5 Things You Didn’t Know About

By Vanessa Wieland

Make the most of all of the search tools and resources

If you’d like to expand your knowledge of the world’s largest online resource for family history, it pays to learn every aspect of search tools and genealogy resources. Make strides in your research with in our 4-week online genealogy course.

To whet your appetite, we’re sharing 5 things you didn’t know about from our course, Become an Power User, which starts June 11th. This long-time favorite has been updated with this session, reflecting the latest information about this genealogy megasite, including:

  • building and navigating online trees
  • search tools and strategies
  • the range of records, including special and particularly useful collections
  •’s DNA arm and how you can use the tool to enhance your research
  •’s problem-solving tools and plentiful resources

Check out these 5 tips, then sign up for the class to learn a whole lot more. Don’t miss out! Search Tools and Strategies

New records are added to the database every day

If you are researching something that’s not online (and there are still a lot of records that aren’t yet), don’t give up. is adding new records all the time (as many as 2 million records per day!) and you can find out what collections have been updated recently as well as what’s coming soon.

Domestic records will appear first prioritizes domestic records in their search results. For this reason, a search on the Card Catalog might be more helpful in finding the international collection you need. Remember that you can search on the record type (census or birth for example), then narrow the search by a country (Mexico, Germany, Wales, etc.). Turn up more results with Become an Power User.

You can narrow down your search too much

While having thousands of results can be overwhelming to sort through, you won’t get enough results if you filter too much. After all, you never know when Davies is going to show up Davis, and birth dates can vary pretty widely on records if people are lying or guessing someone else’s age. Learn more about searching from this list of Dos and Don’ts.

Your ethnicity estimates can change

There’s a reason they use the word “estimates” to describe what your ethnic makeup is. As more people test, they’re able to refine the information. Ethnicity is based on a sample group of people whose ancestors came from the same area. The science behind this aspect of testing is continually evolving, so they continue to tweak your results as the sample size grows. Learn more about AncestryDNA in lesson 3 of the course.

You can inherit different DNA than your siblings

You inherit 50% of your DNA from each of your parents, and so do your siblings, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same 50%. The mix that gets passed from your grandparents down through your parents can vary with each child. That means you might have different ethnicity estimates and matches in some cases. Learn more about AncestryDNA and how it can integrate with your research in our 4-week course, starting today!

Download our Cheat Sheet!

Keep this cheat sheet nearby whenever you’re searching It’ll keep you from getting lost in this huge genealogy website and help you maximize your subscription dollars!