Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dear Randy: How Do You Search on - Part 2

I received an email from a Genea-Musings reader recently who asked this question.  She indicated that doing a name search was really confusing and wondered if there was another way to search.

I wrote back saying that there are two ways to search on - 1)  using the search fields to enter a name, and (2) to browse for a collection and search within the collection or a specific database.  I will write two separate posts to answer the question.  Part 1 is in 
Dear Randy: How Do You Search on - Part 1 (posted 11 August 2015) and discussed using the search fields.

In this post, I will find the same record using Method 2 - to browse for a collection and specific record.

1)  On the home page, there is a "Browse all records" link (outlined in red below):

2) Clicking "Browse all records" opens the "Browse Records" screen which lists all of the collections by war (plus Non-military records):  

3)   I want to find the Civil War Service Records for Isaac Seaver, so I clicked on the "Civil War" link on the list above, and saw the list of Civil War record collections:

4)  I know that I want to find Isaac Seaver's entries in the "Civil War Service Records" so I clicked on that and picked the "Union" Category and saw:

Note that the left-hand columns disappear off the left side of the page as I add columns on the right-hand side of the screen.

5)  On the screen above, I clicked on the Publication item for "Massachusetts" and saw the list of Military Units:

If I had not known the Military Unit, I could have searched all of the units by putting "isaac" and "seaver" in the search box titled "Search within."

6)  I didn't do that - I knew he was in the 4th Heavy Artillery regiment, so I clicked on that on the screen above, and saw the list of Surname Starts With letters, and picked "S."  That opened the Name column:

7)  After scrolling down, I selected the "Seaver, Isaac (40)" item, and saw the image in the right-hand column on the screen below:

8)  I clicked on the record image on the screen above and found the same record that I found in Part 1:

9)  Searching for this specific record by this method was not efficient.  If I had put "isaac" and "seaver" in the Search Within field on the fifth slide above, I would have found the record with one more click.

This method is most useful when you want to narrow a search to one specific record collection, like a Los Angeles City Directory for 1910, or the San Francisco Chronicle for 1894.  You narrow the search down to the specific year, and then use the "Search Within" to find the record of interest.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Michigan Girl said...

Thanks for this second post. I'm not sure I've used the "search within" field because I hadn't seen it, or didn't think to use it.