Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Signs of Progress


Whether it is true or not, a little (former) bird tipped me off the other day that there might be changes afoot at Ancestry. Small ones, of course, but an ethnicity update was one specific mention. You know I had to immediately go take a peek. That doesn't mean I didn't look for other minor adjustments, of course. Ancestry has been tweaking their presentation here and there for months lately, so I launched my own exploration.

While I didn't find any earth-shaking DNA changes—both tests I administer noted the last update was in June of 2022—there were other handy modifications. Though I probably missed this the last time I looked, the bell-shaped icon in the top righthand corner of the screen not only kept pace with my work by adding in a steady stream of latest hints to inspect, but also advised me of my progress. And right now, I need that kind of encouragement.

This month, I've finally succumbed to the notion that my father-in-law's grandfather probably had yet another brother I knew nothing about. That is the Dennis Tully I found, thanks to multiple DNA matches. For the last several days, I've been building out the tree to add in this new Dennis' descendants, of which there are many. Clicking on the notifications icon today, that handy device informed me that, just in the past week, I had added 239 more people, along with reviewing 450 hints. All, thanks to the discovery of yet another Tully in my father-in-law's family.

Though I keep a biweekly progress report of my own, it's helpful to see at a glance how nicely a bit of work here, another bit there can add up over time. There are some times we need more encouragement than others. For me, these seasons of genealogical grunt work are one example of those kinds of times.

Since Ancestry has been quite consistent about keeping a feedback loop open, I can only presume that some of the comments made by subscribers may have led to such updates. Then, again, perhaps the many talented members of their staff have contributed valuable input which has gotten translated into a better user interface. Whichever way it is—or a blend of both worlds—it certainly is helpful to see signs of progress as we get lost in build our ever-expanding family tree.

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