Monday, July 1, 2013

How Many Records does Have?

In  his interesting blog post today (Monday Mailbox: Fooey on, The Ancestry Insider  noted that a "New Search" user could not determine the number of records indexed by

I couldn't resist checking that out, so I did a quick search and he's right.

However, you can see the number of records for each country.  Here is the top of the list for the United States:

That was easy.  But I thought that there were over 4 billion indexed records on

So I listed the sums from the different categories:

*  Census & Voter Lists:  808,010,951
*  Birth, Marriage & Death: 555,416,305
*  Military:  110,230,465
*  Immigration & Travel: 195,510,801
*  Newspapers & Publications: 73,899,675
*  Pictures: 293,057,357
*  Stories, Memories & Histories: 30,848,951
*  Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers: 7,635,846
*  Tax, Criminal, Land & Wills: 39,415,191
*  References, Dictionaries & Almanacs: 7,782,023
*  Family Trees:  1,855,440,148

Using my calculator, I totaled those numbers and got: 3,684,483,770 for US collections.  The number of actual records (census, vital, military, immigration, tax, etc.) is:  1,708,583,713.

I'm not sure if there is any overlap in the numbers or not - i.e., a specific record collection in more than one category.

So why doesn't the total at the top of the page for the United States equal the total when I add up all of the categories?  I don't know - I don't think it's just duplication of databases.  If I choose to count only "Historical Records" I get this screen:

The total at the top of the page shows 80,470,540 results.  That is significantly less than just the census records category.  I think their counter is not counting all databases or categories for some reason.  Even stranger is that the counts for the different categories are different between the two screens above - Census & Voter Records gained 20 million results by limiting the search to Historical Records only.

I would provide listings for other countries in an effort to see just how many records are on all of, but I'll wait until they can get their numbers added correctly.

What about "Old Search?"  Using the "Advanced Search" form, I put "USA" in the "Residence" field and received a similar list, but it had fewer results listed.

I wonder why the differences?  I suspect it's because the search terms are slightly different.

Obviously, a current "Old Search" or "New Search" user cannot do what The Ancestry Insider said an "Old Search" user used to be able to do.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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