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Ask Ancestry Anne: Search Tip #3 - Card Catalog

It’s easy enough to lose yourself in the Census and Vital records, but with 30,000+ data collections out there, you are most likely missing some great bits of information.

The Ancestry.com Card Catalog is a great place to start discovering those hidden treasures.

If you mouse over the Search tab in the header, you’ll see a list of options with Card Catalog at the bottom:

On the top left, you’ll find the Title and Keyword(s) search boxes.  Typing a word into the Title box searches just the title, which is what you will see in our listings. If you enter a word into the Keyword(s) box, we will search both the Title and the Description.  Note: You can use wildcards in your searches.  You might try using Passenger* to match both Passenger and Passengers.

Below the search boxes, you’ll see the filters.

You can filter by collection type, location, dates and language and you can use them in any combination.

If you choose North Carolina as a location, we will show you any data collection that includes records for North Carolina.  This is different than the listing on the North Carolina Place Page which lists data collections which have data ONLY about North Carolina.  A different way to slice and dice.

You can also sort data collections:

The sorts are:

  • Popularity: How often this collection is used by the Ancestry.com membership
  • Database Title: Alphabetical listing
  • Date Updated: the last day we added or changed the data collection
  • Date Added: the day we added this data collection to the list, most recent first
  • Record Count: the number of records in the data collection

So if I wanted to know what was most recently added for North Carolina, I would set my location filter to North Carolina and I would set the sort order to Date Added:

And to see the actual dates that data collections were added and updated I need to mouse over the title:

Look for Search Tip #4: Finding Local Histories, or review Search Tip #2 : Place Pages

Happy Searching!

Ancestry Anne