I do want to remind readers that one of the benefits of having an Ancestry.com Member Tree, and a subscription, is the ability to Search Ancestry.com records from within the Member Tree and attached records to persons in their tree.
The search feature from within the Member Tree is available only when you are in your own tree.
Here is how I search from within my Ancestry Member Tree, using the husband of one of my first cousins twice removed, Frank Edgar Marley (1895-1968) as the search subject:
1) On a Person page in my Ancestry Member Tree, there is a "Search records" link just below the thumbnail image:
2) I clicked on the "Search records" link, and the "All results for Frank Edgar Marley" screen quickly appeared (how does it search so fast and find hundreds of thousands of matches?):
This is the "Categories" View page - with the databases arranged in number of matches numerical order within different categories. With that many matches, it may be difficult to find a specific record for my person.
Note the Search Filters on the left-hand side of the results screen. They are set, when using the "Search records" link, to:
* First names: "Broad" - I should get Frank Edgar matches first, Frank or Edgar next, initials next, any other first name later.
* Last name: "Exact, sounds like, and similar" - I should get Marley matches first, variations of Marley next, and surnames with the same Soundex later. I won't get gross misspellings at all - if something was indexed as Narley or Warley or Malrey at all, I think.
* Birth Year: "Broad" - I should get 1895 matches first, then 1894 and 1896, no date last, etc.
* Birth Place: "Broad" - I should get the exact place first, the county/state next, the state next, adjacent states later, no location later.
* Death Date: "Broad" - I should get 1968 first, then 1967 and 1969, 1966 and 1970 next, no date last, etc.
* Death Location: "Broad" - I should get the exact place first, the county/state next, the state next, adjacent states later, no location later.
3) Here is the "Search Results" page for this search with the "Records" View tab selected (two screens shown):
The "Records" View is very useful for a global search of this nature because it lists the matches with all of the search field entries first, then fewer and fewer down the list. Records with all six field entries should be at the top of the list, and those with only 2 or 3 should be down the list of matches.
I peeked at the Search fields by clicking on the "Edit Search" link shown above (I could also do a Ctrl-R for "Refine my search" from the keyboard) and saw:
As you can see, the search fields are all on default settings, but they include the Spouse's name and the names of the two children. So there are more fields for possible matches. That's good to know.
4) Back to the search results, the ones that apply to my search target have been listed near the top of the Matches list, and include (listed in order with commentary):
* 1940 U.S. Census for F. Edgar Marley, born 1896 in Iowa with wife Myrtle and son Donald (this is a match)
* 1930 U.S. Census for Edgar Marley born 1896 in Iowa with wife Myrtle and son Donald (this is a match)
* California Death Index, 1940-1997 for Frank E. Marley (this is a match)
* Web, California, Find A Grave Index, 1775-2012 for Frank Edgar Marley (this is a match)
* U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 for Frank E. Marley in 1952 (this is a match)
* U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 for Frank E. Marley in 1947 (this is a match)
* U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 for Frank Edgar Marley born 1895 (this is a match)
* 1940 U.S. Census for Frank D. Marley born 1893 in Iowa with wife Winnie (not a match)
* 1920 U.S. Census for Frank Morley, born 1891 in New Jersey with wife Marie (not a match)
* 1900 U.S. Census for Edgar F. Marley, born 1895 in Iowa (this is a match)
* 1930 U.S. Census for Frank Marley, born 1892 in Iowa, with wife Winnie (not a match)
* 1920 U.S. Census for Edgar Marley, born 1897 in Maryland with wife Marie (not a match)
* 1920 U.S. Census for Frank D. Marley, born 1892 in Iowa with wife Winnie (not a match)
* 1930 U.S. Census for Edgar Marley, born 1899 in Maryland with wife Marie (not a match)
* 1900 U.S. Census for Frank Marley, born 1892 in Iowa (not a match)
* Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925) for 1925, for Frank Marley born 1893 in Iowa with wife Winifred (not a match)
* 1920 U.S. Census for Frank E. Marley, born 1895 in Colorado, with wife Stella and son Harold (not a match)
* 1920 U.S. Census for Frank Marley, born 1896 in Iowa (this is a match, with same parents as 1900 census) (this is a match)
* Iowa State Census, 1895 for Frank Marley, born in 1892 in Iowa (not a match)
* U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 for Frank David Marley born 1892 (not a match)
I have highlighted the ones that are my target person.
In addition, #23, #61, and #62 are matches to my target person (I only looked at the first 100 matches).
So, the matches were #1 through #7, #10, #18, #23, #61 and #62. All of the other matches in the first 20 had similar names or birth years and are logical matches assuming that the order is calculated by an algorithm based on distance each term is from the search field entries. There are no really extraneous entries on the Top 60 or so. #65 was the first match in the category of "These records are less likely to match your search but may be helpful."
The one record I expected to see in the match list was the 1910 U.S. Census record. I didn't find him after an extended search so the family was probably not enumerated.
5) As you can see, this search from within the Ancestry Member Tree, which uses a "Broad" search slider for everything but the Last Name, finds many records for the target person, and the best matches are usually in the top 20 matches in the "Records" View. A similar search could be done from the Advanced Search page (http://search.ancestry.com/search/) by filling in the search fields as described above with the same result, using the Default settings for names, dates and places.
This is, I think, fairly typical for 20th century target persons - they usually find census records, draft registrations, cemetery, military, immigration records, and city directory records. The 20th century target search experience may be different for 17th to 19th century searches because of the lack of many record types and the presence of more indexes from books or databases.
I'm not saying it is perfect, but this is my search results experience. I like this search feature and am using it more and more to find records to attach to my Ancestry Member Tree and input to my RootsMagic program database by capturing the image and adding it as Media.
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/searching-ancestrycom-from-within-my.html
Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver