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Ancestor Tree

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Search Tips

Search Tips

Your tree can be a powerful tool to help you find more information on your ancestors – those you know about and those you haven't yet found.

The 3 Types of Searches

Family Tree Maker Web Edition has three different search types:
  • Family Group SearchRecommended. This searches for an individual and immediate family.
  • Individual Search – Searches for an individual only
  • Agent Search – This runs in the background, searching on your whole file and sending email when it finds new results.

Complete descriptions of the three searches are given below.

Why Search on a Family Group?

Searching on a group of family members is more efficient and more accurate than any individual search. The search engine can compare the relationships of people in your family with those of families in its vast genealogy database to spot likely matches and bring them to your attention.

One hit on a World Family Tree could add generations to your file – maybe even put you in touch with other relatives searching for the same family line!

Family Group Search

This searches for an individual along with his or her immediate family, specifically:

  • parents
  • spouse(s), and
  • children

(If your file contains fewer than 16 people, the Family Group Search actually searches on the whole file.)

To run a family group search, go into any view and select an individual for the search (to select an individual, move your mouse over his or her name).

Then click the Search menu and choose Family Group Search.

Your results will appear shortly in another window.

Search Agent

When you set up a search agent, it begins searching on your entire tree and then reports back when it has found matches. The search agent typically takes overnight for its first run. From then on, whenever you make changes to your file, the search agent will report to you when it has new results.

To set up a search agent, open your tree, click the Search menu, and choose Search Agent.

Then click the link to set up your search agent. A page displays with controls for you to set up the agent.

If you have more than one Family Tree Maker Web Edition file, you must select one for your agent to search. You can only have one search agent running at a time.

You should check the box to have your search agent send mail when its search is complete. (You can turn this off anytime.)

Apply your settings, and your search agent is off and running!

Individual Search

This searches for an individual without including any family members in the search. For this reason, it is not as accurate as the Family Group Search or Search Agent, both of which can use family relationships to refine matches (for example, to find married couples who match married couples in your file).

However, the individual search may be slightly faster than the other searches.

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