I don’t get it! Here I am on ancestry.com looking through the records for information on my family. I try to be selective in my searches, yet every time I do so I have to search through a list of public and private records before I can locate the actual records of any given area. This means going through several hundred items before discovering the goody jar. I make a range of dates from 1725 to 1799, for instance, and a range of regions and oh boy I get documents that represent a hundred years from what I want and locations in other countries. I’m not keen about Ancestry’s search, yet FHL isn’t all that much better and I really have no experience with other record banks on the Internet.
So much of the information is watered down by the lack of filters, though on the other hand, the more filters the less records which creates a problem-what have we left behind? The more restrictive I get to an area or time period the more the algorithms may leave out the data I actually need. I need a formula that will rule out anything after 1823 and before 1733, that can also include Irish records but not American.
Am I asking for too much!? I used to like Ancestry’s search features. Now, there are so many duplication of records, so many public tree records and far too many newspaper collections that need to be waded through to find that one little gem that makes a difference. Perhaps Ancestry should divide these more populated lists more sparingly- maybe by year, locality then surname to start. Seems logical to me. I understand we’re dealing with millions of very diverse people, ethnically, and spelling variations, missing villages and old town names that have disappeared from our present time. I get the fact that boundaries changed, governments shift and wars destroy the documented history of our lives; we all want to leave some legacy of our passing, don’t we? Or is that just post-history thinking on my part?
Yet with the technology we do have I don’t see why the searches can’t be a little more inclusive when we reach out our nets. Why all the chaff? I do appreciate the whittling down of this conglomeration of data, only I wish I could cast my line into a more purposeful pond geared toward my branch of the family.
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