How to use place filters to find who you are looking for

When you choose a place from the type ahead, this allows us to not only quickly identify that place in our record sets, but it also lets us make use of other useful information that we know about that place. If it’s a county, we now what state it is in and we know what the adjacent counties are.

So if you were to choose Appomattox County, Virginia, USA as a birth location, we know it is in Virginia and the counties adjacent to Appomattox are Amherst, Nelson, Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Campbell. And we know the states adjacent to Virginia, USA are Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucy, Tennessee and North Carolina. This allows us to create place filters that will enhance your search.

So once you choose Appomattox County, Virginia, USA, you will not only have the default seetings and exact match available to you, you’ll be able to search Appomattox County and any adjacent county. Or restrict your searches to records that at least have birth locations in Virginia. Or Virginia and the adjacent states.

So how do place filters work

Let’s say you choose Oakland, Alameda, California, USA as a birth location.. You will see the following filters under the birth location search box:

You know the person you are searching for was born in Oakland, Alameda, California, USA, so you apply the filter "Restrict to this place exactly".

This choice means the record must have exactly the same place, as the place you choose. If you have chosen Oakland, Alameda, California, USA for a birth place, but the record has a birth place of Alameda, California, USA then the record will not be included in your result set. So if you aren’t finding what you are looking for, you might try selecting “Restrict to this county" or “Restrict to this county/adjacent counties".

Just because you know where something happened, doesn’t mean that is where it was recorded or how it was recorded in the record.

How each filter works

Default settings

If you choose default settings, there will be no filter applied. Records that match eactly what you chose get the most points; records that partially match the location you choose get some points, records that are adjacent to your chosen location get fewer points and if there is no match, no points.

These points are then added to other points we gave this record based on the information you gave us and then they are used to rank that records against other records in your result set.

Restrict to this place exactly

If you choose this, then the record must have exactly the same place, as the place you choose. If you have chosen Oakland, Alameda, California, USA for a birth place, but the record has a birth place of Alameda, California, USA then the record will not be included in your result set.

Restrict to this county

If you choose “Restrict to this county", and you have chosen Oakland, Alameda, California, USA for a birth place, and the record has a birth place of “Alameda, California, USA" this will be considered a match, and the record can be included in the result set.

If the record had Alameda, California, USA as the location, it would also be included, because you chose to restrict at the county level. But because it’s not an exact match, this result would not rank as high in your result set.

Restrict to this county/adjacent counties

Sometimes the closest court house was in the next county, not in the county where your ancestor resided, and they may have recorded an event there. By choosing this option, we not only will match the county you’ve given us, but the counties that are currently adjacent to it. And state lines do not make a difference here. If the county is adjacent, we search it and we match it.

Restrict to this state

This works just like restrict to this county, except at the state level. If you have chosen Oakland, Alameda, California, USA for a birth location, we will match any record that has a birth location in California. However, if the county or city matches, the result will appear higher in the result list.

Restrict to this state/adjacent state

This works like the county/adjacent county filter except at the state level.

Restrict to this country

This works like the county or state filter, except at the country level.

What if I choose a county in England? What filters will I see?

Filters are based upon the location you have chosen. If you choose a county in England, we will allow you to filter at the county, country or the UK level. Filters are adjusted to match the country you are in.