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Guide: Ancestorian Tips and Tricks

Posted in Categories / Groups:

From time to time, you may see posts with the hashtag #AncestorianTipsandTricks appear in the Ancestorian Discussion Feed.  Sometimes these posts are prompted by a question a member has asked. Sometimes, they are in response to an information need spotted by a member of the Website's Admin team. They are just quick snippets of information about ways of using the Website.  

This Guide pulls together the various disparate #AncestorianTipsandTricks that have been, or may be, posted as memory prompts, from time to time in the future.

More detailed information about using Ancestorian can be found via the other Guides and Tutorials found under the Support Tab. 

Display Name - Username or Real Name?

Your display name can be a username or your real name.

It can be useful to set your display name to your real name. For example, where it helps your friends to identify you from other genealogy forums and social networks.

The following links can be used to change your display name and/or add your real name:

Change your display name - Add your real name

Making the Most of Ancestorian

You will get the most out of Ancestorian if you join groups relevant to you and engage with other members. 

You can find Groups via the 'Groups' Tab at the top of the Website. Use the Groups Search box. You can even filter by type of group e.g., place, surname etc.

Attracting the Attention of Other Members with Similar Research Interests

Depending on how people are filtering their Newsfeed, a post from your profile may only be seen by those members who are following you or who you have connected to you as a Friend on Ancestorian, especially if the post drops down the Newsfeed quickly because of other newer posts from other people.

Your post is more likely to be seen by people with a common research interest if you post it within relevant group(s) rather than in the main discussion feed from your profile. 

You can find Groups via the 'Groups' Tab at the top of the website.

Finding Help

Ancestorian has lots of friendly members many of whom are happy to help others and frequently do. If you need help make sure that you:

  • Provide as much information as you can about what you are trying to find out, what you know so far and any thoughts you have about what the answer may be. This will help others to help you.
  • Post your inquiry in relevant Group(s) to attract the attention of members with similar research interests. It is OK to crosspost ... For example, if you are trying to find the parentage of John Brown from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, post your inquiry to both the Brown Family History Group and the Lancashire Family History Group. If it is a significant brick wall, you may also want to post in the 'Brick Wall Challenges' Group. If you have a research hypothesis about what the answer to your inquiry may be, you may want to post it in the 'Conjectured Connections, and Potential Ancestors' Group.

Tagging Ancestorian Members

To tag another Ancestorian member in your post ... add @ at the beginning of their name and look for their name to pop up. Then click on it.

Link Previews

If you are including more than one link in your discussion post,  you may want to think about the order in which you post the links. The link mentioned first will be the link that will show up as a link preview.  

You can remove a link preview from your post if you want to. Click on the three-dot menu at the side of your post to remove a link preview.

Saving Posts

To save a post for later, click on the 'Save' symbol at the bottom of the post.

To access your Saved posts later, use the filter at the top of the Discussion Feed.

Using Hashtags [#]

If you want to, you can use a Hashtag [#] to highlight particular topics. Hashtags can also help you, or others, to more easily find posts on the topic  later via the Search Function.

Following, Connecting to and Private Messaging Other Members

The most straightforward ways to follow, connect (friend) or private message other Ancestorian members is to either look them up in the members list (accessed via 'Groups' Tab at the top of the Website) or click on their name in a feed ... This will take you to their profile page.

If you search for the member on the members list you can follow, send a Friend request or private message the member direct from the Members List or go through to their profile page and do it from there.

If you click on their name in a feed, it will take you to their profile page where you also have the option to follow, send a friend request or private message the member.

Finding Group Descriptions

Sometimes it isn't immediately obvious what a Group is intended to be focused on by just looking at the Group name, especially for the General Category Groups. To find the description of what is intended, open up the Group's home page (Discussion feed), and click on the 'i' (information) symbol next to the Group title.

Getting to Know Your Way Around

Ancestorian has a series of Guides to help you to use the Website.

The Guides are always available, even if you aren't logged on to the Website. You can find them via the row of  Tabs at the top of the Website. The 'Support' Tab has a drop down menu; the first item being 'Guides&Tutorials'.



About the author: JaneChapman Admin Icon

I am one of the volunteer Admin/Moderators at Ancestorian and a hobby genealogist. I have been researching family history since the early 1990's. Since 2013, I have been using autosomal DNA-related information, in conjunction with traditional sources of evidence, to support, or challenge, the paper trail and further my research.

Since retiring I have had more time for research. I balance my time between tackling brickwalls and digging deeper into the life and times of ancestors to try to better understand them in the context of their own time and place. Some of my research has been written up as biographical narratives on my blog pages at:

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