Website Search Upgrade

On Monday 30th October 2023, we upgraded the search engine used by our website. The previous search engine was too slow which affected the experience of visitors to our website. Sometimes payment transactions timed-out because our server was too busy searching or indexing data. The search engine had reached its capacity and so for months we suspended loading new data sets.

Now, when you search our website the search criteria form should be fast enough to function as designed.

Place: The form will display a list of countries, counties, parishes and towns in a tree-like hierarchy. The dashes indicate the level in the ‘tree’. Unfortunately, some members who submitted Ancestral Marriages didn’t understand the tree hierarchy and they created duplicate places. Periodically, we merge these duplicate places so that when you search for a place you will see all records related to that place.

Surnames: When you enter the surname, if the surname is known to us, the form will display it and you may select it. If we know of other spellings of the surname, the form will suggest these too.

You can select multiple spellings of the surname:

Press the Update button to execute your search. In this example, the first search result matched ‘Millar’ and the second result matched ‘Miller’:

Sometimes, the search criteria form will suggest other spellings:

Topic: The search by topic is similar to the search by surname; we have defined topics which you may select from suggestions that appear once you start to type in the topic:

As with the surname box, you may select multiple topics.

Data Sets: You may select a data set from a list of our data sets:

This upgrade is a significant investment by our society in our website. We hope that you will find the search function easier to use and that you will benefit from the additional data that we will load into the site.

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