Friday, July 17, 2009

Using GenealogyBank - Post 3: More Navigation Options

In Using GenealogyBank - Post 1: Getting Started, I described the GenealogyBank subscription site and started a search for my great-great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901). In Using GenealogyBank - Post 2: Seeing Search Results, I described and demonstrated how the results look and how to save them and print them.

In this post, I want to show some more navigation aids when you receive "too many" matches to deal with efficiently. I thought that I might get a lot of matches from the name "Thomas Seaver" so I input "Seaver" in the last name and "Thomas" in the first name Search fields:

I received over 500 matches total - and 541 in the Historical Newspaper collection (I thought that I would get thousands, but my cousin, pitcher "Tom Seaver," isn't written up as "Thomas Seaver" in the newspaper, except when his father died). Here are the matches found:

I chose Historical Newspapers, and the first five matches appeared:

541 matches, at five per page? That will take me forever to look at, even with the snippet views. How can I narrow my search? I'm looking for news items about families, and death notices, not for advertisements or political items.

Notice the list of links on the left-hand margin? This is where the user can navigate to the other collections, and the lower set of links is the different categories of the Historical Newspaper collection. The options include Advertisements, News article, Obituary (includes death notices), Letters, Marriage Notices, Legislative, Election Returns, Prices and Shipping News. There may be others, but only those are categorized for my 541 matches.

I decided to just look for "News article" and I received only 72 matches:

That is much more manageable!!! I checked those out, and found several interesting articles about different Thomas Seaver persons.

What about Obituaries? I went back to the previous screen (the one above the last one), and selected Obituary and there were only 28 to search:

I wonder why they don't keep all of the sub-categories on the list of links on the left side of the page? It would save a click several times.

I found that it was much easier to sort out duplicate matches by using the "Oldest date" sort option in the little box at the top of the page.

In the next post, we'll look at the other collections.

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