Saturday, October 18, 2014

Feel Good Blogging Challenge - Day 3 - FamilySearch Hints

Did you know you can search the historical records at FamilySearch without having an account? It's true!

Using the Search function at the top of the page, you'll be taken to the Search Historical Records page. Enter your search criteria and be awed at the number of results returned. Without being signed in, you can view the extracted information. One of the perks of having an account, is the ability, in many cases, to see the images of the actual records.

That type of search will crawl through the indexed records on the site for anything that matches the search terms you entered. But, did you know there are thousands of records on FamilySearch that haven't been indexed, but can be browsed?

From the Historical Records Search screen, scroll down below the blank search boxes and click on Browse All Published Collections.

You will see this screen next:

Notice that some of the collections have numbers in the Records column. Those have been indexed and are searched when you use the search functions.

The other collections have the phrase Browse Images. The images in these collections have been uploaded, but not yet indexed. 

Another way to access these browsable collections is to click on the map on the Historical Records Search screen, select a location from the pop-up menu and click on Start researching in [your location].

Then, you will get a screen where you can enter search criteria, again. Below that section will be a list of the collections for that location that can only be browsed.

No matter how creatively you enter your search criteria, you will get no results from these collections. These collections must be browsed through. Most of them are categorized either alphabetically or chronologically. Don't overlook them! Once you feel you've exhausted the traditional search options, take a look at what else is buried in the collections list. What you want may well be there. I have found some wonderful treasures using these collections! I hope it helps you, too.

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