Wednesday, May 7, 2008

FamilySearch Record Search screens

After my two posts yesterday about the currently available databases and their completion status on the LDS FamilySearch Record Search web site, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the "look and feel" of the search process and the results.

After logging in, you get the screen shown below with the list of the available databases. You can click on any one of the databases and get a search box for the specific database, or you can use the Search Box on this first screen. I did the latter and put "seaver" in the Last Name field. There are other options in the Search box - an Event box (All, birth/baptism, marriage, death/burial), two Year Range boxes, a Place box, and a box for the type of search match you want ("Exact match," "Exact & close matches" and "Exact, close & partial matches"). For this exercise, I left All events, left the years and location blank, and chose "Exact & close matches." I think that this means a Soundex match but I'm not sure. There are more search options - you can specify parents and/or spouse names also.

When I clicked on Search, there were 3,900 matches in all of the databases (I think that this is the maximum that they allow at this point - there were probably more matches but they limit them at 3,900).

The screen below shows the first page of matches - the first column has the person's name, which is the link to the detail page for the person; the database name is shown below the person's name on the left; Events are in the second column, Spouse and children in the third column, and Parents in the fourth column. If you put the mouse over the name link, you get the pop-up box with most or all of the information in the record.

I clicked on the first person's name "Jennie Seaver" and got a screen with all of the transcribed and indexed information (screen not shown) for the 1900 US Census. It essentially matches what is in the pop-up in the previous screen. On this page is an icon to click to see the image. I clicked on the icon, and the first image page came up.

The first image page shows the entire image of the record, but, in most cases, you will have to use the Zoom slide above the image to read it clearly. Note the small box with the highlighted area shown in the lower right hand corner of the image.

I slid the Zoom bar a little to the right and got a readable image, as shown below. The "magic hand" (what is it really called?) can be used to move around the image in the frame so you can read the details.

Notice that the yellow highlighted area in the small page view in the lower right hand corner shows the area of the image shown in the frame.

Above the image frame are buttons for Print, Save, Negative on the left and Previous and Next on the right. You can also choose a page number to go to in the box on the upper right.

When I printed the 1900 census image using the Print button, I got an 8.5 x 11 page in portrait mode with the highlighted portion of the page readable and the rest of the page fairly unreadable (too dark). I couldn't figure out how to make all of the page be readable. I changed my printer orientation to Landscape and got the same size image.

When I clicked the Save button, I got a JPG file (3771 x 3778 pixels, 538 kb in size). I can print this image and get a clear print on 8.5 x 11 paper.

I'll discuss the Search process in a later post.

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