Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Search for records right from FamilyTree

CEO Corner: Now You Can Find Historical Records about Your Ancestors Right from Your Own Family Tree

Dennis Brimhall--Formal smaller image
In my 18 months at the helm, I’ve been excited about all the new features we have been releasing here at FamilySearch. However, we have a new search function that is one of the most effective new tools that FamilySearch has ever created: search records within an ancestor page in FamilySearch Family Tree.
I have yet to see anyone who tries this amazing feature who doesn’t find huge research success. Searching for records from within an ancestor page in FamilySearch Family Tree is a great new way to find historical records you may not have found in your previous searching.
Login to, and go to Family Tree.
  1. Click the name of a deceased person in the tree, and click Person to go to his or her Person page.
  2. Click the new Search Records link. FamilySearch searches our historical records using the person’s name and first vital date.
  3. The search results open in another browser window and show records that match for the person. Click a record to see the details of the record or to see a copy of the original record.
  4. The full record will be displayed. To add the record to the person on Family Tree, click Attach to Family Tree. You can also click Add to My Source Box to add the record to your source box.
  5. If you click Attach to Family Tree, a box will appear with the name of the person to whom you want to attach the record. If the box does not appear, click History List to show the list of people you recently viewed in Family Tree, or click Search Family Tree to begin a search for the person to whom you want to attach the record.
  6. When you click History List, you will see a list of people you viewed in Family Tree or people you set as a root. The History List remembers the last 50 people you put at the root of the tree or whose personal details page you looked at. When you find the person you want to attach the record to, click Select.
  7. Verify that this is the correct person. Fill in the reason the record is valid for this person. Then click Attach.
Keep in mind that this search feature may not find all the records that are in the FamilySearch database. The records that are found are based on the ancestor information used for your search. That information consists of the person’s name and the earliest vital date (birth, christening, death, or burial) on the person’s record. The automatic search will find a lot of the records in the database, but it may not find everything.
If you think more records may be available, try other search strategies to find all available records. For example, if the record contains a woman’s maiden name, you won’t find records about her that show her married name only (such as census or death records).
The new Search Records feature on ancestor pages in FamilySearch Family Tree searches for vital dates with a range of plus or minus two years. Previously, it only used an exact year date. This date range is useful for finding records such as census records in which birth dates may have been calculated and may be slightly off.
I am sure you will be delighted with how this great new feature makes it easier to find records you may have missed that are specific to an ancestor or records that have recently been added to the FamilySearch online collections.

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