Wednesday, September 30, 2015

FamilySearch Introduces Searching on Largest Genealogy Websites - Post 1: FamilySearch Matches

On the FamilySearch Blog recently, Matt Wright wrote New Feature: Search Genealogy Records on the World's Largest Sites.   The post says:

"We have taken a step closer to the elusive genealogy “easy button.”
On the Person Page of each of your ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree there are now three additional genealogy sites you can access for a genealogy records search.
"In addition to FamilySearch (naturally) you will find logos for three of the largest family history websites. A simple click on any of the logos takes you to that site and initiates a global search of that site’s records. When you arrive at the site, you are already looking at the results of your search. Search results are based on whatever information you have for that person in FamilySearch Family Tree, so names, birth date, spouse name, etc. It is a simple and efficient way to search vast databases of genealogically relevant information with a single click."
On each profile in the FamilySearch Family Tree there is a box with links to FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage and Findmypast:

I wanted to see how this feature works, so I am going to use one of my tree persons, Nicholas Brocke (1855-1938) to see what records are found by each website.

1)  Here is the Nicholas Brocke profile (selected semi-randomly) in the FamilySearch Family Tree (two screens shown):

As you can see, the list of the four websites is on the right side of the page in the "Search Records" box.

2)  I clicked on the link to search FamilySearch.  The results page for Nicholas Brocke, on the "Records" tab, looks like this (two screens shown) with all of the search fields expanded:

For this search, FamilySearch filled in these fields:

*  First Name = Nicholas (not exact)
*  Last Name = Brocke (not exact)
*  Birthplace = Michigan (not exact)
*  Birth Year = 1853 to 1857

3)  The matches on the list of 289 matches that I believe are for Nicholas Brocke (1855-1938) include:

*  #1  1900 U.S. Census
*  #2  1870 U.S. Census
*  #3  1930 U.S. Census
*  #4  1920 U.S. Census
*  #5  1910 U.S. Census
*  #13  Idaho Death Certificate for son

That's it.  The other 284 results are for persons other than Nicholas Brocke (1855-1938) born in Michigan, married to Anna Grieser, died in Idaho.

Note that the search on FamilySearch did not find a birth record, a baptism record, a marriage record, a death record, a burial record, or an 1880 U.S. census record.

Obviously, any search depends on the information put into the search fields and the name variations used in the search algorithms.  There may be other records for this person on FamilySearch that have different name spellings, different birth information, etc.  For instance, there are three "Record Hints" section of the person profile - all of them are for the birth of children to Nicolao and Anna (Grieser) Brocke.  Why weren't these listed in the Search results?

The search could be narrowed by adding a death year and place, a spouse's name, etc.  I didn't do this because I wanted to see whaq the link to search FamilySearch provides.

4)  I will review the search results for in the next post in this series.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: