We believe that 2010 is going to be an exciting year for Search at ancestry.com. As you know, we launched expanded wild card functionality at the beginning of this year. But that was only the start of things to come.
Having spent much of last year listening to what you wanted, we will be launching a series of filters in new search with the aim of giving the experienced searcher a lot more control over your searches and therefore making it much easier to understand your results.
Over the next few months we plan to add a series of filters to new search, which you will be able to find in advanced search.
The first one, Record Type Filter, will be available on Thursday, January 14th. Following this, we will be adding filters to help you control which countries collections should be included in your results, others to give you more control over the Name variations that are used to expand your searches (including the ability to choose just Soundex), and much-requested feature, Place Filters, to enable you to restrict the results to the specific place you are researching.
Record Type Filters
At Ancestry.com, our collections fall into a number of different record types. (If you’ve ever used Old Search, you might be familiar with historical records, family trees, stories & publications and photos & maps).
Different types of records are useful in different ways, and sometimes it’s easier to look at one type at a time. In advanced search you will now be able to pick and choose which types of records you see in your result or category list.
At the bottom of the form you will see:
You can choose all four (which is the default), or any combination of the four. Each time you do a new search, we will reset to the default, and you can choose the record types that are most appropriate for the ancestor you are searching for.
We’ve broken our record types into four groups:
- Historical Records: This includes census records, vital records, immigration records and other structured record types
- Stories and Publications: This includes records such as public and private member stories, and family histories
- Family Trees: This includes public and private family trees on the site
- Photos and Maps: This includes public and private member photos as well as other photos and maps we have on the site
So let’s say you want to search for Family Trees that my ancestor Charlton Wallace is in. You would use the advanced version of the search form, and then enter your relevant information. At the bottom, just choose Family Trees.
Click on search, and then you can either look at the results in a general ranked listing:
Or in a category listing:
So give it try and let us know what you think.
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.