Q2 in the Pre-1700 Self-certification quiz needs clarification

+8 votes
578 views
The second question of the Pre-1700 Self-certification quiz doesn't make sense … ie,
"Is an a sufficient source for a WikiTree profile? [sic]"

Could someone correct this, please?

Kind regards, Norma Crozier Bethune …Crozier-538
in Policy and Style by Norma Crozier G2G6 (8.8k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

Question 4 may also seem a bit vague (text that I see):

4.)   Is Ancestry.com's a reliable source?


edit: adding missing information -

Question 2 html: <a href="http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1030" target="_blank" title="Open Public Member Trees in a new window">Ancestry.com Member Tree</a>

Question 4 html: <a href="https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7836" target="_blank" title="Open this in a new window">U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900</a>


The missing links are Ancestry.com search pages. Adding this text before each link should correct the display (the link in Q2 should also be updated to https):

https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4xx5/destination:


Just thought I'd help - you're welcome!!wink

(may have to edit again if html doesn't display)


edit 2: Does the link prefix text not show above?surprise

If not, just connect the following URL segments (hope it works!!) to recreate the link prefix text:

https:// prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4xx5/ destination:


edit 3: put link prefix text in block quotes


edit 4: added strikethrough to text relating to a quick fix as it has been made moot by those relentless adblockers (they got me!!)

not sure if other Ancestry.com links will still show in my comments, so just ignore this comment block

An ad blocker installed in your browser is preventing you from seeing those links and the text that displays with them. Disable your ad blocking app -- or simply adjust its options to "whitelist" wikitree.com -- and you'll see those items, plus Ancestry links in profile sources.

I am aware that the Ancestry.com links on WikiTree.com pages are being blocked by adblockers. My personal preference is to block all ads, trackers, etc. by default; I only whitelist individual elements as needed - and so far, none of the elements that my adblocker blocks are needed.

I don't know if the link prefix I posted will fix the problem for all browsers, but I suggest it be added to the links in the Pre-1700 quiz so that we can see if it helps.

I noticed that the link prefix is part of the link for the Ancestry.com template, which is why I use the prefix; I consider it WikiTree approved.

For me, I would prefer a better "fix" than changing my adblocker settings.


From some of the other comments, I gather that the link prefix is for an affiliate program that WikiTree uses. Please correct me, my fellow WikiTreers, if this is incorrect.

Lindy, I had to change only one thing in my Adblocker settings to ensure that Ancestry links on this site are visible to me. Specifically, I had to turn off ad-blocking on this site. In my browser, that meant that while I was on WikiTree, I clicked on the adblock icon in the tool bar, toggled ad-blocking for WikiTree.com from "on" to "off," then clicked on "Refresh." Your mileage may vary, depending on your Adblocker and browser, but I estimate that it took me about 20 seconds, total. And it doesn't affect the ad-blocking on any other website.

On the other hand, if you are committed to changing the URLs of all of the Ancestry links on WikiTree, I hope you have a great deal of time to spare, as I guesstimate that there are at least half a million such links to be corrected.

If I felt a need to whitelist the blocked element (which I don't) on my browser, I would adjust my adblocker setting for that element. But that would only solve the display problem for me.

Adding the link prefix to the 2 links in the Pre-1700 quiz would probably solve the problem for most, if not all, persons who read the quiz. To me, this would be a better solution, as relates to the quiz. We should at least see if this simple fix would work before advising everyone to change their security preferences.


When I edit profiles that have Ancestry.com links, I try to add the link prefix to the links. That way, others who prefer to block ad elements don't have to worry about deciding whether or not to compromise their browser security choices.


I don't believe I ever said that I, personally, was committed to changing all the Ancestry.com links on WikiTree. How I choose to use my volunteer time at WikiTree is solely my choice.

4 Answers

+4 votes
Typos like that make me twitch. Ha!  Hope someone fixes it soon.
by Karen Hoy G2G6 Mach 3 (37.7k points)
It's not a typo, it's the effect of an adblocker.
+7 votes
Question 2 on https://www.wikitree.com/quiz/pre_1700 looks like this to me - "Is an Ancestry.com Member Tree a sufficient source for a WikiTree profile?"
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (121k points)
edited by Samantha Thomson
As near as I can tell, affiliate links become part of all Ancestry.com URLs when we click on the URLs, but adblockers don't block all of them.

Normal Ancestry.com links, like the one in Q2 of the self-certification quiz, get converted to something like https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4xx5/adref:deep/destination:http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1030 and they get blocked.

However, Ancestry.com links created with the Ancestry External Link templates get a different version of the affiliate tag that isn't blocked by adblockers. For example,  {{Ancestry Tree|2886322|1711282204}} turns into https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l4xx5/destination:https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/2886322/person/1711282204/facts -- a link that isn't blocked.

It would be a wonderful thing if a bot could convert the thousands or millions of Ancestry links here (most of which don't work because they were created before Ancestry revamped its URLs) into External Link Templates, but I've been told that the task is larger than EditBot can handle.
Hi Ellen and Lindy, what you are describing is a very different situation than what Jamie described. Interesting that an add blocker would block normal links and not affiliate links which is exactly the opposite of its intended purpose. So I tested it in different browsers

The versions of FireFox (with add blockers) all displayed the links correct and opened the Ancestry pages.

