Today I was checking my "Has a Hint" filter and once again sighed over the four locked trees there. These matches have existed for over three months, so all of this time they've known about a connection that I was privy to only recently, thanks to the implementation leaf hints. (Having a private tree but not letting your matches know about a Shared Ancestor Hint has to be a sin only a few rungs below killing mockingbirds.)
I wrote to these matches plus another locked one as soon as leaf hints went in. The four I spoke of above have never replied, and the other one unlocked her tree, which she said she didn't realize was private.
Anyway, 1 out of 5 replying is actually the best response rate I've had from private trees yet. Yay... (Halfhearted because, not only are all four people active, but one says in her profile that she's willing to help Ancestry members. Heh.)
I'm curious: are others seeing a better response rate from private tree owners now that you can mention a definite connection in your query? (As well as politely beg to be told one very specific piece of information?)
I'm not trying to start yet another "private tree owners are (adjective)!" thread, as that's been done to death. Also, all of the private tree owners here on the forums seem to be lovely people who would definitely respond if we asked them such a question. :) I'm just wondering if others have been luckier with getting responses since leaf hints went in.
I'm going to dust off the Beta Feedback button (it's working again, right?) and suggest that we be able to see the Shared Ancestor(s) names. Names from private trees are revealed in search engine results here, so I don't think it's overstepping anyone's privacy. I hope others who agree will make the suggestion as well. It's not my dream solution, but I think it's something that could be implemented in the near future with minimal fuss.