Author Topic: Browsing and Searching  (Read 241 times)

Offline bugbear

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Browsing and Searching
« on: Wednesday 06 December 17 16:50 GMT (UK) »
"Back in the day" (say more than a decade ago) genealogy was mainly done on local records.

Either in parish registers, or census returns, mainly on microfilm/fiche. The good old mk1 eyeball would scan page after page looking for the "right" names. Whilst this is a rather slow way of finding names, you do build up a very good "impression" of the area; you would certainly know what occupations were predominant, you'd see ALL the street names, you'd see the change from one priest to another. You'd also (probably) have little trouble with mis-spellings.

Conversely, since your searching is primarily driven by a place, you have zero chance of finding out of area data. (I found some Norfolk people marrying in Liverpool!!)

In the modern way, a direct search will find (usually...) what you're looking for in a couple of seconds.

Is there a rule of thumb I could use to decide when, having found an individual by searching, I might decide that I would benefit from a wider reading of the source containing the individual?

Clearly, if I do it every time, my speed will revert to the good/bad old days.

And yet I'm sure there are benefits to be had.

What's a good compromise?

   BugBear
BICE Middlesex
WOMACK Norfolk/Suffolk

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Offline Josephine

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Re: Browsing and Searching
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 06 December 17 17:05 GMT (UK) »
Interesting observation, BugBear.

When I was building some of my family lines from scratch (more than a decade ago), I went page by page through the census and church records for their areas. I did this more than once and it did have the benefits that you describe.

Now, depending on the website, it isn't always possible to do that with some record sets, and I do feel as if I lose out on the opportunity to discover entries -- and make connections between individuals and families -- that I probably would not find through the search function.

An efficient compromise might be to start with the search function and build/learn as much as you can, then follow that with an immersive browse; that way, you can focus on those entries that have evaded the search process.

Does that make sense?

Regards,
Josephine
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