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Searching Databases

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Searching Databases

Postby johnelfreda » Fri May 13, 2011 9:51 pm

Cannot find anywhere else to put this question to the experts!

No matter which genealogy site I look at they fail to provide decent database searching tools. They presumably have all their first name, surname, birth dates, house addresses etc etc, as fields in their databases. If they allowed searches that let you put in linked items, e.g., a surname and a street, then search results would be more accurate and potentially cut down on hours of searching.

Commercial databases provide for such multiple linked field searches, why doesn't the genealogy industry use them? Is there another agenda here that we're not seeing?
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 9:41 pm

Re: Searching Databases

Postby bandit » Sat May 28, 2011 8:48 pm

Dear John

I read your thread and wonderded where you have been looking? I kind of hit on that subject in a replies I put myself in a couple of threads.

I take it you mean on census records - if so - using a surname and say a street will bring up all the residents in that street that carry that one surname. It will not necessarily give you the right
answer though. A better way of looking at things is to use a dabase to its best conclusion instead of the other way round.These sites are all different and no amount cajoling will change that. They are owned by different people who decide how best to organise their data and presumably win contracts to buy records based on that .

I do agree that searching for deaths has been a real pain but one site I know has recently changed into a list form, so that you can choose which records to look at once you have placed your initial search. So there has been a real move forward in that area.

I hope this helps you and if you want to know some tips on how best to get the most out a particular database then you can either ask me or ask the site in a seperate thread.

kindest regards

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Re: Searching Databases

Postby Guy » Sun May 29, 2011 6:20 am

The more one defines the search the less chance there is of finding the person one is looking for.

Precise searches only work when precise details are listed on the database.

In family history, names, streets occupations may all be spelt in different ways. Some fields may be left blank for some individuals.
The modern genealogist who simply uses search engines to search databases is liable to miss a huge raft of relevant information that his/her search terms ignore.

Even with the advent of powerful computers nothing replaces the mark one eyeball for searching records.
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
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