Friday, March 18, 2016

How Many Records Are There For My Seaver Surname?

I wondered about this question today for some reason, so I thought I would go exploring on different websites.

I used the "Seaver" surname, spelled exactly, as my test case.  

1)  In FamilySearch, I received 62,985 results:


*  310 Birth, Marriage and Deaths - 29,629 results
*  89 Census and Lists collections - 17,978 results
*  50 Migration and Naturalization collections - 1,253 results
*  50 Military collections - 3,897 results
*  7 Other collections - 9,402 results 
*  20 Probate and Court collections - 826 results.

The Total number of results =  35,717

2)  Ancestry.com had 380,739 total results:


I can't count all of the numbers of collections on Ancestry easily.  There were:

*  Census & Voter Lists - 23,087 results
*  Birth, Marriage & Death - 43,975 results
*  Military - 4,984 results
*  Immigration & Travel - 2,493 results
*  Newspapers & Publications - 130,566 results
*  Pictures - 12,662 results
*  Stories, Memories & Histories - 9,409 results
*  Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers - 402 results
*  Schools, Directories & Church Histories - 73,509 results
*  Wills, Probates, Land, Tax & Criminal - 4,208 results
*  Reference, Dictionaries & Almanacs - 352 results
*  Family Trees - 89,440 results

3)  MyHeritage had 118,143 results in 2,310 collections


*  Census & Voter Lists - 15,591 results in 51 collections
*  Family Trees - 32,706 results in 33 collections
*  Birth, Marriage & Death - 8,137 results in 418 collections
*  Photos - 290 results in 2 collections
*  Military - 1,191 results in 267 collections:
*  Immigration & Travel - 164 results in 13 collections
*  Newspapers - 3,120 results in 12 collections (note that this does not include the NewspaperARCHIVE collection which is not available at this time)
*  Books & Publications - 37,787 results in 9 collections
*  Public Records - 13,043 in 1 collection
*  Schools & Universities - 290 results in 53 collections
*  Directories, Guides & References - 1,878 in 337 collections
*  Histories, Memories & Biographies - 2,999 results in 1,027 collections
*  Government, Land Court & Wills - 439 results in 74 collections
*  Maps - 670 results in 13 collections

4)  FindmyPast has 27,559 total results:


*  Birth, Marriage & Death (Parish Registers) - 7,213 results
*  Census, Land & Substitutes - 15,965 results
*  Churches & Religion - 15 results
*  Directories & Social Histories - 1,318 results
*  Education & work - 72 results
*  Immigration & Travel - 1,076 results
*  Institutes & Organizations - 1,153 results
*  Military Service & Conflict - 747 results

These results don't include the British and Irish Newspapers, PERSI, or the US & World Newspapers (with 476,751 results).

5)  How can we compare these?  Perhaps by Census Records, Vital Records, Immigration Records, and Military Records.

A)  Census Records:

*  Ancestry = 23,087 (includes voter lists)
*  FamilySearch = 17,978 (includes other lists)
*  MyHeritage = 15,591 (includes Voter Lists)
*  Findmypast - 15,965 (includes land and substitute lists)

B)  Vital Records:

*  Ancestry = 43,975
*  FamilySearch = 29,629
*  MyHeritage = 8,137
*  Findmypast = 7,213

C)  Immigration:

*  Ancestry = 2,493
*  FamilySearch = 1,253
*  MyHeritage = 164
*  Findmypast = 1,076

D)  Military:

*  Ancestry = 4,984
*  FamilySearch = 3,897
*  MyHeritage = 1,191
*  Findmypast = 747

I'm not going to draw any conclusions from this, other than this:  There is a wealth of online resources for almost every surname you can use.  All four of the big genealogy data record companies have a variety of record collections, and each has some of the same collections as the others as a result of FamilySearch sharing some of their collections.

Have you done something like this for the surnames of your parents?  I may do this for my mother's surname at a later date.

One reason to do this was to save the lists by date and see what collections have gained or lost results over a quarter or a year.

Did I mention before that I love numbers?  You couldn't tell, eh?

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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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5 comments:

Geolover said...

A great many are duplicates, as you indicated. The FamilySearch indexes are a major perpetrator since it has multiple extractions from one record that has been put into a variety of "collections." The other data suppliers are mainly aggregators of much of their stuff, and take from the same databases of extractions and indexes. I mean, how many indexes derived from findagrave.com does one need? One can have 3 to 6 per person.

Barbara G said...

Oh, fun! I have to do this too.

T said...

I've been searching really hard this week and found the familysearch returns often are the same but come up 4 or 5 times in a row, one after the other. Another thing I REALLY don't like is when someone, for instance a father or mother, is indexed for the marriage of their child but unless you have been around the block a couple of times it appears to be the index of the person whose name is first. So you have a return for each of the people marrying and a return for each of the parents. So that's 6 times for the same record if they are only returned once per person. Often they are returned twice per person. It adds up. And requires a lot of extra time sorting what you get from what you need. When I get a marriage record for Suzy Smith I expect it to be Suzy Smith, not her parents or in-laws only because they are mentioned in the marriage. Just index it for Suzy and don't have the search engine include the witnesses as being who got married.

Geolover said...

T gives a good example of FamilySearch's over-hinting. If there are 3 different extracts for marriage of one child, and the record mentions parents of bride and groom, that's 18 items FS wants patrons to attach to FamilyTree persons: 3 each for the couple and 12 more for all the parents. The same may occur on each aggregator/supplier site for such records extracts. Not even counting duplication in other record groups (say, Census entries and findagrave items) between the aggregators.

Richard Van Damme said...

Since my maternal line is SEAVER the work is already done. Not the sane Seaver as Randy. Mine hails from Norway.