Later this month, we’ll be releasing the first Ancestry app update focused on searching our huge archive of content in a mobile specific interface. To date, the iOS App has provided access to your family trees and hints on the go, but searching through our collections hasn’t been readily available. With this release of Search, that’s going to change.
You’ll soon find two new options in the timeline view for your ancestors. In addition to all the great hints we’ve already been bringing to you with the “View Hints” button, we’ll now be introducing the “Search Records” button where we’ll immediately take you to the most relevant records for your ancestor. Also, within the timeline view, you will find our new Guided Search feature where we compare the details of your ancestor’s life and our record collection. We’ll look for gaps we can fill with records that add new important information and add a blue bubble on to your timeline where we think we’ve got a strong match for a birth, death, marriage, or residence event.
Once you decide to search, from either starting point, you’ll immediately be given our best search results based on the details known about your ancestor. The interface in this view is tuned for mobile devices, providing a slider to narrow or broaden the search results according to commonly used search filters. This allows you to focus on the records that most accurately match your ancestor, or broaden your criteria and find more matches with similar names and similar dates, looking for that hidden gem.
Here’s another helpful feature. If you know that there isn’t a marriage event for a person but you get a marriage search suggestion in your timeline, you can slide this suggestion to the left, revealing a garbage can, and remove these suggestions from your view. After using this new functionality, we liked it so much, we’ve added it to all the elements of the timeline. Need to get rid of an inaccurate fact or historical insight you find uninteresting? Simply swipe left and tap on the garbage can to delete it from your timeline.
In addition to our simple filter, you can focus in on specific categories of our collections. At launch we’ll be bringing the four most common categories of records;
• Birth – including Birth, Baptism, and Christenings
• Marriage – including Marriage and Divorce records
• Death – including Death, Burial, Cemetery, and Obituary records
• Censuses – including all of our census and voter list records
This will be followed up by regular releases of our other most valuable collections, starting with military and immigration in the coming months.
If you’re looking to access all of the data and search settings from the web, that’s still possible from the same path as before. Go in to an ancestor’s gallery, and click “Search records” at the bottom of the view. This will give you the option of conducting a search through the new app interface, or through the older web interface.
We hope you will enjoy search for mobile, and we look forward to bringing you more search related features in the Ancestry apps throughout the year. Look for this update coming soon!