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

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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.

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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.

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4. Automatic Standardizing When Attaching Records

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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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