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Issues Searching Trees

Do you wish that everyone who took a DNA test had a tree attached going back to at least their grandparents? Do you ever search public member trees hoping to find a cousin with the family Bible or family photographs? I have a lot of family photographs, documents and even a Bible that I want to share with family members. I have a public member tree and I want others to be able to find my tree.

As I discovered yesterday, the vast majority of my tree may now be found. However, there are parts of my tree that still aren’t indexed. Randy Seaver reminded me of this possibility in his reply to my comment on his blog, Has Ancestry.com Indexed Ancestry Member Trees Yet. It appears that the entire tree isn’t indexed. Instead only individuals with Ancestry.com sources are indexed.

In order to verify this, I had to go to a section of my tree where I had not worked the Ancestry hints. I selected the John Minnick family to test this theory. My Heartland Genealogy tree contains Ancestry sources for John Minnick.

When I did a search of public member trees for John Minnick with a death date of 1903, my Heartland Genealogy tree appeared in the results.

I then looked at one of John Minnick’s children, Wilson Minnick. Even though I have sources attached to Wilson Minnick, they are all OTHER sources and not Ancestry sources.

I then tried a search for Willson Minnick with a death date of 1914. My tree did not appear in the list of results. This supports Randy Searver’s finding, ‘an individual must have an Ancestry.com source attached to be indexed‘. (Until a person is indexed, the tree they are in won’t appear in the results of a search for them in a public member tree.)

Having found some issues with searching public member trees, I wanted to see if I could use a different search to find the trees containing my CRAWFORD family. Thus, I tried a search for my grandfather, Leon Crawford who died in Dodge City, Kansas.

This search returned a total of 3 trees, including my Heartland Genealogy tree. Even though the other 2 trees contain my CRAWFORD family, they are not close cousins. The trees for my close cousins are not listed in these search results.

I then searched for Leon’s father, Judson Crawford who also died in Dodge City, Kansas.

Again, three trees are listed including my tree, Heartland Genealogy. Missing from these search results are the other two trees that appeared in the search results for Leon Crawford: McNeil Family Tree and McCutcheon Murray Family Tree. Thus, the question, why does a search for the son show different trees than a search for the father.  When I looked at Leon Crawford in the Wells Family Tree and Michael Borck’s Family Tree, they both had Ancestry sources attached to Leon.

Thus, the question, why did the Wells and Brock trees show in a search for the father, but not in a search for the son?

Even though most of my tree can now be found in a search of Ancestry’s Public Member Trees, I believe the inconsistencies in the search results hamper my ability to connect with other’s researching the same lines.