Using Search Filters in

May 17, 2013  - by 

Looking for genealogical online records can be like looking for a needle in a prairie full of haystacks. Which haystacks do you search? In which order? We’ve just released a new filtering feature that will help you separate the hay from the needles.

After you conduct a search, you can filter your results by:

  • Birth (and birth-like event) date and place
  • Marriage (and marriage-like event) date and place
  • Residence date and place
  • Death (and death-like event) date and place
  • Other event date and place (such as immigration, military service, etc.)
  • Gender
  • Category (record type)

New Search Filters 1The filters are located on the left side of the list of search results. Here’s how you use them:

  1. In any search form, enter information about the person you want to find, and click Search.
  2. Review your search results, and decide exactly what you want to find.
  3. Click the filter type that you want to apply. For example, click Birth Place.

A pop-up box listing a number of geographic locations, each of which serves as a subfilter appears. The number that is next to each filter in the box indicates how many records will remain if you apply that filter. A filter is available only when it contains records that match your search.

New Search Filters 2Click the subfilter that you want to apply, such as United States.

You’ve now filtered your search from a larger geographic location to a smaller location. In this case, you have made it possible to refine your search to a specific state. Keep applying filters and subfilters until you have reduced the number of search results down to just the records that you wish to see.

When you apply multiple filters, remember the following tips:

  • You can combine as many different filters as you need. For example, you can use filters for birthplace, birth date, gender, and category at the same time. You cannot, however, select more than one filter of the same type. For example, you cannot select more than one birthplace filter (such as Virginia and North Carolina). Allowing multiple filters of the same type is something that we will be working on for a future release.
  • If you wish to change information in the search form, such as a surname, click the New Search button at the top left to see the fields. When you click Search, you will conduct a new search, and your filters will be reset when your new search results appear. We are considering adding a feature that would let you choose whether you want to apply the same filters to your new search results.
  • As you apply filters, remember that the effect of the filters is cumulative. Each new filter is applied to the set of search results that are currently shown on the screen. For example, if you apply a birth date filter, the search results are constrained to the records that match that filter. Applying a birthplace filter takes that constrained set of results and reduces it to the records that match both the birthplace and birth date.
  • Adding too many filters may cause you to miss valid records in your search results. So that you can tell which filters are applied, they appear highlighted in white.
  • At any time, you can look at the top of the search results to see how many records remain in your filtered search results and to refresh your memory on your initial search parameters.
  • To remove a filter, simply click the x that appears next to it.
  • New Search Filters 3

Click below to post a comment to let us know how the filters have helped you and to suggest improvement we should consider for future releases. Your feedback helps us improve this feature and the rest of


You may also like:

Video: How to use un-indexed recordsRobert Kehrer: How to use un-indexed records

Genealogy Help on FacebookGenealogy Help on Facebook

How to Search the FamilySearch SiteHow to Search the FamilySearch Site


Leave a Reply to Aurora Guzman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Quiero encontrar fecha y lugar de nacimiento en Italia y fecha y lugar de casamiento en Italia o Argentina de Pietro Antonio Cervi y Rosa Stella, son mis abuelos maternos. Su hija Luisa Maria Cervi era mi mama que nacio en Argentina en 1908.

  2. quiero encontrar el lugar de nacimiento de Nicolas Cambiaso ,italiano-Genova en 1840 y fallecido en Azul-Pcia.BsAs. Argentina en 1925.

    HIJO DE ANTONIO Y MARIA BELEN NACIO en el ano del 1790 al 1795
    en napoles italia

  4. Trying to find information about my grandfather Stephen Hudak. Birth date December 15, 1883. On his letter of Intention he stated he left Kosice, Hungary at the Port of Rotterdam, Holland and arrived in New York on or about September 20, 1901. I can’t seem to find anything on Ellis Island, Ancestry or Hungary/Slovakia records on Family Search.

  5. quiero encontran fecha y lugar de nacimiento de mi bisabuelo pedro torazzini nacido en algun lugar de lombardia

  6. quiero saber donde nacio mi bisabuelo en lombardia pedro torazzini año 1856 necesito fecha de nacimiento y lugar

  7. We have tried several times to register to get into family search but you will not accept the information we have entered. The birth date and membership ID number was correctly taken from the temple recommend. We don’t know why we cannot register to get a family search account. The present phone number is the only phone she has now. She changed it from a land phone which was disconnected. Now she only has the cell phone. Will you please advise us as to what we can do? I work at the Makakilo Family History Center in Hawaii and my name is Ella K. Keohohou. We close at 12:00 noon Hawaii time. I tried called the Help line but you still would not accept the phone number we entered. HELP.

  8. Attempting to locate my late brother in law’s birth records. Craig Pruisner, believe to have been born in Oelwein, Iowa or possibly West Union, Iowa. Not sure of birth year. He married my sister, Kathy Ann Conner, born 7 March 1956 in Manchester, Iowa, in Fayette Iowa. And not sure of that year either. He passed away in Fort Worth Texas.

  9. Have searched and searched for the passenger ship my grandfather came on. No luck. He was born in Norway in 1866, came here in April-May of 1888. How can I find this info?