Is Ancestry Missing Your Ancestors?

It’s so irritating to search for a file on Ancestry — a file that you just simply KNOW exists — and you’ll’t discover it. Irrespective of what number of methods you attempt spelling the identify, you simply can’t discover it.

The problem may not be in the way you’re looking. Right here’s easy methods to inform whether or not or Ancestry has the file that you just’re in search of in your family tree.

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I see it occur on a regular basis — folks will do a search on Ancestry, not get the outcomes they anticipate, after which one in every of two issues occurs. They’ll both get annoyed with themselves — “I have to be looking improper!” — or they may make the improper conclusion about their ancestor. “I didn’t discover her marriage file the place I anticipated, so she should have gotten married some place else.”

It’s true that our ancestors generally did issues like run off to a different place to get married…. And generally we do have to attempt completely different search methods. However one of many greatest causes that your search outcomes are turning up a giant fats zero is that Ancestry doesn’t have the file.

Ancestry doesn’t have each file. They don’t even have the whole lot that’s on-line.

The issue is that it isn’t at all times apparent what Ancestry doesn’t have, particularly if you happen to’ve been doing searches from the primary search web page.

So how will you inform when it’s a matter of needing to go looking in another way versus Ancestry not having the data that you just want? There are two locations you need to look.

The Ancestry Card Catalog

Ancestry card catalog menuThe primary is Ancestry’s Card Catalog. (Sure, they’re a web site. They nonetheless name it the Card Catalog, although.) This can let you realize precisely what collections Ancestry has for a sure location, so you’ll be able to see whether or not or not they’ve collections that cowl what you’re in search of.

You get to the Card Catalog by clicking on Search on the high of the web page on Ancestry, then clicking “Card Catalog.” How Ancestry names its collections may help us see what collections are particular for that location, as a result of the title consists of the place identify.

What if we’re looking for a demise certificates for an ancestor who died in Missouri in 1964? We are able to go into the Card Catalog, enter Missouri within the title area, and click on Search. Now we get a listing of all of Ancestry’s collections which have “Missouri” within the title. If we would like, we are able to use the filters on the lefthand facet of the web page to focus the record additional by class and/or date.

Scrolling by way of the record of collections, we are able to see that Ancestry has these two collections: “Missouri, U.S., Dying Certificates, 1910-1962” and “Missouri, U.S., Dying Data, 1968-2015.” So, whereas different collections may need details about the particular person’s burial or perhaps their obituary, Ancestry has a niche of their protection of Missouri demise certificates; sadly, that demise in 1964 falls in that hole.

Your ancestor very effectively might have died in Missouri in 1964, however regardless of the way you search, you’re not going to seek out his or her demise certificates on Ancestry.

A Stunning Option to Use Ancestry’s “Browse This Assortment” Function

The Card Catalog is beneficial, but it surely isn’t the one place to test what Ancestry doesn’t have.

Let’s swap up our analysis and now we’re in search of the demise file of an ancestor who died in Adair County, Missouri in 1905. Utilizing the Card Catalog, we see there’s a group referred to as, “Missouri, U.S., Dying Data, 1850-1931.” Sounds promising!

However doing a search, we’re not discovering what we’re in search of. Once you’re on a group web page on Ancestry, scroll under the search type; there’s generally an “About” part that offers extra details about the gathering. However when the gathering has photographs, you may get a fair higher concept what’s within the assortment through the use of the Browse function.

Ancestry browse this collection menu
Utilizing the “Browse this assortment,” we see that this assortment doesn’t embrace any county starting with A.

Should you click on on the “County” dropdown, you is likely to be stunned that the primary county listed is “Barry.” Meaning this assortment doesn’t have something for Adair County (or another “A” county).

What about Butler County? Should you select Butler County, you’ll see that the gathering solely consists of 1883-1893 — a lot much less protection than the 1850-1931 within the assortment title!

So why is assortment referred to as “Missouri, U.S., Dying Data, 1850-1931”? As a result of someplace within the assortment there’s no less than one file that dates to 1850 and no less than one which dates to 1931. Ancestry isn’t the one web site to call their databases this manner. In actual fact, it isn’t exceptional for archives to label a group this manner, although most of them may have a word saying what years the majority of the gathering is.

Save Your self Some Genealogical Frustration

There are occasions once we do want to change up our searches — but it surely doesn’t matter the way you search if the web site doesn’t have the file to start with! Save your self some frustration in your analysis and discover what Ancestry doesn’t have.

Need to get extra out of your on-line searches? Click on to get a free copy of my information “5 On-line Search Methods Each Genealogist Ought to Know”


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