New Ancestry Search Beta in the Works

Ancestry____logo.bmpI was just browsing the Ancestry blog and noticed that Kendall has posted an item about some changes in the works for the Ancestry search. There is a link to a mini-tour of some of the updates and they will be inviting people to beta test the new changes in the near future. During that time you’ll be able to switch back and forth between the current search and the new functionality and they are anxious to hear your feedback. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read Kendall’s post here.

7 thoughts on “New Ancestry Search Beta in the Works

  1. The ability to eliminate certain classes of records from the search criteria. If I search for someone who was born in Ohio and died and Kansas why must I have to scroll through page after page of British census records just because the person I researching has an English name. That is one, very frustrating element about this search process.

  2. Today you fill in the search information. The results come back from every state and country. Can you adjust the result information? Using the information that was entered. It would help to put the information in the following order: Country,then state, followed by last name, date, first name and then other states and country. By doing this you do not have to look at pages and pages of results. Should you want to review any of the results of the search from other countries and states you can.

  3. When searching for an individual in a specific state and I don’t get the desired info and must do another search with different criteria, I must alternate between the United States in the upper part of the Countries column and United States in the lower part of the column, in order for the states to appear. This is annoying and an extra step or two as I don’t always remember which United States I clicked on to begin with.

    When entering a name with details re: birth date, place of birth, etc., often I get “not found.” However if I delete those details, often the person I’m searching comes up along with other names and the details I deleted is available. If it’s not possible to find the individual typing in the details, maybe that type of info shouldn’t even be up for consideration. I most generally search without filling in the extra details now, as I haven’t found it be worthwhile and it’s time consuming.

    Barbara

  4. I would strongly like to be able to re-sort search results by clicking on a column heading. There are numerous times when the order presented is not the most efficient for the data shown.

  5. I strongly agree with all of the above comments. I just finished searching through the Yearbook collection without re-
    sults. I suggest that, at least, the states could be alphabetized so that I don’t have to scroll through all of the
    listings.

  6. When I’ve searched for census records and click on some of them to see the actual records, it sure would be very helpful if something about the search results would change color or shading so I would know which ones I’ve already looked at.

    In addition, I strongly agree with the person who said pay attention to dates! If I search for a person who was born in 1736, I don’t expect results for someone who was born in 1890!!

    Some search windows give me the opportunity to indicate ‘exact’ info but not all windows offer that and not all sections of the search window offer it. If we can’t select a section to be ‘exact’, perhaps a way to rank which section is most important to us would be a good substitute.

    Could you add gender and race sections to ALL the search windows? That would eliminate scanning through a lot of useless results.

  7. I’ve been using Ancestry for several years now so here is my two cents:

    Relevance counts. I tried the Card Catalogue search today, which I have not used before. The best example of I can give of how this ought to be improved is a search in the Keywords field of ‘Baltimore Marriage’. I would expect the list of databases to be Baltimore Marriage Records, Maryland Marriage Records, and then collections with marriage records in the Baltimore area.

    I got:
    1. Connecticut Town Birth Records
    2. Connecticut Town Marriage Records
    3. Connecticut Town Death Records
    4. Maryland Records Colonial,…
    5. Virginia Marriages before 1824
    continuing thru 94 record sources.

    Other localities included Connecticut, Virginia, Ireland, Ontario, Canada, North Carolina, and more. Although I might just find the reference to a particular Baltimore marriage in a Connecticut Birth Record, I do think the search results should be listed in an relevant order. First show databases of Baltimore. Second show Maryland databases. Then show databases that also have referrences to Baltimore Marriages.

    The preview of description of Beta for the new Ancestry was brief but here are my thoughts:

    I also agree that the type ahead tool is a waste of computer resources. Please don’t try to read my mind, but do what I ask.

    Image Snapshots might be useful for newspapers and journals because I realize that you don’t have a person actually indexing each page to provide the context and the computer can’t determine –
    Fairly/fairly – Surname or adverb.
    Carpenter/carpenter – Surname or noun.

    Site-wide search – I’m not convinced this will give good and useful results in many instances. How often will this acutally help someone. Ususally I need to looking for a specific record and if it doesn’t come up I need to look for spelling variations and transcription errors.

    I agree with the suggestions of others to make the search features work better:
    *acobs
    J*obs
    Jac*
    these should all be available

    I don’t use anything other than the ‘exact’ search because the suggestions that the search engine gives are a waste of my time.

    Corrections – Expand the corrections features to include dates, places, and what ever search feature is relevant to that database. User’s corrections and additional information is more useful to other users than a Type Ahead Tool.

    Image corrections – I recently had to report a mislabled county census. I found the person and set of images but the county was mislabled. ‘Are you having a problem viewing this image’ does not have the fields to properly report what the problem is.

    Newspapers – I like the suggestion to have the option to restrict the results to a particular State or set of newspapers. Very rarely do I find my Iowa people in the Reno Nevada news.

    Please don’t get me wrong – I am very happy to have access to all the records that are available on Ancestry, and I am looking forward to all that is to come. It sure beats when I started out, but if it comes down to a matter of programers time, I would rather have a delay in database release for improved functionality.

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