Thanks to everyone who joined us for the search webinar
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Hi everyone Thanks to those who joined us for the Search webinar on Wednesday. We had more than 10,700 members registered for the event, which is a record ever for We also appreciate all of the great questions. In total, we had over 1,500, so unfortunately, we're not going to be able to address these all individually. In this post, and over the next few days, we'll be covering some of the common themes: 1. Can I watch the presentation again'

  • Yes, you can watch our recording of the webinar by clicking here
2. Can I just see the slides' I don't want to have to watch the whole webinar
  • We will be making these slides available shortly. I'll provide an update on this blog as soon as we've posted them.
3. Where can I find a list of hot keys'
  • We always show a list of hot keys on every results page, on the left hand side, below the collections'.
Hot keys screenshot
  • In addition, you can find an overview of hot keys in our blog post  here
4. How do I make a correction if I have information about one of my ancestors that doesn't match what is transcribed on the record'
  • Nobody knows your ancestors as well as you do.  If you know an alternate name, date or place, you can add that to the record. Once you've made the correction, anyone searching in the future will be able to find that record based on either your alternate, or the original transcription
You can access this from the record pages: corrections on record page or on the new image view page, on those collections where it is available: corrections on image page
  • For a more in depth overview of this, see Anne's post about how corrections work here
5. Where is the best place to start when researching African American family history'
  • We have a special feature on African American ancestry that provides information and tips here
6. Where can I find the substitute collections for 1890 (which was lost) or 1940 (which isn't released until 2012) censuses'
  • Because these collections are not available, we have compiled a number of sources, including city directories and state censuses that cover the years that would have been in these censuses. Using these, you may be able to fill in gaps and track down who was living where at those times.  Our 1940 substitute in particular contains a huge collection of city directories from about 1935 to 1945 and has over 100 million names.
  • For more information on 1940 see our blog post here
  • These are available via the census and voter list page or you can find them directly by clicking here for 1890 or here for 1940
7. How do you reduce hits outside of the specified date'
  • If you provide us with a birth, death or other date in the record, we will calculate when that person could have been alive, and only return records that could fall into that date range. You can find a detailed explanation of how this works in our post here.
  • There are some examples where some dates may appear outside of this range, for example some family histories. However, if you find a specific example we'd be grateful if you could let us know so we can look into it.
8. When I go to, my pages don't look the same as the ones you showed in the webinar, why not'
  • Last year, we launched a new search interface, which had a new layout and some additional features, some of which we discussed in the webinar. If you have started using since last July, it's likely you are using the new search interface.
  • However, following feedback from experienced users (including much debate on this board) we have continued to make the "Old" search available for those users who joined before this time. If you did not recognise the pages we showed, you might be using "Old Search"
  • The webinar was aimed at beginner to intermediate users, so it focused on the tools available in New search.
If you are using Old search, your screen will look like this, with a link to new search at the top right hand side of the page. Old search
  • At any time, you can return to old search by clicking on the same link in the same position.
9.  Is Tony from Yorkshire, Indiana, or New Zealand...
  • Some good guesses... but not right, I'm from Hereford, England and moved with my family to California in 2007
10. This webinar was too basic for me - will you be doing an "advanced" webinar'
  • We've been really pleased that the majority of people found this webinar useful, and we are now considering options for extending this.
  • In discussing within the team, it seems to make sense that a more advanced webinar should focus on particular topics, ie Searching for records in the South or Searching using specific collections. We'd love to get your ideas on what might be most useful to the greatest number of people.