Friday, April 25, 2014

Preview of the Find-A-Record Research Assistant

We'll be releasing a new feature soon which we're tentatively calling the Find-A-Record Research Assistant. It combines data from your tree with Find-A-Record data to create a research hub; at least that's the vision. It will be like the Find-A-Record Chrome extension on steroids.

At first it will only work with the FamilySearch Family Tree. We hope to expand it to other trees in the future. At first, the entry point will be via the website as shown in the video, but we will probably update the Chrome Extension to just have one link to the Research Assistant as opposed to the three BMD links.

We would like to get your feedback on this. Would you use it? What could make it better? What do you hope it will do?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WeRelate Adds Find-A-Record Links in the Person Profile

WeRelate has added Find-A-Record search links to all of their person profiles. Below is a picture of the profile for Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp. The links to Find-A-Record are in the top-right corner of the blue header box, just below the share links. When you click the birth link, you are taken to the Find-A-Record search page to search for birth records between 1846 and 1850 that cover Monmouth, Illinois.

The Find-A-Record links appear in the top-right corner of the blue header box, just below the share links.

If there are already sources cited for the birth, marriage, or death event then the respective search link will not appear. Johann Georg Koch has records cited for both his birth and death so only the marriage search link appears. The links also will not appear when there's not enough information to perform a search. James Moses only has a search link for birth because the place of marriage is not known, nor is anything known about his death.

This is the same functionality that the Find-A-Record Chrome Extension provides for FamilySearch and Ancestry trees, with the added bonus here being that it is automatically available for all WeRelate users.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Connecticut Western Reserve

When searching Find-A-Record in Northeastern Ohio, you will sometimes see records for Connecticut. For example, when searching for birth records in Warren, Ohio, the first result is "Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906". How could that be? Connecticut is over 400 miles away from Warren, Ohio.

Let's examine the collection details page of "Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906", which can be accessed by clicking the "Details" button in the search results. The list of entries to the left of the map contains our clue. Click the first entry which says "1649 - 1800 Connecticut, United States of America". The map will update to show the geographic area that is covered by Connecticut for that time period.

Connecticut owned the Northeastern corner of Ohio until 1800. It was called the Connecticut Western Reserve. Quoting Wikipedia:
The Connecticut Western Reserve was a portion of land claimed by the Colony of Connecticut and later by the state of Connecticut in what is now mostly part of northeastern region of the U.S. state of Ohio. The Reserve had been granted to the Colony by King Charles II. Following the American Revolutionary War, Connecticut gave up claim to some of its western lands, but sold the Western Reserve to developers initially. It finally ceded control of this portion to the United States, and the area was organized under the Northwest Territory, until Ohio was admitted as a state. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free, Online, and Military Search Filters

We added the ability to filter Find-A-Record search results based on whether they are free, paid, online, or offline. The only free collections we have right now are from FamilySearch: the free and online collections are the digital collections at FamilySearch while the free and offline collections are from the FamilySearch Catalog. All other collections we currently have are paid and online.

You'll see that we also added the "Military" record type for searching. We have military records from Fold3 and FamilySearch. We will add more military records from Ancestry, the FamilySearch Catalog, and other places in the future.

Our Repositories page contains the full list of sources for our collections, as well as some stats about our coverage.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Today we added collections from WorldVitalRecords. We were able to import about 20% of the 22 thousand collections that WorldVitalRecords has. That percentage will go up overtime as we continue get better insight into our data and indexing process.

We also increased the number of Ancestry collections from 7% to 26%. You can see the details on our repositories page.

Stay tuned for many more updates on new collections; we expect to add many more in the next few weeks.