FamilySearch magic

Remember my earlier post about finding my great-grandfather John Graf’s hometown? I was able to turn that little victory into a veritable goldmine of information about John Graf’s relatives (and my long-ago ancestors) in Germany.

When you find a record in FamilySearch, look for the Indexing Project (Batch) Number and click on the hyperlinked batch number down at the bottom of the record.

This gives you all the records that were indexed in the same batch, which is basically all the records from the same source; in my case, all the records from Schrozberg births and baptisms.

But at the moment I’m not interested in all the residents of Schrozberg. I only want to see the ones who are related to my great-grandfather and, by extension, me. I use the “Refine Your Search” option and type in my great-grandfather’s last name, Graf, and click Update.

Now you can see that every person in the search results has the last name Graf and lives in Schrozberg. It’s a list of 75, not too many to look through to see who is related to me.

But we can make this a little easier to examine and evaluate the records. Use the “Export Results” button to turn this list into a Microsoft Excel list. In this format, it is easier to manipulate the list to find children with the same parents and put them into family groups.

I went back to the batch records and refined by John Graf’s mother’s maiden name, Goeller, and was able to find more ancestors that way.

At the moment, my head is still reeling from finding all these “new” ancestors and putting them into the family tree. I think this little “trick” works best with vital records. I encourage you to try this bit of magic on one of your own FamilySearch finds and see how your family tree expands by leaps and bounds. Let me know how your searching turns out.

Happy Researching!
~Sonia

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