Monday, January 23, 2012

Marriage Date and Place Added to Search Page

This morning I added fields for marriage year and place to the Whipple Genweb search form (http://genweb.whipple.org/search.html). I'm not entirely sure why I omitted those fields more than 10 years ago, when I first created that search page.

When entering dates and places I try to be consistent in the way I enter U.S. place names. However, I'm much less consistent when it comes to place names in other countries.

Last week (when I was out of town for a few days), I received an email that noted that I sometimes use Hertfordshire for the county north of London (the one that has Bishop's Stortford); other times I use Hertford (without the "shire"). My first inclination was to ignore the note. Then I started searching Personal Ancestral File (the free software I use to maintain the database). When I searched for places containing "Hertford", I noticed that Urias Whipple was married in Bishops Stortford; Urias was on the Disconnected Whipples page.

I decided that it might be useful to be able to search by marriage place. This evening, as I completed the implementation, I noticed another Urias Whipple, married in Bishops Stortford at http://whipple.org/106467. Both had the same marriage date and were married to the same person. The "connected" Urias is a descendant of Thomas Whipple of Bishops Stortford and a first cousin of Matthew Whipple of Bocking (http://whipple.org/5929). I merged the disconnected Urias with the connected Urias at http://whipple.org/106467.

... So the new field helped identify a disconnected Whipple who turned out to be a duplicate of a connected Whipple already in the database. I hope you find the new search field helpful in your research.

One feature of the search page is that only ONE search field is necessary. You can, for example, enter "Bishops Stortford" as the marriage place (leaving all other fields blank), and find all marriages that took place in Bishops Stortford. To find all individuals with ANY event that took place in Bishops Stortford, enter "Bishops Stortford" in the "All places (combined)" field (and leave all other fields blank).

Try experimenting by putting information in other single fields in the search form. Some will display nonsensical results--more results than you can handle. Other times, however, it will help you find something you would have missed otherwise.

Happy searching!