Because of what we learned from your feedback in the Record Search Pilot, several features that were part of the pilot test will be carried over into the next release of FamilySearch. Some of these features will be available right away, while others may take several months before we can include them. Some of the features that will be in coming releases of FamilySearch include:
Results Layout in Rows and Columns
The pilot taught us that the most important results filter is the patron’s eye. We will be refining the way results are presented on screen to optimize your ability to quickly scan up and down columns of events and relationships and identify relevant matches.
Multiple Event and Relationship Searching
In coming months, the basic search form will be retired, replaced by an advanced form that is even simpler, but much more powerful. You will be able to search on multiple relationship and event information to highly refine your search. For example, you will be able to search records that have birth and residence information or records that have both parents and spouse on them. All your options will be visible and accessible with a single click.
Filters on the new site are very easy to see, are clearly marked, and descend down the left side of the results screen. They are also very powerful, and many patrons are finding ancestors they could never find before.
However, we think we can do even better and are refining filters with simpler function which require fewer clicks and allow patrons to select multiple items. With the new filters that will shortly be available on FamilySearch, you can quickly do a single click to display the filters you want. Then, check the boxes of each filter you want to put into play, and that’s it. It’s fast, and it’s easy to use.
A Multiple Collection Search
The Browse All Collections page currently lets you see all the collections available on the site and quickly filter down to the ones you want to search. However it only allows you to search a single collection at a time. In the near future, we will allow you to select multiple collections on this page as well as in the search form and the results filter. We believe this will be a huge time saving for patrons and allow you to highly target your search to just the collections of interest.
More Matching Options (Exact Search, Close Search, and Missing Search)
FamilySearch will soon provide you with more options for deciding which matching requirements you want to use. The default search currently displays exact results, close results, and then results that may have one or more of your search parameters missing. You can specify that you want only exact matches, but you cannot specify only exact and close. Shortly you will be able to specify Exact, Exact+Close or Exact+Close+Missing on a field by field basis.
- Exact Search: An exact search returns only those records which match your search information exactly as you typed it in the search fields.
- Close Search: A close search returns records that match exactly, as the Exact Search does, but it also returns records that have minor variations from your search terms. For example, if you are searching for Robert Leicher born in February, 1876, a close search will give you all the records that match exactly AND will return records containing variations of the information you were searching on, such as Robert Lesher born February, 1876, or Bob Leicher born in December, 1876.
- Missing Information Search: A missing information search will return records that match much of what you are searching on but may not have all of the information you are searching on. For example, if you are looking for Ingrid Berry, born 16 April 1910, daughter of Jacob and Laura Berry, a missing information search could return records for Ingrid Berry who has a father named Jacob Berry but where no mother is listed. Or it may return a record for Mildred Berry, daughter of Jacob and Laura Berry, with no event date available. It will not return records with data that conflict with what you entered.
A Billion More Records
Finally, the last issue we cover here is not a feature issue, but a results issue. The new release of FamilySearch gives you access to nearly twice as many records as the Record Search Pilot. With Record Search Pilot, you had access to 1.2 billion records. With the new release of FamilySearch, you have access to 2.1 billion records. This number increases weekly as millions of new records are added to FamilySearch each week.