Friday, October 11, 2013

Finding Record Collections for Free Searching made a major announcement yesterday concerning their record collections and free access to them.  You can read it at Mocavo Introduces Free Forever - Join Us in the Revolution, by Cliff Shaw.  Read the whole announcement for all of the details.  The key statement in this announcement is:

"When Mocavo brings content online, it becomes free forever. Let me be clear – I didn’t just say free for now, I said free forever. We’re making a radical departure from the status quo of how content is controlled in the genealogy industry."

A user with a free account can search one specific database at a time for a person.

They do have a paid product, renamed Mocavo Gold, for a price of $60 per year for a limited time.  With a Mocavo gold account, a user can search across the full record spectrum available on Mocavo.  

Mocavo also has a Family Tree system that can be searched.  Users can upload a GEDCOM file to put their tree on Mocavo, but a user needs to have a free or paid account in order to upload a GEDCOM.  

I was curious as to what types of databases are available on Mocavo for FREE.  On the Home screen above, there is a menu link for "Research" and a dropdown menu for "Records, Books and Datasets" and "Public Trees."  I clicked on the "Records, Books and Datasets" link and saw a list of record categories and sub-categories (four screens below, some text skipped):

A user can click on any of the categories or sub-categories and see a list of collections.  Here is the list for Burials, which has 292 collections:

The Categories list on the left side of the screen above shows the number of collections in each category:

*  BMD (Birth, Marriage, Death, Burial, etc.): 4,076
*  Directories: 15,157
*  Documents and Records: 4,420
*  Histories: 52,853
*  Military: 1,988
*  Newspapers: 7,374
*  Yearbooks: 22,579

There are too many categories and collections to itemize each one in a blog post.  

My impression is that Mocavo has a large number of relatively small record collections that may not be available on other online free or commercial websites.  Mocavo also searches for genealogy information on free websites (e.g., Rootsweb sites, USGenWeb sites, genealogy blogs, message boards, Find A Grave, Social Security Death Index, etc.).

It appears that does not have some popular and essential record collections like U.S. federal census, state census collections, vital record collections, passenger lists, military service records, etc. 

In future posts, I will explore the process of searching for records in the Mocavo collections for FREE, and also as a Mocavo Gold user.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  Mocavo provided me with a complimentary Mocavo Plus membership two years ago and I appreciate their generosity.  This has not affected my objectivity in reporting on Mocavo's capabilities and resources.


K Dawson said...

Really looking forward to your assessment of this.

Robbhaas said...

I, too, look forward to your take on this new feature - I have always found Mocavo difficult to use - I had a paid account in 2011 and got so frustrated with the site and their lack of customer service that I gave the subscription up and told them to keep the money.

I just now tried a search and with every attempt I kept getting pop-ups wanting me to subscribe to the gold level -

Also, in the free search anyway, If I request a search for First Name: George and Last Name: Foulke the results I get is anything with "George" and anything with "Foulke" but I never saw anything with "George Foulke" as I had requested.

I gave up - I look forward to what you discover - you have far more patience than I do.

Anonymous said...

The only hits I get on Mocavo are names that appear on my own website.

I cannot get Mocavo to search a specific first/last name - instead there are hundreds or thousands of hits with either first or last name. If I enter the place as Louisiana there are hits for every state in the union. I worked as a librarian and am familiar with searching all kinds of databases but Mocavo has me stumped.