Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Search Records From Within the FamilySearch Family Tree

I read The Ancestry Insider's post FamilySearch Family Tree Navigation Features this morning, and a bell rang in my head:

Somehow I missed the "Research Help" box on a Person Profile in the FamilySearch Family Tree. I don't know how long it's been there, but it will be very useful.   It's already paid off for me today!

1)  To remind all readers how to get to a Person Profile in the FamilySearch Family Tree, the user clicks on a name in the Pedigree or Fan Chart and a box with that person's name and basic information opens (e.g., see Lyle Lawrence Carringer below):

The box for Lyle has two links at the bottom, for "Tree" and "Person."

2)  You get to the Person Profile by clicking on "Person:"

In the right-hand frame, there is a section for "Research Help" and a link for "Search Records."

3)  Clicking on "Search Records" takes you to the FamilySearch Record Collection results for that person:

The screen above shows the results for Lyle Lawrence Carringer, with a birthplace and birth year filled in.

There were only three results for Lyle on the list - a World War II Draft Registration, a California Death Index record, and a Social Security Death Index record.  What about the census records from 1900 to 1940?  Where are they?  Well, broadening the birth year information will reveal them...I modified the Birth Year field entries.

4)  Here are the results with the birth year range broadened to 1887 to 1894:

Yes!  They're all there.  Broadening birth year ranges often reveals more results, but why doesn't the search find the records without broadening the year range?  It's a fuzzy, or "not Exact" search.

5)  The payoff for doing this search was the World War II Draft Registration Card for Lyle L. Carringer:

I can Add this source to his Person Profile in the Family Tree.

I can also click on the "View Image" link and see:

Did you know that there are two sides to these cards?  I advanced the image (by clicking the right arrow next to the image number) and saw:

This card provides the earliest record I have for his birth date.  I don't think that I ever knew that their telephone number was Randolph 3683 in 1942. It provides an address, his closest relative, his employer and employer's address, and his race, height, weight, eye color, hair color and complexion.  I had forgotten that he had hazel eyes!  My mother and father had blue eyes, I have blue eyes, but one of my brothers has hazel eyes, and my two daughters do also.

6)  The "Search Records" link will be very helpful, and is another major improvement to the overall FamilySearch experience

A user can search for historical records in the FamilySearch Historical collections by clicking on the "Search Records" link in each person's Person Profile in the Family Tree.  That will minimize the time it takes to add record links and source citations to each Person Profile.

I was surprised that there isn't a built-in "fuzzy search" for the birth year.  Nothing was checked as "Exact" on the search form, yet the search did not go past the year entered in the search box.  I hope that they fix that feature to go at least five or ten years before and after the nominal year in the Family Tree.

I wondered about female spouses whose name is changed by marriage.  I had to enter a married surname in order to find her records after her marriage.  This could be easily handled by the initial search, I think.

The URL for this post is:   http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/07/search-records-from-within-familysearch.html

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Lee Drew said...

Randy, did you notice in your 3rd graphic that the Search results come back with two tabs? Records and Collections. The Collections tab show all of the collections that have hits based on your search query.

I've found info in them already that I overlooked in the long list of Records results. Take a look and see if you find even more 'Genealogy Gold' in your query.

Magda said...

These past three posts about attaching historical records, plus the collection ones, were great. I have not touched my Family Search Tree in over a year as I waited for improvements. Totally enthused with the source features, plus it seems to run faster.