The two culprits were Opera and Epic, both not displaying the links of Questions two and four. Tested with and without add blockers and the result remained the same.

I don't think add blockers are the problem here, but those two browsers are based on older versions of chrome. Whatever those two have in common is more likely the problem. What browsers are you using?
I use AdBlock Plus on Firefox/Windows and my experience has been the same as Lindy's. I've not encountered any blocking when clicking on Ancestry and/or affiliate links that are on a profile page.

The problem that I've encountered is that when the profile page (or another page, such as the quiz page that was the original topic of this post) is rendered in the web browser, the ad-blocker suppresses links to the ancestry domain from being displayed on the profile, so there's no link present in the profile on which to click. The ad-blocker does not suppress links prefixed with the Ancestry affiliate code, so those links are displayed on the profile page, and I can click on them to successfully reach the intended page. The ad-blocker also does not suppress any Ancestry external link templates in use in the profile, so those links are also displayed on the profile page, and I can click on them to successfully reach the intended page. As Ellen and others have indicated, if I disable the ad-blocker and refresh the profile page, links to the ancestry domain are displayed on the profile, and I can click on them to successfully reach the intended page. But again, that only resolves the issue for me.

As Ellen also stated (and is also my understanding), "affiliate links become part of all Ancestry.com URLs when we click on the URLs". But for the situation that I'm encountering, there is no Ancestry.com URL link on which to click, because links with the Ancestry.com URL are suppressed by the ad-blocker when a profile page is rendered in the browser.

Again, this is what I'm experiencing. Hope this makes sense!
My ad-blocker (AdBlock Plus on Firefox/Windows) is now suppressing Ancestry links that are prefixed with the Ancestry.com affiliate code (which includes those generated by Ancestry External Link Templates). This is new behavior that just started occurring for me within the last day or so. Previously, my ad-blocker was only suppressing links beginning with the Ancestry domain (Ancestry External Link Templates and Ancestry.com domain links that were prefixed with the Ancestry.com affiliate code were not suppressed at that time, and the links could be clicked to reach the intended pages).
I also have AdBlock Plus on Firefox. Today, when I turn off whitelisting for WikiTree, I see the same behavior that you describe, Rick.

The easy solution is to whitelist WikiTree in the ad blocker. Logged-in members don't see ads in WikiTree, and whitelisting the site prevents this unfortunate behavior with Ancestry links.

WikiTree is not the only site that I've had to whitelist to prevent undesired behavior by the AdBlocker.

Apparently, most AdBlockers  block URLs listed by EasyList. EasyList's block list includes "https://prf.hn/click/"

The generic whitelist on that page includes an entry for prf.hn^$third-party, but apparently that doesn't apply to the links here on WikiTree. 

Thanks, Ellen. As I updated a profile, I was enabling the ad-blocker for WikiTree so that I could see what others similarly configured might see when they viewed the profile, and was building links accordingly. But that all appears to be moot now, since the ad-blockers appear to incorrectly suppress all links to Ancestry pages regardless of how a link is coded.

If I recall correctly, several days ago you had said that you were already seeing this behavior on your installation. It's possible that the ad-blockers use a copy or cached version of the "URL block list" file on our local machines and only periodically refresh the local copy/cache from the server. If that's the case and my copy/cache was just refreshed recently, that might explain why we were seeing different results at that time from the same ad-blocker/browser combo.

Rick, this has been going on for months. Look below at the June 3, 2019 G2G titled Please add "subjects" ... for Questions 2 & 4....

I understand there's a larger issue, but why doesn't someone either change the wording on the quiz or put on a warning message?

I use Firefox, with the Ghostery addon and custom (high) security and privacy settings. I see today (first noticed yesterday with the affiliate link prefix in my comments under the main question) that Ancestry.com links, with or without the affiliate prefix and including the links from the template, are now all being blocked (verified for myself on this profile, which has 4 5 Ancestry.com links: Linkletter-11).

edit: Linkletter-11 previously had 5 Ancestry.com links (corrected above with strikethrough and gray text); after restyling my Ancestry.com section, Linkletter-11 now has 3 Ancestry.com links (2 of those links are in FamilySearch.com citations, 1 each in citations 8 and 9).

+5 votes
Summarizing what I read in the comments to other answers as well as testing:

The missing words are part of a Performance Horizon affiliate link to Ancestry.com. Since Performance Horizon is a well-known provider of affiliate links, most adblockers block it by default. I can get behind the idea that WikiTree can get a bit of income this way so I disabled my adblocker on WikiTree entirely now. But for important pages like the Self-Certification quiz, there should be a warning at the top of the page mentioning that the page does not work with an adblocker active.
by Henk Elemans G2G1 (1.4k points)
+1 vote

Apparently the Quiz has been corrected by removing the links to the Ancestry.com pages.

by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (225k points)
Thankyou so much to all those who took the time to answer my query … I'm embarrassed to say it never occurred to me that the problem was caused by my own computer set-up!

An especial thanks to the programmer who actually resolved the problem. I've just had a look, and it's perfect!!  Thanks, Lindy, for posting the resolution to let us all know.
Norma, if you have an adblocker and you have not disabled it on wikitree.com, you are still missing an enormous number of links to Ancestry on profile pages. Even if you cannot view the URLs, it is helpful to see them to know that the content came from Ancestry. I suggest that you disable the adblocker for this site.
Thanks, Ellen … have done!

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