New Card Catalog

At the time of this post, has 23,775 databases available to search. With a collection this large, sometimes it can be tough to figure out exactly what is available for a particular area. has created a new tool to help you find the information you need with the Ancestry Card Catalog. The Card Catalog is a free tool that allows you to search by keyword or title and narrow that search by date or location.

This database should come with a warning though. (Warning: This database will occupy you for extended periods of time. Do not attempt to use it if you hope to accomplish anything but family history research for the next several hours.) This brief announcement took me hours to write, due to the fact that I kept running across new databases that I hadn’t seen before!  A couple tips I picked up:

  • Use the keyword search. It seems to pick up more than the title and location search. I tried a search for Brooklyn New York and got 125 hits with those terms in the keyword search, and only fourteen in the title search. This is due to the fact that the keyword search searches more fields, including the full description as it is set out in the database. The title search will only search that field. 
  • Try surname searches. Although this is primarily a search of databases, and not the names contained within them, don’t overlook searches using a surname. The Family & Local History Collection includes a lot of family histories and biographical materials that you may have missed. 
  • Even if you think you’re familiar with the offerings at, be sure to check this database out. Because of my work with the newsletter, I have been looking at postings daily for around eight years. I thought I knew exactly what was available for my areas of interest, but I ended up spending hours browsing through databases I had previously overlooked. (Hence the above warning!)

You can find the Card Catalog by clicking on the Search Tab and then clicking on the Card Catalog link on the right hand side of the page under the section “Search Resources” or directly through this link.   

Good luck with your searches!

31 thoughts on “New Card Catalog

  1. Wow, what a great feature. Thank you for making this available. I will be using it frequently.

  2. Pingback: 24-7 Family History Circle » Revisiting Old Web Sites and Finding New Ones, by George G. Morgan

  3. Dear Juliana,

    Would you include me on your list of receivers of your daily(?) blog, please!

    I miss the daily Ancestry News!

    Keep up your good work!

    Alice DeBoer

  4. I must be missing something. I find the Card Catalog link and after clicking on it can Browse but find no way to do the keyword or title search. What am I doing wrong? This sounds like a feature I want to use.

  5. Dear Carol

    I’ve slightly amended my how-to notes and tested them:
    “…find Card Catalog by clicking on [Advanced] Search Tab.”

    On left side, key-in type of info you need. e.g. “MA marriages”.

    On first search you will not know exact name of database, so put “MA marriages” in the ‘keywords’ (preferably) or ‘type of database’ slot. Click “search”.

    Voilà! Top of the list: “Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850”.
    Search first-listed database, keying-in the surname of your choice. My test surname: “Barnaby” (exact) followed by second search for “Barnaby” (“ranked” or soundex search).

    Barnaby (exact): 37 marriages
    Barnaby (ranked): 125 that were close spellings. I copied* details for first 124 marriages up to “Samuel Brimbelcum”. However it is worth checking remainder of “ranked search” if you did not find your subject. For example, far down the long list there was one bride listed only with her given names, “Mary Adelia”.

    Click on the exact county in MA if you know it. Your choices range from Boston to Watertown, MA.

    *Copy from computer screen to a text (ASCII) document, which removes all the unwanted format. Transfer data to Word document and use edit to “replace” the ‘view record’, etc. Print landscape. Just some tips that work for me.

  6. Would you also include me on your list of receivers for your daily blog, please! I, too, miss the daily Ancestry News!

  7. Would you also include me on your list of receivers for your daily blog, please! I, too, miss the daily Ancestry News!

  8. Please include my name in the daily blog. I, too, miss the daily Ancestry News, and hope it can return!\

    Thanks, Ina

  9. Please add my name to your daily blog.
    I alos miss the daily Ancestry News and do not like this
    new format. If you get enough comments perhaps you will
    go back to daily.

  10. Please add my name to the daily blog. I too enjoy the daily information.

  11. Please bring back the daily column, even if you want to call it a blog. Wall St. Journal today said there are several great new sites, but interest is down. Daily helps keep my interest up instead if something much longer once a week.

  12. I, too would like to receive the Daily Blog. A little bit of daily information is helpful and something to look forward to.

  13. Somehow I missed reading about the Card Catalog. What a wonderful help it can be. Please add my name/email address to your daily blog list. Thanks!

    Margaret Wilton

  14. Hello Juliana,
    Please include me in your daily blog also.

    Thank you, Helen

  15. I am hoping that someone will put 17th century materials of the Quakers in England on line. I know there must be information about births, deaths and marriages in the records of early English (and Irish) meetings. Nearly all my father’s ancestors and some of my mother’s ancestors were Quakers so it is really important to me – and probably to others. There is a central Friends Library/Archive somewhere in London. The Quaker library at Haverford College (Haverford, PA) should have an address. Looking forward to using the Card Catalogue.

  16. I too like the daily newsletter and do not like the new format that you have gone to.
    The World family site does not give all the information that was on the orginal. I miss that

  17. Please add me to your daily blog. I miss the Ancestor Daily news….a LOT. Thank you in advance!

  18. Appreciate your blog and all the information.
    Please add me to your list.
    Thank You!

  19. I too miss the Ancestry Daily News and would really appreciate being added to your blog.


  20. Please put me on your list for the daily blog. I like the new one but really enjoyed getting it every day. Thank you so much!

  21. I would appreciate being added to your daily blog. Like the others I miss the daily newsletter. Thanks a lot.

  22. Please add me to the daily blog list. I’m not doing as much genealogy without the daily newsletter to keep me inspired. Many thanks.

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