Ancestry.com

State and Country Pages

The state and country pages are once again available.We replaced the database server that supports these pages with a bigger, better one. So we are reasonably confident that this will solve the problem in the short term.We are also rewriting pieces of this code so that it become more efficient. The main change to increase efficiency is to sort the list by “popularity” but in alphabetical order. You will see this change in the next week or so.In other words, instead of :Nebraska Census sorted by popularity
you will see this on the summary page of short lists:Nebraska Census sorted alphabetically
From listening to many of you, the popularity sorting is not the useful, it’s the lists that are useful.You can visit the state and country pages by going to search home page on old search ui and clicking on a map or state/country link.Now, I know that some of you, especially those that are newer to the site, may be asking, what is “new search”, what is “old search” and how do I know which one I’m using?Start on the search home page:http://www.ancestry.com/searchIf you see: (click on the image to see a larger version)New search header
you are using the new search user interface.If you see:Old search header
you are using the old search user interface.By clicking either “Try it” or “Switch back to the old search experience” you can switch between the two. You will find these links on most of your pages on ancestry.Some people will only use the old, some only the new, some like to use both depending on what they are doing. Both are available to use.If you are in the old search user interface, you can go to http://www.ancestry.com/search and at the bottom you will see:State and Country Page Links
If you’ve never used them before, I’ll leave it to you to explore. If you’ve been missing them, they have returned.Happy Searching.

About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.

25 comments

Comments
1 BarbaraJanuary 28, 2009 at 9:08 am

Thank You!!!!
Thank You!!!!
Thank You!!!!

2 Joyce ShepherdJanuary 28, 2009 at 9:43 am

I have reported this problem several times, but it has never been corrected. In the 1840 census, Lawrence County, Indiana, is included with the Lagrange County, Indiana, census. If you find the name of someone who should have been enumerated in Lawrence County, but you see the name listed under Lagrange County, click on the name and you can read “Lawrence County” on the edge of the page. It has been that way for years. Please try to get it fixed. Thank you.

3 Tony CousinsJanuary 28, 2009 at 9:50 am

Anne

What happened to the original first post on this blog? It seems to have been removed.

TonyC

4 DebbieJanuary 28, 2009 at 10:00 am

Much better! Thank you so much!

5 Anne MitchellJanuary 28, 2009 at 10:04 am

Tony, I deleted it. It was very specific to that gentleman, and had nothing to do with state and country pages. I am now communicating with him via email.

6 Jeffry LongJanuary 28, 2009 at 10:43 am

Since 9:00 PST I have been attempting to attach “1870 United States Federal Census about Mary A Shumais” to my Mary Riney. Save brings up the “Attach record…” window but is unable to match to any of my known names.

7 JadeJanuary 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

Amne,

Oh I do hope what you have done works!

In the meantime, the “Cumberland Settlements” census item has to do with Tennessee, ***not*** Nebraska.

Good work and thank you,
Jade

8 Mary Beth MarchantJanuary 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Excellent. Thanks for listening to us.

9 JadeJanuary 28, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Anne,

Oh, I see; you still have not fixed the total-irrelevancy-of-search-results issue.

I.e., under Delaware Birth, Marriage & Death (viewing all) is this list:

Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots
American Vital Records from the Gentleman’s Magazine
Boston Births, 1700-1800
Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699
Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751
Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809
Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912 – New/Updated
Delaware Marriages, 1645-1899
Gulf Coast Colonials
Hopkins Family Marriage Records in the United States, 1628-1865
Marriage Notices, 1785-1794
Mayflower Births & Deaths, Vol. I
Mayflower Births & Deaths, Vol. II
Mayflower Marriages
National Huguenot Society Bible Records
Scots in the USA and Canada, 1825-1875
The New Orleans French, 1720-1733
Vital Records of the Town of Middleborough
Vital Records of the Town of Plymouth
Vital Records of the Towns of Barnstable and Sandwich

Still so padded with unrelated items.

Including in ‘Census and Voter Lists’ the (Tennessee) Cumberland Settlements item.

There seems to be a code issue in this restoration. At least on the results for Delaware

http://www.ancestry.com/search/locality/dbpage.aspx?i=d&&tp=2&p=10&y=5

the drop-down selector for “Date Range” does not work at all; no matter what I choose it reverts to “All Dates”.

Cheers,
Jade

10 ReedJanuary 28, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Dear Anne,

This is good news, as far as it goes. What still has me scratching my head are the large number of “State” databases that do not seem to have any relevance to the state being researched.

For example, let’s look at Nebraska, a state which I have spent quite a bit of time researching. (Please keep in mind that Nebraska was not a US territory until 1854 and did not achieve statehood until 1867.) From just one of the lists of “relevant” databases for Nebraska (the 28 “Nebraska Birth, Marriage & Death” databases) we find these eighteen (18) dubious databases:

Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots
American Vital Records from the Gentleman’s Magazine
Boston Births, 1700-1800
Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699
Boston Marriages from 1700 to 1751
Boston Marriages from 1752 to 1809
Gulf Coast Colonials
Marriage Notices, 1785-1794
Mayflower Births & Deaths, Vol. I
Mayflower Births & Deaths, Vol. II
Mayflower Marriages
New England Marriages Prior to 1700
The New Orleans French, 1720-1733
Marriages performed by three Rabbis in Boston, Chicago and Massacusetts,1861-1956
Vital Records of the Town of Middleborough
Vital Records of the Town of Plymouth
Vital Records of the Towns of Barnstable and Sandwich

Really?!?

