4 Changes to the Search Experience that Make It Easier to Find Records, Attach to Family Tree

April 27, 2020  - by 
girl searches FamilySearch records on computer

Searching records on FamilySearch.org has never been easier! The latest updates to FamilySearch’s search experience improve the ability to refine searches, find record collections, and standardize record dates attached to persons on the Family Tree.

Many FamilySearch users looking for records start on Search Records page, which is found by clicking Records in the Search drop-down menu on the home page. To use the Search Records page, fill out one or multiple boxes with information such as an ancestor’s name, birthplace, or birth year, and click the Search button for a list of results.

A few improvements have been made to the search experience. Below are a summary of the changes.

1. Search for Multiple Relationships within Historical Records

Originally, when searching for records about a person, users could only search for one related person per relationship type (such as a spouse) at a time. However, now users can include two related persons per relationship type in their searches. In other words, a person can now be searched with the names of spouses, parents, or other persons (for example, children) at the same time.

search multiple relationships screenshot

For example, this update may be helpful for using children’s names to find census records.  This can work well for families with common names by having another name to more uniquely identify and locate that family in a census.  This may also be helpful for finding obituary records where multiple family members and others may be listed.

2. Refine Your Search without Returning to the Original Search Page

If users want to update and refine their search when they are searching with a collection-specific field—by searching Relationship to Head of Houseshold in the 1940 US Census, for example—they can now do this from the search results page instead of returning to the original Collection Search page. To quickly refine a search, users need only adjust the information in the left-hand column of the search results and then click Update.

3. More Flexible “Find a Collection” Search Experience

A new update to the Find a Collection feature makes it easier to search specific collections without knowing the exact collection name. Before the update, users were required to search for collections using the collection’s exact title. For example, instead of entering in “Alabama State Census, 1855” when a user wanted to search these records, the user can type in type in more general, less detailed keywords like “US Census Records” or “census records,” and the search experience will pull up a list of possible collections.

Broader search terms screenschot

4. Automatic Standardizing When Attaching Records

standardized dates screenshot

An update to the attaching records experience saves users time standardizing event dates and locations! Now, when users attach a record to a person, the attached record’s event dates and locations will automatically standardize.

The update also allows users the ability to edit the information that is attached as they are attaching the information.  This is especially helpful when the information on the record could be represented in a better way.  For example, the 1940 Census has a “Residence in 1935” field that is often filled with the words “Same House” or “Same Place.”  This new feature allows you to change it to the same location as listed for the residence in 1940.

Try out the updated search experience and see what new information you can find about your family!

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    1. Hi Fawn. I know what you mean. If you can get to the Fan Chart after clicking on your tree, there is a drop down menu which you can click ordinances. The Fanchart will show all the Green colours and they are names in your tree that have ordinances ready. Ok? Or if you can click on Temple and click on Ordinances ready, you can find names ready for you to do there. This is just the quickest way to find names to take to the temple. Otherwise. Go click on the link that was provided by Jessica Grimaud. I know if you were doing this work for 50 years, you wouldve been used to the hard grind. Putting things together manually. Great job Fawn. This is technology that my Grandchildren can handle like we would marvel at turning on a television in our day. Good luck Fawn. Otherwise , let the Youth look for you.

    2. Fawn, if you haven’t figured out how to submit names for ordinance work. Please let me know and I’ll help you. I’m a familysearch consultant.

  1. This is really great! It cuts out all the timeconsuming navigating and repeating and retyping etc etc. Fantastic job. Work will be done quicker. More names quicker than ever before.

    1. Hi J Jones! Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have forwarded to the the editorial team. Thank you for reading the blog!

    2. you need to verify everything from this site. they have advised me that my parents got married before they were born! The birth dates are 1906 and 1914 and married in 1942. They won’t correct it.

      1. Hi Doris! Thank you for your feedback. If you find something that is wrong in the shared FamilySearch Family Tree, you can correct it. You can click here to find the instructions on how to change vital information in the Family Tree.