Monday, November 2, 2009

Using Quick Links to Navigate Ancestry.com and Reduce AFL

Do you get frustrated using www.Ancestry.com because of the difficulty in navigating from one census database to another in your genealogy research pursuits? I do. Terribly frustrated, sometimes. To the point of going back to the "Home" page and starting over to search another census database.

My usual search routine is to search for one family, or a series of connected families, in one census database, then work backwards to the next earlier census, and so on. I usually do not search for a name in all databases, or even in a collection of databases. I almost always use "Old Search" and "Exact Matches" for my search routines, and use wild cards liberally to find surname spelling variations.

Michael John Neill has made it really easy to go from one census database to another - using Quick Links on his Michael's Ancestry Quick Links web page. On this page, there are links to the Advanced Search boxes for all of the US Federal Census Records, the Canadian Census and the United Kingdom census databases available on Ancestry.com. Plus links to four Newspaper and Periodical collections and eight Passenger List collections.

Rather than "click back" four or five times, from a census image, to an Ancestry page where you can finally click on another census collection, using Michael's Quick Links page means one click for "Favorites" and a click for Michael's page and then a click on the database you want to search. This just seems so much easier for me to do, and I have a certain outcome == less frustration, quicker access, more success.

I'm sure that there are other ways to "get back" to the Search box for another census database. I've tried to use the "Recent Pages" (the Back and forward arrows) to go back to a Search Box with mixed results. I like having a sure-fire way to go to a search box for a specific census year.

Another solution is to put the Ancestry US Federal Census Collection page in their "Favorites." There is a list of the Census years, similar to Michael's page, but it requires a scroll down to see the list.

Thank you, Michael, for reducing my AFL... (Ancestry Frustration Level).

3 comments:

Apple said...

MJN's quick link page is handy. For the census I have a box with the records collection on my main ancestry page - it is much more compact than what you show but I'll be darned if I can remember how I got it there. Anyway, since it is there, I right click and open the census I want in a new tab. When I'm done with that census I just close the tab and open a new one with the next census to be searched. It's not unusual for me to have 3 - 5 tabs open at once.

SURESHBABU said...

Michale's quick link page is easy to handle. generally in genealogy we have to face many issues in all the stages. now i am recommending Freelancers.com to friends to find professional genealogy persons, you can use Freelancers.com for the same, if you use the 'FAMILYTREE' word in promotional place you will get extra benefits.

Taneya said...

Thanks for the link. I have made my own set of "Quick Links" using my Google Bookmarks - gotta love the beauty of being able to access my bookmarks from any computer with an internet connection.