Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Search for Historical Record Collections for a Locality or Keyword on FamilySearch.org

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to: Use the Search field on the Historical ecord Collections page on FamilySearch to narrow your search to a specific state, country or record type.

The FamilySearch historical record collections page (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list) lists all of the digitized collections in alphabetical order.  It is a list of over 1,647 now.  It is a pain to scroll down to my state or country of interest, and I have no idea what I miss in the process.  

The historical record collections have both indexed and unindexed collections - the unindexed collections can only be browsed (meaning reading the pages in the collection without using a search engine).  However, browsable collections are usually waypointed (meaning separated into logical components - by county, or by a year range, etc.).  Many Family History Library microfilms have been digitized and put into the online FamilySearch record collections in this fashion - so they are like "digital microfilm."

Here is the top of the Historical Record Collections page:

There is a Search field in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.  A user can input a keyword (a state, a country, a subject) in this field and the list changes to reflect the field entry.  for instance, I typed "texa" into the Search field and the list of 32 databases for Texas appeared:

The search works with any number of letters.  Note that I entered a partial state name above.

When I entered "mex" into the Search field, the list of 75 databases with "Mexico" in the title appeared.

The collection search works for keywords also.  When I entered "probate" into the Search field, the 65 databases with "Probate" in the title appeared.

When I entered "1881" in the Search field, the 10 databases with "1881" in the title appeared.

You can have more than one word in the search.  When I entered "england parish" in the Search field, the 14 databases with those words in the title appeared.  Punctuation does not matter in this search.

There is a wealth of free historical record collections on the FamilySearch site - and it has become the biggest and best FREE genealogical record collection site on the Internet.  Use the Search field wisely to find records of interest to you.

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2013

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