Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FamilySearch Enhances Their Country/State/Province Search Pages

In FamilySearch Has Added an Interactive World Map to Narrow Searches (posted 18 September 2014), I noted that FamilySearch has added more enhancements to their Search page so that it's easier to find record collections pertaining to a specific region or country, and some states, provinces and counties within countries.  

Yesterday, DearMYRTLE found that the country pages created by selecting a country from the Interactive World Map feature have been enhanced, as noted in her post FamilySearch: It's Not All THAT Bad!.  She and Russ put a short video together about finding and using the enhanced features - see, or watch it below:

Apparently, I missed the kerfuffle on Facebook on the FamilySearch page yesterday, but I took some time this morning to check it out.

1)  On the FamilySearch Search page (, the Interactive World Map is on the right-hand side of the screen:

2)  I wanted to see what record collections were available for Ontario, Canada, so I rolled my mouse over Canada on the screen above and clicked on Canada, and was able to pick Ontario from the dropdown menu:

3)  I clicked on the link for "Start researching in Ontario" and saw (two screens) for Ontario:

On the left-hand side of the screen above, there are two major sections:  The "Ontario Indexed Historical Records" and the "Ontario Image Only Historical Records."  Note that the latter has categories by record type (in Ontario, only Birth, Marriage & Death and Military).

The user can enter names, dates and places into the search fields in the  "Ontario Indexed Historical Records" section and search the available collections for Ontario.  At the bottom of the "Ontario Indexed Historical Records" section is a link to "View all 21 collections."  I clicked that and the list appeared and I could search any of the specific collections:

3)  On the Ontario page, there is a link on the right-hand side of the page for "FamilySearch Catalog" and a link to "View Catalog for Ontario."  I clicked on that link:

The items listed in the Catalog provide the holdings of the Family History Library and FamilySearch Libraries all over the world.

4)  On the "Ontario" page, there is also a link for the "FamilySearch Wiki" and a link to "View Wiki for Ontario."  The Wiki page for Ontario is:

On the Ontario Wiki page, there are links to Wiki pages for all of the Counties and also for topics (in the left-hand column).  One of the useful links on the Wiki pages for all Canadian Provinces (and U.S. states) is the green button on the screen above - for "Ontario Online Records:"

5)  On some of the Country landing pages, there is also a "Learning Center" area in the right-hand column to help you learn more about family history in the country.  Canada does not have the link.

6)  Apparently, some persons commented on Facebook that they didn't like these changes.  I do like the changes, and appreciate the effort by FamilySearch to help researchers determine what resources are available for each region, country, state, Canadian province, and English county.

By calling attention to the indexed and image-only resources (which must be browsed), researchers may become more aware that not all collections are indexed and that some of them may contain records that must be browsed to find them.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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