Well, you say, perhaps “Marriages performed by three Rabbis in Boston, Chicago and Massacusetts,1861-1956″ contains Nebraska folk that were married in Boston, Chicago, or Mass? I tested that reasonable idea by entering “Nebraska” “Neb.” and “Nebr.” in the “Keyword” search field for “Marriages performed by three Rabbis in Boston, Chicago and Massacusetts,1861-1956″ (and several other randomly selected databases from the list). And? Of course, no hits. No wonder Ancestry searches return more and more useless “hits” these days.

So Anne, what’s the rationale here? Inquiring minds want to know…

—Reed

11 Anne MitchellJanuary 28, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I hear you. And I get it. But one thing at a time. :-)

12 JadeJanuary 28, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Anne,

In the interest of Less Frustrating User Experience, all the New England-specific Vital Records databases could be removed from everywhere West of Chesapeake Bay just off the top.

The 1890 US Census is especially pesky. The entries for its Fragments should be removed from the States for which it does not exist: AR, AK, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, KS, KY, IN, MA, ME, ND, NE, NH, NM, SC, VT and I probably missed some.

Similarly, the 1890 US Census Veterans Schedules do not exist for and should be removed from the State Lists for AK, AZ, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KS etc.

There has been conversation about such problems for about 8 months now. Maybe corrections have been put on hold during consideration of how to modify the overall Search Engine User Interface(s). But right now it looks like the State listings were compiled by someone working from Tree ‘hints’ — such as derived from the sundry gedcoms uploaded that include one of my ancestors, giving her 3 different (incorrect) sets of parents living in 3 widely separated (incorrect) locations.

I hope you are closing in on a way to make State results accurate and user-friendly.

Best wishes,
Jade

13 Anne MitchellJanuary 28, 2009 at 1:32 pm

These listings have absolutely nothing to do with user trees.

These lists are based on if someone from a given state or country could be found in a specific record collection, we would put it in this list.

I never said the list would be revamped or redone, I just said we would be bringing it back. Redoing how the list is done is a project for another day.

14 Mary Beth MarchantJanuary 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Since my quick links are now back, I would suspect that adding back the search by location feature had something to do with that as well. I do not believe in coincidence so that for both to be fixed at the same time in my opinion is not a coincidence at all.

15 Anne MitchellJanuary 28, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Actually those were two separate issues.

But we did push out the fix for quick links at the same time we turned on the state and country pages.

We usually push out new versions of our code about once a week.

16 Catherine Leist HulockJanuary 28, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I haven’t been able to save records from censuses to individuals all day. When will this be back up? Thanks, Cathy

17 AthenaJanuary 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

The main change to increase efficiency is to sort the list by “popularity” but in alphabetical order.

I’m very glad to see my state links back but aren’t the lists sorted by relevance? When someone brings up the page for state links, the first items listed in each section should be those databases that are explicitly related to that state — regardless of where the state name falls in alphabetical sequence. In otherwords, the first entry for birth, marriage, and death should not be the SSDI, it should be the state-specific databases.

It’s hard to understand how TGN can justify investing in all these “innovations” without any consideration of actual relevance.

18 Anne MitchellJanuary 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Cathy, I forwarded your post on to the trees team. I’m not sure what’s up.

19 RobinJanuary 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Fantastic re-addition! Do you know how long I’ve been needing to use this!? Thank you so much!

20 RobinJanuary 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Also, I have been having trouble saving census copies to multiple members of my tree. From both the actual census record and definitely from my shoebox.

Please help! Thanks!

21 JadeJanuary 29, 2009 at 4:07 am

Anne,

Re: your #13 — of course I know the listings of purported State databases were not taken from Trees. The remark was regarding similar-appearing ‘falsiness’* paradigm that is endemic within Ancestry’s approach to database descriptions and classification.

Best wishes,
Jade

* ‘falsiness’ is somewhat similar to ‘truthiness’ but a lot less truthful.

22 KenJanuary 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm

I’m glad to see the state links back up and running. Now if we could solve the new search/old search selection problem we might be back in business. Example: Select “Old Search”, Virginia, Virginia Military Records, then any database pertaining to Virginia in the Revolutionary War. Once you select the database you are now in the “New Search Debacle” with no other option. Thousands of irrelevant results later in numerous databases, I had a computer so slow it wasn’t usable, and now totally fed up with this garbage. That’s it. I’m done. You had your chance and blew it.

23 Anne MitchellJanuary 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Ken, you can still use the old search interface…it’s available for everyone.

24 Carol BergeJanuary 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I am having difficulties finding people in my tree that I am looking for.

I had been able to locate certain people, by using full name, state & county. Not so now…….I have the record saved in my tree….not able to find in ancestry now…..
please correct this problem
Carol Berge

25 Anne MitchellJanuary 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I’ve closed this posting for comments. You can visit my latest posting on

Questions from the search seminar

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