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What if a source does not have enough information to know if it should be attached?

Hi, there is a hint on a timeline, about a fellow possibly being on the Canada Census 1891. The hint has the same name, right location, and about the right age within a year or two. And from looking at the actual record available on Ancestry, the father is the right name and about the right age as well. I'd put the odds of this hint being accurate at greater than 50%. Maybe 65%.

But not much more. The record does not show the wife, deceased by that time, so I cannot use that name to close the deal. And there were so many people with this very common name combination "Joseph Francois Daigle" / "Francois Joseph Daigle" around this time and place, I cannot be sure it is the same person.

What is the expert guidance? Attach the hint and let it be removed if someday more information comes up? Or just leave it as a suggested hint showing up on the timeline, kind of messing up the flow?

Person showing the hint at the top:

Actual record in a link format that should be accessible from any Ancestry account, bottom of second page, line 19:




Best Answer

  • dontiknowyoudontiknowyou ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    You don't see an attach button because the record is attached already, to a profile that appears to be a conflation of your Joseph Francois Daigle and a Joseph Deagle.

    On notice the pair of 1881 Canada census records, one for Francois Daigle and one for Joe Deagle. That's your loose end to detangle this PID. Use the information on Joe's 1881 census record as the core of that PID. Detach records belonging to Francois and also remove all his information from Joe's PID. Then go to your Joseph F. Daigle and attach all those records.


  • In the case of not being sure, I would say pray about it and see what answer you get. If there is no answer then the hint is likely not correct for that person and then delete that hint. Go to the help center and put in

    What do I do with record hints in the family tree that aren't a match. The URL is below.

  • @WilliamStewart44

    You have posted a very good question about how we can determine whether or not to attach a Record Hint in the FamilySearch Family Tree if it doesn't contain enough information on the indexed record to assume it is about your ancestor.

    You have noted that with some shared collections, images might be available at one of our partner sites such as, however, if you don't have a subscription with Ancestry, you may not be able to see additional information that appears on the image of a record that was indexed. Please be aware that when records are indexed, the record owners explain how they want the indexing project handled, and only the information that they request will appear in the indexed record, so being able to see the images is quite helpful.

    When you are not sure, you might want to consider going to your closest Family History Center since the Institutional version of partners sites such as is available. Many of our Centers are now reopened and going to the Help Center page and then scrolling down to In-person Help can allow you to try to find an open Center in your area.

    When you can't determine a Record Hint is for your ancestor with the information given, mark the record as Not a Match until you can do further research. When a Record Hint is marked as Not a Match, you can still review and attach it later as it is still accessible through the Research Help box when you click Show All, and click Dismissed Helps as explained in the following knowledge article.

    We appreciate your desire to verify that Record Hints are linked to the correct ancestors, and we wish you success with your continued family history efforts.

  • If you go to the index detail page for that hint (, you can see that it is already attached, to a man born in 1879 ( This makes one wonder why it is being offered as a hint on someone else; perhaps there are so many Joseph Francois D__gles in the tree that the system has gotten confused?...

    The Ancestry image is behind the paywall, so I can't check that, but if as you said the father is Francois and the mother is not listed in the household, then I think the existing attachment is in error, because that man's father was Florian and his mother has a death date of 1919.

    I think you should attach the hint, because it's a better match to "your" Joseph than to the existing attachee, but I wouldn't create a residence from it (yet). It's a somewhat-tentative possibility for where they were for that census. The other option is to dismiss the hint but create a citation for the source anyway, using the URL. I'm not sure what the latter choice would do to the hinting system, but it's already demonstrably a bit addled, so one more bit of conflicting input can't hurt much.

  • dontiknowyoudontiknowyou ✭✭✭
    edited October 14

    At behest of @WilliamStewart44 I worked on that family a little. There were several men named Joseph Daigle, including possibly at least two with middle initial F.

    The solution to this situation is to work them all. Work all the Daigle in that province of Canada. There are not all that many.

    See the previous discussion of this family:

  • After doing more work, I've come to the conclusion that this hint is accurate, and should be attached. However, now I've found there is no longer an "Attach" button!

    Same person, showing the hint at the top of the timeline:

    Now that I know about the Research help section, I tried clicking on and reviewing the hint from there, and it takes me to the same source linker page, however it does not have any "Attach" button available.

    Any ideas?

  • That worked.

    I went to the sources for the wrong guy and detached the source.

    Then when I went to the right guy, I was able to review and attach the hint.

  • Joe's PID has many more records attached that belong to Francois. To prevent future bad hints you'll need to detach them all and remove their residue (residences, other information) from Joe's details page.

  • I looked through all the sources for Joe Deagle L27Q-VYM, and while I think you are right that many of them apply to some different Francois Daigle unknown, it is not the Joseph Francois Daigle LTV4-QBM in my in-law ancestry.

    Now that with your help I have fixed my in-law (and acknowledging that we should clean up records where we can in a cooperative community fashion, which I am doing where I have the information and ability) I really think that someone with more information about Joe Deagle and the unknown Francois Daigle mentioned in his references is better placed to make the correct decisions on additional cleaning of those profiles.

  • I looked through all the sources for Joe Deagle L27Q-VYM, and while I think you are right that many of them apply to some different Francois Daigle unknown, it is not the Joseph Francois Daigle LTV4-QBM in my in-law ancestry.

    In that case I would leave a Note on L27Q-VYM that there appears to be a conflation, and move on.

  • But... you're not done here yet. Edit the birth date on your Joseph Francois Daigle LTV4-QBM, born 20 October 1877, and look at the sources. Notice the several different dates.

    Joseph Deagle has attached records naming him Joseph Francois Daigle, born 13 May 1879.

    The 1891 census attached to your Joseph Francois Daigle has his born 1879 as well. That record likely does not belong to your Joseph Francois Daigle.

  • Sounds good. I checked what I could and could not find how to "add a note"?

  • On the mobile app, PID Details page, scroll to the bottom, click the "+" in circle, and select Note.

    On the web interface, under the PID title click Collaborate then Add a New Note.

  • Hmmm, I added that myself: this is the original source I was not sure of. Here is my reasoning. If you think it is not strong enough, I would appreciate your feedback.

    I have the actual record from ancestry - if you have a paid Ancestry account the following link should be account neutral, accessible from any account:

    (Not sure why the Canada Census 1891 images, obviously public domain, are not available on Family Search, as most other Canada Census are. Anyway...)

    His father is the right name, and the ages of him and father are "close". The son was born in Sept 1877, and if the 1891 Census was done early in the year, then he would be 13. To record him as 12, especially since it was his father giving the information (his wife had passed on), then to be off a year would not be an unusual thing for a father to report.

    And his father is also within a year of the right age on the 1891 census, given as 51, when the best information we have is that he was born June 1938. Again, a census in 1891 in the first half of the year means this age of 51 is only a year off.

    So with the location being the same, and this hint not applying to anyone else I found, I thought it likely this was the right Joseph Francois Daigle LTV4-QBM.

    What do you think?

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