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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum removes ADVANCED SEARCH OPTION

For those of us who use quite a bit, one of the best features of their product was the ADVANCED SEARCH, but for reasons unknown, decided to remove this option from their website.

Okay, so why is this such a BIG thing? The Advanced Search screen was the ONLY way that you could include a KEYWORD in your search. This was particularly useful when doing a NO-NAME search, where, for example, you know a female ancestor's maiden name but you don't know when, where or to whom she was married. You could do a NO-NAME search (i.e. leave the First Name and Last Name fields blank) but put her maiden name in the keyword field, which would bring up results such as birth indices that included the mother's maiden name. This option has been a goldmine in my searches and I'm really sorry that Ancestry has removed this feature.

The keyword section is also VERY useful to narrow down your search to a specific county, or to use the word "slave" if you want to search only the slave schedules in a census search.

The ONLY work around for this now, is to search each individual database first, and on the search results page, you'll be given the option to add a keyword. But the problem with that is that I cannot search ALL the US Census records at once ... I have to search each census year, individually, in order to add my keyword. What used to take me 15-10 minutes, will now take me over an hour to do.

For beginners, the Advanced Search option probably won't be missed, but for those of use all the time, this is a tremendous loss. Per Ancestry, they intend to bring back this feature in "a future release," which could mean anything.

WHY in the world did they remove it in the first place?

You can let Ancestry know how you feel about this, by submitting a comment/suggestion at the following URL:, then click on COMMENTS?/SUGGESTIONS? at the very bottom of the screen.

I just got off the phone with a woman at Ancestry who shared my frustrations then told (warned) me that once they bring back the advanced search feature, it will be "better than ever." Okay, now I'm REALLY scared.

Ancestry, just leave stuff alone, okay? It was JUST FINE before. Geez, Louise.

... sigh.

- Lisa B. Lee, PLCGS
Oakland, CA

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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