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When doing a search from the basic search page, or a quick search from the first and last fields in the main menu bar, or linking one record to an existing record, the search results will display in a table showing the names, dates of birth and death, parents, spouses, places of birth and death, and the date last changed.

To go to one of the found records, single-click the last name, or double-click anywhere else in the record.  Then in the browse page on the right side of the main menu bar are << and >> arrows for paging through the records found one at a time.

Search Options
At the top of the search results page are many options for changing the search criteria and sort order of the records found. 

Any number of search options can be added -- From the "Selection Options" list, choose an option, and it will be added to the list at the top.  Fill in the information sought, and then either add more criteria, or click "Search".  For all of the options, upper / lower case does not matter.

Information on specific search options:
  • Branch:  This dropdown list is a list of all of the separate branches of the overall tree, maintained by different researchers.  This will default to the branch you are currently in, but can be changed to search any or all.  Checking the "Not" box will exclude the selected branch from the results.

  • First / Last names -- Soundex: Checking "Soundex" uses a method of somewhat selecting a name based on the phonetic sound of the name, rather than the spelling.

  • Dates:  The "Which Date" choice is used together with the "from" and "to" dates, to determine which date to search.  The dates should be either 4-digit years or full mm/dd/yyyy dates. 

    Blank dates:  Even if you are searching by date, you can include records that don't have this date at all, by choosing "Yes" here, the default.

    Choosing "Blank Dates" = "Only" will find only those that do not have the "Which Date"  defined, helpful for finding and filling in those blanks.

  • Places: The place fields search all event places, or a specific type of event, related to a person.  Similar to the data entry page, the place fields are separated for states & countries, counties & provinces, and cities and towns.  Selecting one will refresh the latter two.

    Added to each are the options to search for states, counties, and cities that are blank or not blank, by choosing "(blank)" or "(not blank)" from the dropdown lists, or by typing into the city field, including parentheses:
    • "(blank)" -- only places that do not have a city or town
    • "(not blank)" -- only places that do have a city or town
    • "(not cemetery)" -- when searching grave locations, find only grave locations that do not have the name of a specific cemetery or burial ground.
  • Needs Census: For the year that is chosen. it will return a list of people who were living before this year, and living after this year, but who did not have a "Reside" event for this year. They may have had reside events in other years, but they weren't necessarily in the same place in this year -- so it seems logical that you might want to search the census for this year to find the family, and record where they were living.

    This lists only the years 1790-1940, and restricts itself to the United States. If you want to use this for other census years, or for other countries, let us know and the options can be expanded.

  • (temporarily disabled) Findagrave: This is more helpful if you choose it with the comparison option of "blank", returning those people who do not have a Find-a-Grave number entered, so that you can go through them and fill them in.

  • Positions:  So for example, if you would want to find any legislator who was from North Carolina, regardless of the office or the state represented...
    Executive -- President, VP, Governor, Lt Governor, First Ladies, Monarchs
    Cabinet -- Secretaries and other cabinet members, both national and state
    Legislature -- US Senate & House, state senates & houses, and members of Parliament
    Judicial -- Supreme and Superior Court justices, judges, US attorneys
    Ambassadors -- from and to any country
    Local Officials -- mayors, sheriffs, city council members
    Peerage -- dukes, earls, lord, barons, counts, etc.
    ... and and option for All of the Above


This selects everyone from my branch, with the last name of Smith, born between 1800 and 1900, and including those without birthdates.

Finding Orphans:  To find records of people who do not have any parents, spouses, or children, put in the options for the parents blank, spouses blank, and no children.  Such records may often be mistaken entries that can be deleted.

Finding people to be researched:  Search for birthdate where "blanks" = "only", and birthplace = "blank".

This is a more complex example, showing how to use the grouping with an OR.  This selects everyone from my branch who was born in VA, and died in either NC or SC.

AND's, OR's, and Grouping
Note that if you mix "AND" and "OR", you should always specify a grouping.  Consider this simplified example:   X AND Y OR Z   This is ambiguous, as it is not clear whether you want
( X AND Y ) OR Z ...  Both X AND Y are true, or Z is true... OR
X AND ( Y OR Z ) ...  X and either Y or Z are true.

Typically "AND" is most often used, except for specific cases where it needs to change to "OR".

When finished defining the search criteria, click "Search".  Note that search results are limited to 300 records to keep from bogging down the system.  If your search finds more than 300, you probably need to do a narrower search anyway...  Or click the "Next" button to get to the next 300.

Customizing Field Choices
Each person may customize the choices and order of the columns that appear here.  See more information.

Selecting Records
Clicking a record once will select it for later use, indicated by the change in color of the row.  Clicking it again (once) will unselect it.

Then with one or more selected records, several buttons at the top are enabled:

  • The "Show Children" and "Show Siblings" buttons open a window showing the children or siblings of the selected people.  This is more often useful for one record, rather than multiple, but using them with multiple is available if needed.  For example, if you are linking a person to his or her parents, and you have here a list of possible candidates, you may want to see someone's existing children or siblings before you select a record to link to.
  • Additional moderators may also be added to selected records from here.  This is helpful if you are working with another researcher and want to give them the ability to update a larger group of records.   Do a search or searches to find the records, single-click to select them, and then at the top select a specific researcher to whom you want to allow access.  This is automatically restricted to records for which you are already a moderator.  Even if you select other records, their access permissions won't be updated.
Saving Searches
Typing a name in the "Name Search" field will save the search criteria options you put in to be re-run later.  Read more.

Searching by Region
When searching, at the bottom of the list of states & countries are a few new options to allow searching for a pre-defined area.  Some families cross boundaries too frequently, and so searching by a single state or county isn't always convenient.

The current list includes these.  Others can be added as needed -- just send a list of states and counties, and a logical name for the area.
  • DC area (DC, Montgomery Co MD, Prince George Co MD, Fairfax Co VA, Arlington Co VA, Alexandria)
  • NC Outter Banks (Dare Co, Hyde Co, Currituck Co, Tyrrell Co)
  • New England (All of ME, VT, NH, MA, CT, RI)
  • NJ / NY (All counties)
  • Northern VA (Fairfax Co VA, Arlington Co VA, Alexandria, Loudoun Co, Prince William Co, Fauquier Co)

Updated: 8-8-2017