FamilySearch Updated its Genealogies Search Page

FamilySearch announced that it made some updates to its Genealogies search page. The reason for the updates appears to be to make it easier for genealogists to find what they are searching for.

For 125 years, the Genealogy Society of Utah, and its successor, FamilySearch International, have collected genealogies submitted through earlier research programs. FamilySearch’s Genealogies is a searchable collection of completed family trees from various sources. These collections are held separately from the FamilySearch Family Tree and may hold valuable clues for current research.

The FamilySearch Genealogies search page also includes records that were previously submitted to FamilySearch under order programs, such as the Personal Ancestral File. Personal Ancestral File (PAF) was retired on July 15, 2013, and is no longer available for download or support. Genealogies also include recorded oral genealogies from cultures that typically pass their ancestry down by word of mouth rather than in written form.

Search options, the landing page and results pages have been updated to make them more efficient and intuitive. Rather than allowing for only a single, primary search name, it is now possible to search for alternate names a person may have used. For example, a woman’s name could be searched using her maiden and married names simultaneously.

“Exact Search” check boxes no longer appear automatically by search fields. “Exact” searches limit the results to details that match input precisely – excluding records with spelling variations, indexing errors, or even minor differences in dates, often causing users to miss useful records. However, exact searches can help narrow search results in some situations.

A search will display persons from trees submitted to Genealogies with matching information. Keep in mind that the reliability of the records depends on the submitter of the tree. The accuracy of the data in Genealogies varies according to source, and all data should be validated before use.

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