FamilySearch targeted searches now make it possible to search a group of databases by location.

I went to FamilySearch a different way recently and discovered a new (to me) way to do location searches. (I’ll be watching the comments and you can tell me if this feature has always been there all along!)

My searches on FamilySearch used to be limited to:

  1. Broad search from main page of all of their databases, or
  2. Limited search of one database on that resource’s page

#1 returned mostly terrible results, while #2 was effective but often too narrow. (And Goldilocks agrees with me.)

Happily, FamilySearch now makes it is now possible to search a group of databases by location, or what librarian types call a targeted search. FamilySearch targeted Searches often yield better results that are just right (and Goldilocks approves).

Here’s how to do FamilySearch Targeted Searches:

1. Visit the main database search page. A search from this page would be a Broad Search.

FamilySearch Targeted Searches

2. Click on the map to choose the area. I’m starting to research my Scottish-Australian ancestors, so I clicked on Australia and got this information:

FamilySearch Targeted Searches

3. Click “Start researching in Australia.” A FamilySearch targeted search window opens.

Previously, I was searching each of the location databases separately. But with this new page, I can search all 11 of the indexed collections for Australia in one search.  The search can also be filtered by choosing one or more specific databases.


FamilySearch Targeted Searches sassy jane genealogy

For other Sassy Jane posts on search strategies, click here.