Monday, January 16, 2012

GenealogyToday gets "A Haircut and a Shave"

I recently received an email from Illya D'Addezio who owns the Genealogy Today commercial website.  He noted that:

"Genealogy Today gets a Haircut and a Shave for 2012... Well, maybe a mini-facelift too (but I'll never tell). This weekend the search engine at Genealogy Today was released with a faster, simpler version that (and here's the key benefit) offers better results. In addition to the search improvements, the home page was redesigned and the site navigation was improved.

"The improved search combines free and paid resources into a single result set, highlighting new and updated items. External resources are clearly identified with "Web:" before their titles, and free items announce themselves with a Free! indicator. There's also a new line at the top of the search results that displays the criteria used in the search. And (did I mention that) the Genealogy Today search is now much faster, more consistent between the different types of records and offers better results (for special cases and name variations). 

"Released with the search engine (as you might expect) is an improved search form that allows you to filter free/paid, local/external and restrict "fuzzy" name logic. The new form also does a better job of keeping track of what you've just searched on, and as you drill down into the databases, offers options to reverse direction and expand your search. 

"Still in the works... support for searching alternate names (e.g. maiden, married, nicknames, typos) and a real-time checker for external resources to better handle moved/dead links. And, of course, there will lots of new data added during 2012!

"While the search engine may not look all that different on the surface, it drives a lot better... so go ahead and take the improved search engine for a test drive...


Well, I took it for a test drive, as requested.  Here is the revamped home page:

I entered the surname "seaver" in the search field above, then signed into the website, and saw (two screens):

There are several sections on the screens above:

*  Matches from the Genealogy Today record collections for SEAVER and SIEVER
*  Matches from Fold3/Footnote collections (sponsored)
*  Search for an Ancestor (add a first name, location, year range, etc.)
*  Links to partner services (clicking the link searches for the surname on a number of free and commercial genealogy database sites (Ancestry, GenealogyBank, Archives, Fold3, World Vital Records, Rootsweb, Ancestry and GenForum message boards, CousinConnect, FHLC, FamilySearch Research Wiki, Google Books, Internet Archive, eBay, WorldCat, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube).
*  Surname Tracker - an email will be sent whenever a new record with the surname is added

I clicked on the SEAVER matches from Genealogy Today and saw:

I explored several of those links to those Genealogy Today databases.

I was curious about the new Search for an Ancestor field.  I filled out the information for Isaac Seaver, 1823-1901, in Massachusetts, on both free and subscription sites, in both local and external sites, and did not choose exact matching:

And clicked the "Search" button:

I garnered no results for that search, and I'm not sure why.  My guess is that there were no matches for the combination of first name and last name in the Genealogy Today databases and the Fold3 databases.

A search for John Smith garnered 393 matches in the Genealogy Today database and 206 in the two Fold3 databases searched.

My thanks to Illya for providing the information to me about the new and improved search capabilities on Genealogy Today.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

1 comment:

Minnie said...

This is a great article, and a great topic to explore. Thanks for sharing.