Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Effective FamilySearch Search Techniques – Part 2

At the 2013 BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy, Robert Kehrer of FamilySearch presented a session titled “Effective Search Techniques and Sound Research Practices.”

You can increase the number of results shown on each page. Above the search results to the left select 50 or 75.

FamilySearch historical record search results ranked by score

This is useful with the new “Export Results” feature. Click the button above the search results on the right to download an excel spreadsheet of the results. You must be logged in or the button will not be there.

Excel spreadsheet containing search results from FamilySearch historical records

Search Results by Category

By default, results are shown sorted by score. Click “Collections,” above the “Search Results from Historical Records” title to show results by category and collection.

FamilySearch historic record search results by category and collection

In each record category, FamilySearch shows the five collections with the most matches. (In the near future you will be able to select multiple collections and search only those.)

Single-collection search form is customized for the collectionThe regular search form includes fields that are not applicable to some collections. For example, birth records don’t have death dates. FamilySearch has started excluding these from single-collection search forms. FamilySearch will also start adding other fields indexed for a collection. The example to the right shows part of the search form for the “California, Birth Index, 1905-1995” collection. The only life event is birth and the only relationship is parents. Plus, gender is available, while it is not available when searching all collections.

More next time…

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