Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trying Out the RootsSearch Chrome Extension - Part 1

The RootsSearch Chrome Extension developed by Justin York was announced several weeks ago - but I can't find any reference to it!  Where did I see it?  No matter ...

RootsSearch is a Chrome browser extension available in the Google Chrome Web Store for free. This means that you have to be using Google Chrome as your browser.  Here is the RootsSearch screen at the Chrome Web Store:

The screen says, about RootsSearch:

"Search across multiple genealogy sites for matching records.
"RootsSearch allows you to search the most popular genealogy websites for records relating to your ancestors.

"When viewing an ancestor in an online tree or a record from a genealogy website, RootsSearch allows you to search for matching records on other genealogy record sites.

"RootsSearch works on:
* Ancestry
* Billion Grave
* FamilySearch
* Find A Grave
* WeRelate

"RootsSearch allows you to search on:
* Ancestry
* Archives
* BillionGraves
* FamilySearch
* Find A Grave
* Geni
* WeRelate"
downloaded it (it was free!), but had no real clue how to use it.  I didn't use it for several weeks.  Today, Lee Drew gave me the key hint today on Google+, saying:

"It activates when you are on a page that contains genealogy data.  Try this.  Search for someone in your tree on FamilySearch.  Watch the address field at the top of your screen.  When a small blue magnifying glass appears, click on it and a pop up list of other sites to search will appear .. pre-populated based on the FS page info ..  name, birth, state, etc."
That was really helpful, so I went on FamilySearch, searched for Lucretia Townsend Smith (born 1828 in Massachusetts), and when I clicked on one of the matches, I saw:

There is a small magnifying glass in the browser address line as shown above inside the red circle.  That is the RootsSearch icon - the indicator that RootsSearch is present.  When I clicked on that magnifier icon, I got the RootsSearch form as a popup over the search result:

The form fields were populated with FirstName, LastName, Birth Date, Father's FirstName and LastName, and Mother's FirstName and LastName.  I believe those entries came from the indexed information on the record that I had found on FamilySearch.

I knew that at least one of those items was wrong - her Father's LastName was Smith, not Dill.  I fixed thast, and also added some data to the empty fields, I added a BirthPlace, a DeathDate, and the Spouse's FirstName and LastName:

In order to make those edits active, I had to click on the "Update Links" button at the bottom of the popup screen.  

The way that RootsSearch works is:  When you click on one of the blue buttons on the right side of the RootsSearch popup screen, it transmits search parameters to the selected website.  The selected website opens in a new browser window and search results are presented.  

I'll show you tomorrow what happened when I did that for several of the sites on the list.

My thanks to Lee Drew for providing the understandable key to using this browser extension tool.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


2020an said...

Thank you. I had no idea how to use this until reading your post!

Mark said...

There are now many more sites that you can search as well as start a search from. This is an awesome tool.