Something New at Ancestry.com?

Something New at ancestry.com?

Have you noticed that the Ancestry family of websites – .com, .ca, .au, etc – are being changed?  We have to get used to websites being updated.

Last Wednesday we were fortunate to have Deanna Bullock come to speak to the Red Deer Branch of the Alberta Genealogical Society.  About 40 people were in attendance.

I learned several things – I always do when Deanna is the presenter.  Let me share one of them.  Hopefully it will help you.

I have noticed on some updates that family history websites and not just Ancestry are including features that only appear when you “hover”  on a spot on the screen!  I guess this makes the initial screen look cleaner and simply but how are you supposed to know where these features are hidden – and sometimes they are very useful things.

Let’s look at a search screen in Ancestry – apparently any of the various search screens are the same. Here is the search screen for Census searches:

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.52.46 PM

Notice the check box for “Match all terms exactly.”  I am always cautious about checking a box like that because there are usually variants in the spelling of names – and if you ask for exact on the search terms then you may omit the person you are looking for.

But what if you want to specifically request variants?  There is a menu for that!  Just start to put in a name – either in the First & Middle Name or Last Name fields – and, like magic some new choices appear.  You appear to be offered another way to request Exact but if you click on Exact you get some very helpful options.  Exact and  . . . Sounds Like, and/or Similar, and/or Soundex.  You can request one of these or all of them or some of them.  Very powerful!

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.53.02 PM

Glad I know where these options are.  Hope it helps you find your ancestors!

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