Friday, October 18, 2013

Searching on Using a Mocavo Gold Account

I've posted several blogs about searching on using a Free account (the same as with a Basic Account), including:

Finding Record Collections for Free Searching (posted 11 Oxtober 2013)
*  Doing a Global Surname Search on for Free (posted 14 October 2013)
*  Doing a Free Specific Name Search on (posted 15 October 2013)

This post will address doing a search for a specific person in a Gold Account (currently $60 per year) on

1)  After signing into my Mocavo account and seeing the Home Page, I clicked on the "Advanced Search" link to see the Advances Search fields:

The Search fields are:

*  Ancestor's First Name (with a "Nicknames & Alternates" check box)
*  Last Name (or maiden) (with a "Similar Settings" check box)
*  Keywords
*  Event Type - choose Any, Birth, Marriage, Death
*  Year
*  Month
*  Day
*  Range (select from Exact up to =/- 10 years)
*  Location
*  Exclusions (names, websites)

There is a link to "Add Another Event"

I added information to the search fields:

*  Ancestor's First Name =   frederick (I checked the "Nicknames & Alternates" box)
*  Last Name = seaver (I kept the "Similar spellings" box unchecked)
*  Event = Birth, Year = 1911, Range = +/- 2 years, Location = massachusetts
*  Event = Death, Year = 1983, Range = Exact, Location = california

Here is the filled in search box:

After clicking on the green "Search" button, I received two matches:

They are:

*  Social Security Death Index for Frederick Seaver (1911-1983)
*  Genea-Musings post for My Dad - Fred Seaver (1911-1983)

Those appear to be the only two indexed records that found.  I'm not surprised, because I specified both a year and a place for the birth and death entries in the search field.

Below those two matches is a box that says "We found more results using the following variations:"
Here's the screen shot of it:

I clicked on the green "2 Results" button and saw:

It actually found 3 more results by searching for only some of the search field requests.  The next 3 matches are:

*  A Genea-Musings post in the 11/30/08 - 12/7/08 archive
*  A Genea-Musings post in the 11/23/08 - 11/30/08 archive
*   A sketch in the Mocavo Family Trees (in Randy Seaver's Trees) collection for Betty Virginia Seaver (Frederick Seaver's wife)

2)  I decided that I had over specified my search terms, and I wondered what I had missed by specifying a birth year and location and a death year and location.

So I kept the First Name and Last Name settings, but added:

*  Keywords = san diego
*  Event Tyope = Any, Location = california

The search field (before the search) looked like this:

I clicked on the green "Search" button, and received 479 results:

I'm not going to list all of them, but here are the first 10:

*  Social Security Death Index for Frederick  Seaver (1911-1983)
*  Genea-Musings: My Grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver, 1876-1942
*  Frederick Walton Seaver , Born Oct 15, 1911 in Mocavo Family Trees
*  Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) -  Find A Grave Memorial
*  Genea-Musings: My Dad, Fred Seaver (1911-1983)
*  Genea-Musings: My Grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver, 1876-1942)
*  Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - Surnames S: San San Diego County, California
*  Genea-Musings: California Voter Registration Lists - 1900 - 1944
*  Genea-Musings: Surname Saturday, Lamphier >Smith (NY>WI>IA>MO>KS>NE>CA)
*  Genea-Musings: It's Too Late...

I looked at the first 50 matches, and they all respond accurately to my Search criteria.  Most of them are, of course, my own blog posts because I've written so much about my father.  

I limited that search only to San Diego and California.  I could limit the search to other locations and it will find content for the name and whatever Keyword I put in the Search form.

3)  However, I wanted to test the Exclusions box.  I kept the First Name and Last Name fields, and the Keyword and Locality entries, but I put "Genea-Musings" in the "Exclusion" field.  The search form is shown below:

With Genea-Musings excluded from the search, I received 21 search results:

All of the results found in this last search also match my search criteria.  Not all pertain to my specific person.  Several had the names in close proximity to each other, but they were not a "Frederick Seaver."

4)  I noticed the following during my searches using the Gold Account:

*  Entries in the "Basic" search form do not get included when the user chooses the "Advanced Form."  That is frustrating...
*  The "Advanced Search" provides more options (not available for Free searches)
*  There are no popups for subscriptions to frustrate users (a problem in Free searches)
*  The searches work very fast!
*  There is no apparent logic (to me, at least) for the presentation order of the results.  
*  For text, the searches appear to use a nearness factor for given and last names.
*  The search results match my search criteria.
*  Doing a search for a specific person with birth and death dates restricts results.
*  If the person has had a lot of blog or message board posts written about them, the Exclusion field works well.
*  The user can go back to the Search results and easily access another record database using the Gold account without re-entering the search terms (a problem in free searches).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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

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