Blog post

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Filter Ancestry hints by collection

Did you know it is possible to filter Ancestry’s shaky leaf hints by any collection you want? No, there is no link on the website, at least not in the Australian version Ancestry, but it’s not hard to do.

Here’s the recipe for a link to shaky leaf hints from the collection of your choice:

Replace TREE with the number of your Ancestry tree. You’ll find it in the URL when you look at your tree on Ancestry.

Replace DATABASE with the ID number for the collection you want to filter on. You’ll find it in the URL when you navigate to the search page for that collection. For example, to search the 1851 England census you would head to and find the number 8860.

That’s all there is to it! Soon you will have your fill of the low hanging fruit hidden behind those shaky leaves, and even better you will decide for yourself if today you feel like apples or bananas!

Some of my favourite database ID numbers are:

1635 Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839–1923
1904 England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966

England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers,

8978 England census 1841
8860 England census 1851
8767 England census 1861
7619 England census 1871
7572 England census 1881
6598 England census 1891

If I keep going I’ll soon list their whole catalogue…

But I won’t stop before I say… Pssst! If you want to check BillionGraves this way while the link still works (it did for me today 14/8/2014) the ID number to use is 70734.


  1. Thanks for. Clever idea and helpful hints to go with it.

  2. Super searcher efficiency tip.

  3. Fantastic tip, Shelley, thanks!

  4. I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can read about it here:

  5. When I try this, it reverts to all hints for that specific tree but not just the specific source that I want to search e.g. Delaware Births record# 1508. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Mike, you're not doing anything wrong. It doesn't appear to work anymore, unfortunately.

    2. Hi Mike, good news! You should be able to get the link for hints to a specific source to work again, after all. The URL needed has changed slightly to
      Good luck!