Friday, August 9, 2013

Effective FamilySearch Search Techniques – Part 4

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.”

Find All the Children

To search for all the children of a couple, enter just parents.

Kehrer demonstrated with a family from his ancestry. Isadore and Mary Allor lived in Michigan, where all their children were born. He left the first and last name fields blank—so any child would match. He restricted records by location to the United States and specified Michigan as the birthplace. He entered ?sadore Allor as the father. (Through experience, he has learned that the name Isadore is often misspelled or misindexed as Esadore.) He entered Mary as the mother.

Search for all the children of a couple

The results list the correct children at the very top of the results: Martha, Viola, Elmer, Frankie, Lillie, and Eddie.

Census Search

It is often helpful to trace an individual through all census years. Before Kehrer starts searching, he likes to first list out what he expects to find about that individual. He took ancestor Franklin Bernard Allor as an example. Franklin was born in 1884 in Michigan where he lived his whole life. He married Ellen (or Nellie) Fitten. He would expect to find:

1890 Age 6 No census
1900 Age 16 Probably living with parents, Isadore and Marie
1910 Age 26 Probably married, living with wife Ellen (or Nellie)
1920 Age 36 With wife Ellen (or Nellie)
1930 Age 46 With wife Ellen (or Nellie)
1940 Age 56 With wife Ellen (or Nellie)

Kehrer searched for Franklin Allor, born 1883-1885 (to leave wiggle room for census errors) to get an initial list of 292 results. Filtering the residence place to the U.S. gave 30 results. Additionally, filtering to Michigan gave five results. I think Kehrer further filtered Collections to Censuses, yielding four results. The results correctly identify Frank as expected in all censuses except 1910.

To further investigate the 1910 census, Kehrer did a single-collection search (FamilySearch.org > Search > Browse All Published CollectionsUnited States Census, 1910). Here you begin the iterative trial and error approach to find your guy. Kehrer didn’t cover how to do that. (I’ve attended hour long presentations on that topic all its own.) He found that changing Allor to All* found Frank, misindexed as Allar.

Next time, attaching records to the tree…

1 comment:

  1. Never ran into "Esadore", but I regularly see Isadore, Isador, Isidore and Isidor. I usually use "Is?dor?" as the search term.

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