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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where are the new records on FamilySearch Record Search?

On August 20, 2010 Randy Seaver had a post entitled, "200 million more records on FamilySearch?" He was commenting on a press release dated August 18, 2010 with the headline, "200 million More Historic Records See the Light of Day" from FamilySearch. As it turns out, determining how many of the collections have been recently updated is somewhat problematical. Record Search no longer lists the new additions to the collections on the startup page like they did a few months ago, the user must browse the collections and click on those marked with a red star indicating that there were relatively recent changes. Apparently, recent goes back about a month.  Randy further points out that some of the records claimed to be newly added date back as far as May 2010.  Why would we be concerned about whether or not the records were newly added?

The answer to this question is simple, if I am researching in Ohio and new records are added, such as the Ohio Tax Records, 1800 - 1850, I might like to know if new records have been added since my last search. In looking at those tax records, I find that the collection was last updated on August 16, 2010 and is presently 45% complete. The records include the following Ohio counties: Ashtabula, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Trumbull and Washington. The majority of the tax records in this collection are for the years 1816 through 1838. See Record Search. Interestingly, these Ohio records added on August 16th are not among those mentioned in the new article as being part of the 200 million new records.

At the time Randy wrote his post, the Record Search site listed 447 collections. As of August 23, 2010 that number had increased to 450. Three entirely new collections added. But by clicking on each of the red stars in the entire list, I could not determine which of the collections had been added in the last three days. Admittedly, some of the collections that have a red star do not tell when or by how much they have been updated. Since I did not have a list of the collections from a few days ago, I cannot determine the really new collections.

So, there seems to be some difficulty in determining whether there are new records on Record Search and where the records are going.

2 comments:

  1. I agree, that's why I haven't been looking at the new records being added unless I'm looking for something very important or very specific and I'm only doing it once or twice a year.

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  2. I've tried to keep track only by using the red stars, and posting the new ones on my society blog, but there are more "new" than the red starred ones, it seems!

    I wish they would be consistent with their counts, "new" indicators and press releases!

    Thanks -- Randy

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