Friday, April 4, 2008

Ranked Matches in the New Search

I posted yesterday about the New Search "look and feel" using Exact Matches here. In this post, I'll show a Ranked Match search in sequence.

1) When I click on from my Favorites, this is the first screen I see. I input "Isaac" "Seaver" "1823" and "+/- 5 years" and unchecked the Exact Match box.

2) The next screen is the listing of databases with the possible matches from all of Ancestry's databases. This is the top half of the page.

3) This is the bottom half of the database list web page. As you can see, all Ancestry database types are on one list. I like that feature.

4) I clicked on the 1880 US Census database. The New Search selects one item from the list that best matches the search criteria. In this case, it picked Isaac Seaver, born 1824 in Massachusetts, husband of Lucretia. That was the right one! It also says that matches below that first one are probably not the one I was looking for. This is the top screen of the web page.

5) This is the next screen down from the last one on the same web page. There are more ranked matches - starting with Isaac Seaver's (and other spellings) with birth dates outside of the range I specified. Then there are even more ranked matches that don't match the given name at all, but do match the surname and year. I didn't capture screens below this one (there were over 1,600 ranked matches).

6) I clicked on the "View Record" link for the first Ranked Match - the one that is my Isaac Seaver. This is the record page for the specific match - it's just like the Exact match screen.

7) And I clicked on the "View Original Image" link to get the document image - just like the Exact Match image.

The one thing I really miss in the New Search is the Search box, with all of the search criteria visible, at the bottom of each web page (except for the document images). In Old Search, I use that box to modify my searches. It's very efficient. In New Search, you have a choice -

1) You can modify the search criteria one at a time (see #4 above - the search criteria are in the left-hand column) and hit the Search button. I really don't like this - I often change more than one search parameter at a time, and now I have to click each item I want to change and enter a value.

2) You can click on the "Start a new search" link just below the Search button on Screen #4 and start over. This brings up an overlay Search Box in which you have to put every entry back in the different boxes. I don't like this either.

I don't know what to say to those of you who don't see the "Try It" button in the upper right-hand area of the Ancestry screen in Old Search. It works for me whether I am logged in or not. I'm wondering if it is cached on my computer system?

If it doesn't work for you, I'm sure that it will in the near future. consider these posts to be a sneak peak at the future of searches.

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