or surname somehow deletes it from Ancestorian altogether. 

Guide: What You Can Do on a Place Page

This guide is permanently available at: https://www.ancestorian.com/guides-how-to-use-ancestorian/guide-what-you-can-do-on-a-place-page/

Every place in Ancestorian has it's own page. There is much that can be done on an Ancestorian place page - even more if there are a few active researchers there. Let this guide show you around a place page and introduce the possibilities.

1.) Visit a Place Page - Add Place as Research Interest

Here, we are seeing the page for Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, England

At the top of the page, following the place name is a large green button offering us the ability to add Rickmansworth to 'Your Places'. If you are researching Rickmansworth and want to find other researchers of the area, you should add it as a research interest by clicking this button. 

We will do that in this guide and you will see the result  in the next image.

Under the button is a list of links to sub sections of the place page. If you don't want to scroll, you can just go straight to another part of the page using these. 

 



2.) Place is now 'Your Place'

For this guide, we clicked the green button in the previous step and have made Rickmansworth one of our places. This means that other people searching here can see that we are interested. Maybe they will contact us via the Ancestorian messaging system, perhaps we will see each other in a group, etc.

You see that the green button is now replaces with a black 'Your Place' button. Next to this, we also see that the toggle for public/private is on, so Rickmansworth is shown publicly as a research interest (only to logged in users). 
You can click the toggle to set it to private.



3.) Find Researchers and Help for the Place

A little further down the page you will find the Researchers/Experts/Historians section. You may find an advert first but unfortunately that is necessary to pay the huge hosting bills.

The members listed here are people like you who have added Rickmansworth as a research interest and made it public. The guide was made using member 'evitester'. You see he is here in the list and because he is the logged in user, we see he is highlighted blue. This could be you!

You can click on a member's name to get to their profile and reach out to them. Maybe they can help with your Rickmansworth research. 
See all those symbols to the right of each name? They tell you what expertise each user has... as soon as users start to activate them. See how in the next section.

 



4.) Say What Expertise You Have for a Place

See how 'evitester' now has some of those symbols showing as active (black)? This is because he has activated his expertise. 
You can do this in two places... either by clicking on each symbol in your row on the researcher table or by using the toggles in the 'Manage Your Place' box which is in the right side toolbar (also shown here).

Not everyone is an expert on a place because they research it... you can also be an expert because you were born somewhere, it's where you live now, you can take photos of it, you have access to archives, etc.

Click on a symbol to activate it. The symbols relate to the titles in the box on the right... or you can hover the mouse and see what it means... 
From left to right... Family History, Hometown, I live here, I have documents, I can take photos, I can do record look-ups.

The power of Ancestorian is in community. The more places you can show other members that you can help with, the more help you will be able to give and to receive. 

5.) Surnames in Place - And Common Researchers

Ancestorian takes things a step further. We can see what surnames are researched in each place.

Furthermore, if a researcher is researching both a place and a surname, we show this to you too.

Surnames shown with orange background are found in GEDCOMs (that have been imported to Ancestorian) connected this place. 

Surnames with a green background are not just common to the place, they are actively researched by Ancestorian members who are also researching this place.

So, in this example, if you are researching Palmer and Rickmansworth, hover over the green Palmer name and you will see three users also researching both Palmer and Rickmansworth. These may be very important connections for your future research.

Enjoy the community. 

5b.) BONUS - Manually link another surname to place

Use the search form under the surname list and link another surname to this place. Easy as 123.



6.) Save Time and Upload a  GEDCOM

So, you just realised the huge possibilities of ways to connect on Ancestorian and want to save time and link all of your surnames with places?

No problem, we have a link on every place page... you can click it and upload a GEDCOM file and become a power user. It's also free, of course.



7.) Related/Merged Places - We Cleaned Up for You

Ancestorian wouldn't be the clean and organised site it is without our comprehensive tidying up scripts, our place naming conventions and our wonderful admin team... there are thousands of poorly formatted place names imported every day. We clean them up and give you just one.

So, here you see the merged or related place names that have been merged to Rickmansworth.

If you see such a list and have a convincing reason that there is as item there that is better spelt or formatted according to our conventions... then you can suggest a split. If it is approved, a second place page would be created.

This is something best left alone if you are not confident about what you are doing. But even so, we have systems in place that you don't need to be concerned about breaking anything.

It can be amusing to look through the shocking misspellings that people have in some of their GEDCOM files. Enjoy these lists for what they are... a big rubbish bin. 



8.) Place Group - None? Create One!

Ancestorian is about community, so just like Facebook, we have the ability to start and join groups.

A powerful feature is that you can connect a group to a place. If the place you are viewing doesn't yet have a group, you can create it with one click on a button. You will become the first member and administrator of the group. 



9.) Place Group - Visit and Join

'evitester' clicked the green 'Create Group' button and the page has reloaded. Now Rickmansworth has an official group and 'evitester' is admin.

Any user visiting the Rickmansworth page in the future will see this 'Visit Group' button and can go and join.

How many groups are you active in so far?



10.) Similar Place Names

In our efforts to continue cleaning up the poorly defined place names that are imported into Ancestorian every day, here we show you a list of any similar names that we have found in our search.

This is your chance to contribute to the upkeep of the site - and earn some more points in the process.
If you are convinced that Rickmansworth West, England is a subsection of Rickmansworth or another poorly defined version of Rickmansworth, you should click the 'Merge to Here' button and start the process of cleaning up.

Thanks.



11.) Search Another Place to Merge to

Perhaps you have a feeling you saw another place that you think was also this Rickmansworth.

If you, you can search for it in the search box provided... and then also suggest a merge. 



12.) Comments - Open Text

Finally, every place page has a comments area. Just like on a Blog site, you can use your Facebook account to comment here. You can also choose to share your comment on Facebook, which will link it to this place page on Ancestorian and can be a helpful way to share the page directly to your friends.