Tuesday, December 9, 2014

First Look at the Updated AmericanAncestors.org Website

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) sent an email to their subscribers yesterday noting that their AmericanAncestors.org website would be updated today.  I waited all morning, then realized that they might not be using the same URL as before - the new page is at  http://www.americanancestors.org/index.aspx.

Here is the new Home page (two screens below):

The Home page has links across the top of the screen for "Search," "Browse," "Services," and "Education."  These all have dropdown menus for specific items.  There are also links for "Join" and "Donate" at the top right of the Home page.

I logged in, and saw that the "Search" link dropdown menu had items "Databases," "Library Catalog," "AJHS," and "External Databases."

I clicked on "Databases" and saw the "Database Search" form:

The "Database Search" form has fields for:

*  Given Names
*  Last Name
*  Year Range
*  Record Type
*  Location
*  Keywords

There is a link to the Advanced Search form, which looks like this:

The additional fields are:

*  Database Type
*  Category
*  Database
*  Family Members (Father/Mother/Spouse)

A user could search a specific database by selecting a Category from the dropdown list, or a specific Database by selecting one from the dropdown list.

I added the name Isaac Buck to the search field, and limited the year range to 1700 to 1800, and clicked on the golden "Search" button and received the search results:

The search results provides a table of matches with columns for "Name," "Events" and "Relationship."  The user can request 20, 50 or 100 results per page.  The user can "Save Search" also.

In the left-hand column of the screen above, a user can "Refine Search" and obtain a "New Search" screen with the blue buttons.

I picked one of the search results, the marriage of Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips, clicked on the name "Isaac Buck" and saw a page from the Lancaster, Mass. vital record book with the marriage entry:

The top of the page above provides the name of the record collection - in this case "Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850."  There are links for "View Record" (the screen above), "About This Database," "Citation Information," "Search" and "Favorite."  The "Citation Information" is for the database, not for the specific volume and page number for the search result.  For the record above, the citation provided is:

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England  Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2010).

The screen above is to "View Image;" I can choose "View Transcript" and see a transcription of the page.  The Volume and Page number of the image is also listed.

A user can Download or Print the page image.  There are icons to "Zoom In," "Zoom Out," "Go Home," and "Toggle Full Page" in the left side of the screen.  A user can use their mouse scroll wheel to Zoom In and Zoom Out.

I will cover some of the other features in a subsequent post.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/12/first-look-at-updated.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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