Using Ancestry.com with Ancestral Quest

 


 

Overview

Ancestry.com is an Internet based company that provides several online genealogical products and services. Some of these are free, and some require a subscription fee. Ancestral Quest provides links to two of these:
 


Over 6 Billion Indexed Records.

Ancestry.com has digitized thousands of collections of genealogical data, and makes them available for a subscription fee. Ancestral Quest provides methods for initiating searches on a name-by-name basis, and also has the capability of searching for matches “behind the scenes.” How to.


Over 500,000,000 names in submitted family trees at WorldConnect

Many years ago, a grass-roots organization collected and indexed thousands of family trees from genealogists. Ancestry.com has obtained rights to these trees and indexes and has continued collecting them. We understand that access to these trees are free and will continue to be free. Ancestral Quest helps you search these trees for information on your ancestry. How to.

 



How To


Over 6 Billion Indexed Records

Anyone can freely search this set of records, but you will need a subscription to Ancestry.com to view most of the records.

AQ provides two methods for searching the records on Ancestry.com:
 

  • Through AQ’s automatic behind-the-scenes searching.
     
  • Through searches you initiate yourself.


AQ’s Automatic Searching

Note: The ability for AQ to automatically search the Ancestry.com databases was developed jointly with Ancestry.com in 2001. In 2011, Ancestry.com made a decision to no longer support this capability. While not supported by Ancestry.com, some portions of it still function as of December, 2011. This "Automatic Searching" discussion will describe how the feature works as of that date, but if Ancestry.com makes further changes, this feature could be affected.

To have AQ automatically search the huge record collections of Ancestry.com, you need to be on AQ’s “Pedigree” view, and you need to activate the links to Ancestry.com. Go to AQ’s “View” menu to see the option for “Ancestry.com Links”. You can enable or disable these links by clicking on this menu option.

Toggle Ancestry.com Links

With these links to Ancestry.com active, AQ will automatically search for information on the names which are shown in the Pedigree view. Ancestral Quest requests information from Ancestry.com, and Ancestry.com will provide the number of records and number of trees that are possible matches. Ancestry.com also provides a five-star rating as to how likely the records or trees will match your ancestor. AQ then displays these numbers and ratings next to the names on the Pedigree screen.

Ancestry.com Links

All you have to do to view these records or trees on Ancestry.com is to click on the number shown. When you click on one of these links, you will be asked whether you want to use a "Direct Link" to Ancestry.com or use a "General Search." If you use the General Search, you should get the same results as if you were to initiate the search yourself, as described below. The Direct Links should give you a more refined search, but this capability was adversely affected in 2011 by an Ancestry.com change to their systems. If you use the Direct Link option, you will no longer in AQ – Ancestry.com now determines what data, login screens, promotions, or other material is shown to you.

Here are some hints:

1) As of late 2011, the Direct Links only work for Ancestry.com subscribers. Further, they will only work if you have first separately signed in to Ancestry.com in your browser. The first time you use a link in AQ, Ancestry.com may give you an "error" screen, but if you continue to use the Direct Links in the same AQ session, you should see the records or trees refered to by the links displayed on the Pedigree view.

2) If you see a message come up referring to a problem with “CPAGEWIDTH”, just click “No” to continue. Ancestry.com recently made a change to their web pages which causes this message to appear. It is an annoyance, but will not stop you from viewing the data.

3) If you do not have a subscription, you can still view the trees that pertain to your ancestor for free. To do this, you will need to do a manual search using the “WorldConnect” search as described below.


Searches you Initiate Yourself

You can also manually search for the records or trees shown next to the names in the Pedigree screen by following the instructions below for searching the trees.


Over 500,000,000 names in submitted family trees at WorldConnect

To do a manual search using Ancestral Quest, simply highlight the name of an ancestor that you want to research and take one of the following steps: (Note that if you use the General Search or Ancestry.com searches below, you will search the 6 billion for fee records. If you search the World Tree or WorldConnect options, you will be searching the 500 million names in free trees.)
 

  • If you have set “Ancestry.com” or “WorldConnect” as your default Internet search (See below), simply click on the Internet Search Icon on the toolbar to perform your default search.
     
Search Icon on AQ Toolbar
  • Click on the Internet Menu, then select “Search Ancestry.com” and finally click on “General Search” or "Search World Tree." (Note: In the menu shown at the right, the "Search Records", "Search World Tree" and "Search Message Boards" items were all affected in late 2011 by a change made by Ancestry.com. These menu options are all tied to the Direct Links discussed above and have the same limitations.)
Search Over 1 Billion Records on FamilySearch from Menu
  • Click on the Internet Menu, select “Search Favorite Sites”, then select either “Ancestry.com” or “WorldConnect Search.” This option allows you to select a different person, or a different Internet search site before performing the search.
Search Over 1 Billion Records on FamilySearch from Web Search screen


Setting Your Default Internet Search.

Ancestral Quest provides several Internet searches to help you with your research. You can customize this by adding your own searches to the list. Any Internet search, whether it is one that AQ provided, or one that you have added, can be set as your Default search. The Default search will be activated when you click on the Internet Search icon on the toolbar.

Search Icon on AQ Toolbar

To set the default Internet search, click on the Internet menu, then select “Favorite Sites”. Highlight the search that you prefer and click on the “Make Default” button.

Set Default AQ Internet Search Site