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# Monday, June 02, 2008
Preview Ancestry.com’s New Search
Posted by Diane

The subscription database Ancestry.com has opened the preview for its new search to all members. (You can go back to the old search using the “Switch Back” link on results pages.)

I’ve been using the new search for awhile. It’s a redesigned search interface, rather than a new search engine: The search forms and results pages look cleaner and are arranged more logically and conveniently, so they’re easier to use. The search itself doesn't work differently, but the user-friendly improvements may net you better results.

Using the advanced search, you can click “Tell us More” to add spouse’s and childrens’ names, among other details. You can designate Exact Match for each term, too.

In particular, I like how the search box stays on the left of the results screen, so you can change your search terms at any time without clicking back through all the pages of matches. If you searched in more than one database, another menu on the left lefts you view results from certain ones.

Try it out and click Comments to let us know what you think.


Genealogy Web Sites
Monday, June 02, 2008 12:17:08 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [7]
Monday, June 02, 2008 6:19:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Honesty, I don't really like the new search. I like it ascetically - it's cleaner and easier to use (especially with the think ahead typing). I love that you can get preview images as well.

However, the results I get back are terrible. Either I use "exact" and I have to keep adjusting my search criteria. Or, I don't use "exact" and I get results for Germany when I'm searching in Georgia, or for 1980 when my search is for the 1800s.

Personally, I'm sticking with the old search.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 7:24:34 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I agree with the first comment. If you use exact, you get nothing. Even when putting in keywords, you get states that you are not searching for. I'm sticking with the old also.
Pam Tucker
Friday, June 06, 2008 10:24:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I have to agree with the other comments... I don't like the new search either. I don't get as good as results with it and I don't like having the option to search by location like you do on the old search. I like being able to click right on the database I want under that state's listing instead of having to jump thru hoops.

The old search has worked for all these years... why "fix" something that isn't broken? I'm staying with the old.
Bonita Voigt
Friday, June 06, 2008 12:10:33 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I tried one search from information I had from a previous Ancestry.com search. I input the name of a woman for whom I had found a marriage record in your Indiana Marriage Collection. I put in an approximate date of birth and the state in which she was married. The new search didn't find it; the old search had the marriage record as the second result. The new search didn't have anything with her actual name (Leora). I agree with the other comments. I'll stick with the "tried and true."
Mary Ellen Boyd
Friday, June 06, 2008 6:52:46 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I tried the new search also and also don't like it. They need a new search engine, not a cosmetic fix. The more databases they add, the harder it becomes to find anything of use!
Judy Meredith
Sunday, June 08, 2008 8:19:20 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I must disagree with the comments above. I have tried the new search and it is great. So far it has helped me track down some of my more elusive relatives.
Michelle Alexander
Thursday, July 03, 2008 11:20:21 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I just listened to your comments about Ancestry's new search format on FT Magazine's podcast and am astonished that you think all the complaints about Ancestry's new search is just a matter of people needing to get familiar with the new format.

If you search Ancestry records by entering a general search, you may think this is an improvement. However, many, many people (including myself) search a specific database at a time. I don't really have the time to sort through 50,000 records to find what I'm after so I never do a general search. In order to search, for example, the 1910 census, I now have to make several more clicks to get to that database when I could get to it with one click before. I know that the actual search engine itself was not changed (after all that's actually a change Ancestry needs to make) but I can assure you that I have tried finding a record that I know is there using the new search and can't get it to appear. I can still get it in seconds with the old search function.
LFMcCauley
Comments are closed.